DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING "Cost of Freedom Recap" CONTAINS STRONG OPINIONS WHICH ARE NOT A REFLECTION OF THE OPINIONS OF FOX NEWS AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS INVESTMENT ADVICE WHEN MAKING PERSONAL INVESTMENT DECISIONS. IT IS FOX NEWS' POLICY THAT CONTRIBUTORS DISCLOSE POSITIONS THEY HOLD IN STOCKS THEY DISCUSS, THOUGH POSITIONS MAY CHANGE. READERS OF "Cost of Freedom Recap" MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN INVESTMENT DECISIONS.
Calls Grow to Halt Refugee Program After Two Refugees Arrested in Terror Sweep
Steve Forbes: Obviously there should be a pause. Clearly there are not mechanisms in place to determine who should be here and who shouldn't. The FBI will testify to that. We don't have the means to determine that. What should have been done and should be done is a safe zone in Syria so people don't have to flee Syria for their own safety.
Bruce Japsen: We can always look to improve the program. My job with pausing it sends the message that we are stopping it all together and we are telling people we don't want you. That's not who we are as Americans. If you're telling people that you don't want them, I think places like ISIS can use it as a recruitment tool and I have issues with it.
Rich Karlgaard: Angela Merkel has been an effective head of Germany and a conservative. She sort of bowed to the liberal pressures and decided to take in a million refugees. Now it's created a big fat mess. The response to that across Europe is we are going -- we are getting neo Mussolini’s popping up.
Mike Ozanian: Good luck with that investigation. We saw where the investigation into the IRS went. We saw where the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails went. Stonewall, stonewall. Even before it has a chance to have getting anywhere, president Obama will be long gone.
Sabrina Schaeffer : The fact is it took thousands of years for the west to develop and codify the values of human dignity. The reality is there are large parts of the globe where they don't treat women with respect. Where violence is tolerated and encouraged. We have a right to say we are protecting the values that make this country special. We need to make sure the people who come in not only believe in the values but are going to act in a way that perpetuates them. That's the problem with what's happening in Europe. There isn't a melting pot we have here. There isn't assimilation. The groups stay in their own way and therefore can become a threat to people.
Elizabeth MacDonald: And 18 arrested in the attacks related to the New Year’s Eve attacks in Germany, this is not about attacking or criticizing. This is about common sense over political correctness. And this narcissism on individuals who think they don't have to scrutinize the refugee program. I think we should. Sabrina is right. The men are violent. They come from societies who hate us. Any refugee should have to pledge allegiance to the Constitution before they get in.
Bill Baldwin: This is a philosophical point that immigration is a privilege not a right. We are not obliged to offer it to people coming from country where is terrorism is endemic. Not when there are millions of deserving applicants from other places in the world waiting in line for years.
Election Year Kicks Off With New Concerns Over Market and Economy
Rich Karlgaard: She's going to have to defend the Obama administration's record. We have had economic growth averaging 2 percent. Employment is lousy. This is why almost two-thirds of Americans think the economy is headed in the wrong direction. It's probably good for somebody like Donald Trump even though I don't think he has the best economic policies. He symbolizes something different.
Bruce Japsen : The market had a bad week. Fortunately it's not 1932 or 2001 in the Bush years. The market and the economy are two different things. I think if Hillary wants to point to Obama’s job growth we just had a job report on Friday where we created almost 300,000 jobs. That's a good record to run on.
Steve Forbes: In terms of the jobs report people are working longer and getting less pay. It's not as rosy as the initial numbers look. This should spell trouble for Hillary Clinton. She's running and they have a habit of pulling out of defeat from the jaws of victory. They have to get the right candidate, have a Reagan-esque approach and they can win. Otherwise, watch out.
John Tamny: I think they can point to it in a way it's going to hurt her as being part of the incumbent party. I'm not buying that the U.S. economy is suddenly super weak. The dollar is stronger. Commodities down. Gridlock in Washington. This is the stuff of expansion. If the Republicans are smart they will do as Steve says and talk about the ways they would further remove the government barriers to prosperity. Not go negative. It doesn't work.
Mike Ozanian: Actually household income has not increased since 1999. Which is why I feel, David, not just Hillary but all establishment politicians are in trouble whether it's Hillary, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush. People are sick of both parties. People controlling both parties, sucking money out of the private sector and lining the pockets down in D.C. That's why they like Trump. That's a reason they like Ted Cruz.
Elizabeth Macdonald: It's not a hit against Hillary in particular. It could be against all the establishment politicians. I do think it's more about Hillary and whether she can campaign what Obama promised and how he governed. He governs this way, getting what he wanted through the bureaucracy, not through what the people wanted. When you sit with the Democrats they are probably saying, no, we're not campaigning on health reform. That never comes um. Or the stimulus or green energy. None of that works. If this is going to be helping change the subject for Hillary Clinton.
New Forbes Report Highlights Economic 'Death Spiral' States
Bill Baldwin: California and New York may not surprise you are near the top of the list. This is a ratio between the number of takers who either have government jobs or are collecting welfare to makers in the private sector. If the ratio is high you can go into a downward spiral. That's why Puerto Rico is in terrible shape. You can't do it. The numbers don't add up. If you have more people taking than putting in you eventually go bankrupt.
Bruce Japsen: Okay. If you don't include farmers in the Midwest getting huge agriculture subs tis, they are doing well. We don't count them. I'm just saying it depends on your definition. It comes down to whether your economy is diverse. In some way people are.
Mike Ozanian: Great point. They talk about the Massachusetts miracle which was Michael Dukakis. All the M.I.T. Graduates. A lot of them went to next to where rich lives now.
Sabrina Schaeffer: This is a similar argument. That we are all a nation of takers. It is a bad math equation, a bad trajectory. It can be overly pessimistic. We lunch together people getting transfer payments through pension plans which they paid into even if they are unsus tapeable with welfare handouts not tied to work. Public opinion is on the side of reigning in spending and government. We need good political leadership.
Steve Forbes: Thankfully most Americans want to work. Most Americans want to get ahead. We have a lousy economic environment that makes it more difficult. You remove the obstacles and you will see the economy come back. States that are lagging, can't get their act together like Illinois, people are moving out. That's the wonderful thing about America. We are mobile. We don't find opportunity at home, we go somewhere else.
John Tamny: They want to do something better with their lives. Takers hold back economic growth as a rule. We are overstating the case here. California and New York are home to some of the most innovative smart people on earth who create enormous amounts of wealth. I don't think we are going to see California fall to 50th. We overrate negativity.
Holiday Bonus Picks
Elizabeth MacDonald: INCY
Bill Baldwin: VCSH