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.
Gov. Christie: I Would Not Rescue Banks if I Was President
Charles Payne: Good thing to say that. No doubt about it. We know there is risk. The world will fall apart. We know one thing. If the banks or any business knows it will be bailed out it takes away the natural buffer and risk and reward. There is no risk. So they can push the envelope, push the envelope. When you make money, they share it. They can buy helicopters and planes with it. When they don't we all pay a price for it.
Gerri Willis: I don't think Americans are as much at risk as they were last time around. If you look at, for example, a list of the biggest mortgage lenders in the country it's not bank of America, JP Morgan chase. It is companies we have never heard of. Americans would be left at risk and that's who I care about here.
Ben Stein: I'm fascinated by the idea that the banks are different from us. We are the banks. We as Americans own stock in the banks. We as Americans are customers of the banks. We are borrows from the banks. I don't see why we dislike the banks. What have the banks done wrong lately? Are you snickering? What have the banks done wrong lately? It doesn't help anyone if they fail. If weal bail them out we made a tremendous mistake not bailing out Lehman Brothers. The idea of not bailing out a big bank when that could lead to another recession is just mind boggling. I don't understand. The banks are not an alien entity. The banks are us. If they make mistakes, commit criminal acts bring the people before the grand jury. Don't neglect to bail them out.
Adam Lashinsky: The Bush administration acted completely appropriately. The primary concern was systemic failure of the banking system. Jerry is right. The banks are in better shape now. That means their debt levels are significantly lower. They believe no matter what we think that Dodd Frank is a pain in the rear end. It's holding them accountable. It's not perfect but we have done a better job. And Chris Christie used hedge language with you. He would bail them out if he were president.
Political Ad Spending in Focus as Iowa Caucuses Near
Gerri Willis: It's the message. Not the money. It's where you are in the campaign, who you are talking to, what you are trying to get across. That's why Trump is doing well, why Cruz is doing so well. Bush is spending $58 million and where is it getting him? Nowhere.
Charles Payne: It depends on the messenger, not just the message. Jeb bush isn't a great messenger. I'm being kind. It's ridiculous. More down the line they say it will matter. Boots on the ground, operations, those things. I'm not a political expert. The polls are saying it's a disaster.
Ben Stein: There is a certain charm to Mr. Bush. I would like to see him be president. I like him a lot. He's lacking in charisma. Comparing his with Trump's is insane. Trump is not my favorite guy, but he's charismatic. So is Cruz. Bush is not a charismatic guy. I hope he pulls it out. But charisma counts. Then you have to ask why is Hillary Clinton leading? She's zero in charisma.
Adam Lashinsky: There are two factors at play. We are in a new era of social media. It's easier to get your message out and reach people than ever before. Secondly, I think we are in an unusual time in our political experience in the United States. People genuinely, it is sinking in, people are genuinely pissed off.
New Government Projections Show Debt and Deficits Rising Rapidly
Ben Stein: We can carry on with a large national debt for a long time. At some point we have to go through a default. When interest rates rise, the burden of servicing the debt will be too large and we have to go through default. It won't be the first time an industrial country has gone through default. It will have a major burden on interest costs in the future. It will happen.
Gerri Willis: I hope we don't get there. When you talk about $19 trillion in debt, how much is that? What does it mean? I tried to look at it like a household. That would mean the average American having $311,000 of credit card debt. It gives you a sense of how big it is.
Charles Payne: This was a major political thing. Many people think it spawned the tea party. $19 Trillion, $20 trillion. We watched the Greece drama pay out. Nobody can bail out America. If it costs trillions a year to service it, that's nuts. It won't be laughter or tears. It will be broken bones, bodies and spirits.
Adam Lashinsky: The good news is here comes the Reagan optimism that the rest of you don't have. We aren't Russia, Argentina or Greece. As long as we have growth, American inventiveness it's not the end of the world. We should get it under control. It is no reason to panic and won't be for a long time.
Charles Payne: (AAPL)
Adam Lashinsky: (VB)
Ben Stein: (SPY)