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GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES RAISING NEW QUESTIONS OVER SYRIAN REFUGEE PROGRAM
John Layfield: The refugee program, yes, from places that we cannot verify those refugees. Up until the Syrian crisis, we were the largest re-locator of refugees in the United Nations. Out of those refugees, get this, 87 percent had a bachelor degree or higher. However, that changes when you start talking about controlled by ISIS. The United Nations say there are 14 million refugees. We're talking about taking in about 10,000, which is not much help at all. But you can't verify these refugees as you could before this crisis. You can't go to the local courthouse; it's been blown off the map by the war. You can't do biometric data. There is no actual way to verify these refugees. It would be better to take that money and spend it in refugee camps to improve their living conditions in refugee camps that are already in Lebanon and Iraq.
Suzy Welch: There is a humanitarian crisis in Syria. You can't deny that. There is a reason why the pope washed the feet of Syrian refugees on Good Friday. Let's do some math. The president says that 99.9 percent of Syrian refugees, all Muslims, are recall good people, law-abiding, hate terrorism as much as we do. Say we take in 10,000 refugees. That would mean there would be ten that would not be good, law-abiding, peace moving Muslims. All it took was seven terrorists to pull off the carnage in Brussels. It doesn't take many. Not many all Syrian refugees should be stopped, but many fewer, because it's a numbers game. We should focus on women and children with a massive increase in screening with the men between 17 and 30 years old. It doesn't take money and it's a numbers game.
Gary B Smith: As well they should be. I agree with Suzy and John. I would take the tack of Israel. Israel says, look, Syria is our enemy, they hate us, they want to destroy us, and therefore we're closing the borders. I don't think we have to close the borders permanently. I don't think anyone on this panel is advocating that. My premise is we are on the cusp of World War III. We know terrorists are coming in through Syria. As Suzy pointed out, they've already come in through Syria. We obviously don't have a foolproof system, maybe we never will. We certainly can do better than we can today. For that reason, let's pause, let's close the border to those countries that hate us, that want to destroy us, regroup, rethink, and then go on from there.
Mark Hannah: No pause. Syrian refugees don't hate us. Syrian refugees come here, if they come at all, because they want a better future for themselves or their families. We've taken fewer than 3,000 refugees from Syria. We have more than 350 million people in this country. A country like Germany, that has a tiny fraction of our population, has taken in 800,000. Fewer than 3, 000 for us, more than 800,000 for Germany. It doesn't look like Germany is as terrified as some of these panelists are. Let's be clear, our security force, our FBI, our State Department, are better trained, are more skilled than they are in Brussels, than they are in Belgium. It just was reported today there were some serious intelligence failures, serious lapses. We won't see that in the United States because we have some of the best professionals working for us. In the past 15 years we've taken in three-quarters of a million refugees. More terrorist attacks occur on American soil from American citizen, home-grown terrorists.
Jonas Max Ferris: Look, we're going to do a better job of security than the European countries. Does that mean we can have unlimited refugees? No. Let's be honest, 100 years ago we didn't have the social security net system that we have now. We talk about the safety of people, not citizenship, so they can go somewhere where they're not slaughtered by ISIS. This country has a very bad history, and so did Europe and the UK, of not taking refugees from Nazi Germany because they thought it was a security threat, they could be spies for the Nazi regime, we didn't have ways to check these people. We sent boats back with people who were then killed. There are ways today to prevent a few bad apples from letting everybody else get slaughtered. They're not citizens, you can track them, and you can put stuff on their phones. They don't have the rights of U.S. citizens. Therefore we can have them here in a secure way that's safe to them and us.
NEW LOOK AT THE COSTS OF POTENTIAL AIRPORT SECURITY OVERHAULS
Suzy Welch: We're playing whack a-mole with the terrorists. The shoe bomber was captured, next thing you know we're all taking our shoes off. Now we're going to need to put up security before you enter the airport. It's going to go on to other soft targets. Wherever we put security, they will go somewhere else. Movie theaters, Grand Central Station. There was a bombing south of Baghdad on Friday, 30 people killed at a village soccer match. When that happens in the United States, you'll never enter a football game again without going through security. I wish I could say something more profound than I just hate it, but this is the new normal. It's the way we'll have to live. We'll reminisce, saying to our grandchildren, I remember when you could go to an airport two hours before a flight instead of four hours before a flight. It's unfortunate; it's going to cost a lot.
