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FBI DIRECTOR COMMENTS ON POTENTIAL BACKLASH OF ANTI-POLICE MOVEMENT
Steve Forbes: Obviously the FBI director, Director Comey has it right, and the White House profoundly has it wrong, as it is in so many other areas. Police are hanging back, they know they aren’t being backed by political authorities, including the President of the United States. This is going to exact already an economic cost. Already in New York City people are starting to look over their shoulders again. You just remember Times Square 20 years ago to what it is today. These things over time have an enormous cost economically.
Bruce Japsen: Well those are certainly some sobering numbers. To answer the White House, they say to this point, we don’t know what’s going on and that’s the problem. Down in, FBI Director Comey’s speech, he said we need to get some researchers to hit this hard to find out what’s really going on. We find out all we get are crime statistics on the rise, or the fall or whatever, we don’t really know what’s going on across the country in these communities and that’s the problem.
Elizabeth MacDonald: Even the president said “there is a chill wind” blowing through police departments. James Comey has been really tough on cops. I would listen to Mr. Comey and the FBI over a White House Press Secretary or any politician. Mr. Comey is also saying watch out. There are far more people of color being killed now and they’re not being killed by cops so you just have to sort of say to yourself, all lives matter. We know that there’ve been bad apples and that’s bad. It’s not good that cops have been basically killing people wrongfully, but when you go after cops on a wide scale like this, the good guys too are protecting people in gated communities like Quentin Tarantino you got to say to yourself, that is bad and that is wrong.
Rich Karlgaard: We are going in the wrong direction. Steve had it exactly right. Starting around the 1970s things got markedly worse and it wasn’t until we had the broken windows policy that put police on the street and asked young men why they were out at one in the morning, and things like that, that things began to move in the right direction.
John Tamny: I almost think this filming of cops may in a way help them. Anytime we can increase citizen oversight of government, that’s a good thing. For the police, most often they’re doing the right thing. The filming is going to elevate them in the eyes of most people but power corrupts, it doesn’t matter who it is. Police are no different than anyone else. They should suffer the same oversight that anyone else in government does.
Mike Ozanian: I think there’s a bigger problem here which is the way President Obama has used the bully pulpit of the presidency to divide this country along racial lines. He was very quick to let prisoners out of jail who had committed crimes. He seems to always be on camera when there is something to allege by the police that they’ve done against a criminal, but when it’s the opposite case, you never see the president. When you connect the dots, what I see here is that President Obama is trying to nationalize law enforcement in this country and I think that’s the opposite approach we should take. I think when the local police are involved with the local community, you have a safer community and it’s better for business as a result.
PREMIUMS FOR NEARLY 7 IN 10 HEALTHCARE LAW PLANS TO RISE 7.5 PERCENT ON AVERAGE NEXT YEAR
Steve Forbes: That deductible thing is a real crisis. You take for example the cheapest plan on the exchange, the so called Bronze plans. A typical Bronze plan has four times the deductible of a typical company plan. So people are putting it off, people are being pushed on to Medicaid where a lot of doctors now, 40 percent won’t even treat them or treat them not the way they would other patients. We’ve got a crisis here, Obama’s costing us more, and giving people who need it less.
Bruce Japsen: The good thing about this plan is you’re going to get access to private insurance. The bad news is you’re going to get access to private insurance. Private companies went into this not knowing because of the preexisting conditions and so forth, what these populations would be all about, so it’s going to take some time to stabilize. We knew that going into it. A lot of the company earnings, calls this week, they’re not giving up on this. United Healthcare is going to expand in 11 new states in 38 California counties.
Mike Ozanian: Particularly the middle class. If you’re rich, you can afford these higher deductibles but the middle working class are getting wacked by Obamacare with these deductibles. The poor, maybe some of the uninsured are going to get more care through Medicaid through Obamacare so they’ll be better off. This is fundamentally the redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the poor by the president.
Elizabeth MacDonald: Kaiser, which is a nonpartisan health research group, said 32 million people are still uninsured and a quarter of those individuals, adults and children are eligible for Obamacare. There are Obamacare subsides for the premiums, the tax credits for that but not for the deductibles and the plans are so limited. You can’t access medical specialists you may need. The plans don’t allow for those costs so that’s a big deal.
Rich Karlgaard: The math doesn’t work. Anybody who looked at this with any degree of honesty when Obamacare was being passed knew the math wouldn’t work. The person who designed the darn program knew it wouldn’t work and he got pilloried when he came out about that when he was quoted on that very thought last year, it just doesn’t work. It’s an actuarial fraud.
Bill Baldwin: If copays are going up, I consider that a feature, not a bug. Patients have to have some skin of the transaction if we’re not going to have costs spiraling totally out of control. A high copay is still compatible with the system with very generous payments for catastrophic situations.
Steve Forbes: In a normal market when you start to see the real price of things, you’d have entrepreneurs coming in to offer you more for less as we see from color TVs being a tenth of what they were a few years ago, but in healthcare, we don’t know what the real prices are. One thing Medicare should have done a long time ago is force clinics and hospitals to post prices on all of their services so people could actually see when they go in, what it’s going to cost.
HOUSE REPUBLICANS FILE RESOLUTION TO IMPEACH IRS CHIEF JOHN KOSKINEN
Mike Ozanian: Koskinen needs to be impeached. He's impeded with Congress’s investigation for months. He kept information about Lois Lerner’s e-mails away from Congress. He should have been fired by President Obama, but since he's the president's lap dog on this, the president won't do it. This precisely why we have this impeachment in the constitution, and Congress needs to act.
Bill Baldwin: I think in contrast to Mike that we should reserve the high crimes and misdemeanor trials for either people who cannot be fired by the president, such as a judge or for the president himself. If Mike doesn’t like the way Obama is running the IRS, Mike should vote Republican in the next election.
Steve Forbes: This is why Congress’s approval ratings are in the toilet. This is why Republicans are mad at it, precisely because they can’t seem to do anything. They don't know how to operate the power of the purse. When government agencies, especially the IRS, which is the most feared industry around, engages in criminal actions and the head of it goes before congress and flips them the bird. They have to take severe action, because Obama’s not going to do it.
Rich Karlgaard: Charles Krauthammer had a great column in Friday’s Washington Post. He said sometimes you have to admit that you can't hit the fast ball or the Republicans can't do hearings. They couldn’t do the Benghazi hearings, they couldn’t do the Planned Parenthood hearings, they’re terrible at this. Hillary is begging for them to impeach the IRS guy because they’ll look bad again.
Elizabeth MacDonald: I’d hate to say impeach anybody but 24,000 e-mails and other evidence were destroyed giving agency to people in the media saying there was no there there. The e-mails were destroyed. If any law enforcement official or cop did this, they would be in big fat trouble and they would lose their jobs.
John Tamny: Impeach him, but it’s just a big distraction. The big scandal here is that we cower before the IRS on an annual basis, that we have to prove our income to them. Focusing on this gets away from the real issue which is the unelected bureaucracy.
Elizabeth MacDonald: ProShares: The Alternative ETF Company
Bill Baldwin: Tootsie Roll Industries (TR)