Gary B Smith: You have to, Russia does it, Israel does it. Let's face facts. It's not as easy to get around and do things as it was 20 years ago, when you and I were growing up. It's a different world, as Suzy points out. All you need is one bomb going off in the dullest terminal. And people are going to say, why are we spending that money? My premise in the first segment was the same as it is now. We're fighting World War III right now. We spent $4 trillion in today's dollars to fight World War II. That wasn't even on our shores. We spent 35 percent of the GDP. Surely we can dole out some money for security cameras and scanners and whatever at airports, as Suzy points out, at sporting venues, subways and things like that. We have to.
Mark Hannah: I don't think its World War III. But yeah, we can get to the airport a little early. Four hours seems extreme, I could probably run to my destination faster than that. But yeah, we should absolutely beef up security. Unfortunately a lot of Republicans in Congress won't want to appropriate money to actually do that. These are the same people that didn't fund diplomatic facilities overseas, and then complained about Benghazi, not to change the subject. No, if we could get Congress to a little bit the money to beef up security, we should by all means keep Americans safe by whatever cost. If that means going through magnetometers outside the airport, if we have to stand in the rain to do so, let's keep people safe.
Jonas Max Ferris: Look, I think it's a false sense of security. It is wasteful. The bomb is going to off where there isn't security. You just feel like you're solving the problem. I don't think the shoe thing was a good use of money. I don't think locked doors on the plane solves any problems, which caused the plane to crash with the suicide guy, he was able to lock the door. Could we use all cameras all over, which are cheaper than bomb scanners? Yeah, I don't think we track people enough like they do in London, in America. That's affordable and could possibly become part of the information we need to start tracking people.
John Layfield: Yeah, exactly, it’s extending the security perimeter. Mark, with all respect, you can have your own opinion, but you shouldn't make up your own facts. The facts are that the president, president Obama, a couple of years ago, when his $2.50 per passenger, he wanted to triple it, I’m all for it except he wanted to use most of that to go into the general budget. That's where the money is going. It costs $8 billion a year to fund TSA. We could fund it through a user fee and consumption fee of those who fly. You make the world safer, the United States safer, and you can pay for it without the government dollars.
CLINTON, SANDERS ENDORSE WASHINGTON STATE BALLOT INITIATIVE TO RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE
Gary B Smith: Hillary and Bernie’s economics professors in college must be rolling over right now. There have been thousands of studies showing that raising the minimum wage affects jobs. Even if you don't believe that, look in every other area. When gas prices go up, demand for gas goes down. When rent controlled apartments are held level, demand for those apartments goes up. There's always a yin and yang to supply and demand. Even if there wasn't, where does that less profit go? He has less profit to create more jobs and open up new franchisees or restaurants down the line.
John Layfield: Look, American Samoa, 2007, they raised the minimum wage. 2007, 2012, President Obama delayed it because it was costing jobs. If you get it wrong, it's going to have the opposite effect. I'm for fixing it long term. But raising it to an arbitrarily high wage is not the way to do it.
Jonas Max Ferris: It's inconclusive. You wouldn't know what it's going to do. It's going to hurt the lowest skill workers. It's a desirable result without what you really need which is raising the skill level and creating more demand for those jobs. Without those things, it's a Band-Aid effect.
Mark Hannah: In the 13 states that have increased the minimum wage have seen more job growth than all the other states. I don't know about American Samoa, but it's working in states that are raising the minimum wage across the country.
Suzy Welch: We all want people to make more money but, what a stupid idea is, doing it at the federal level, which is what Hillary Clinton is talking about, in Washington, raising it there. It's local issue, supply and demand. Cities do it; they have more or less workers, more or less work. Jobs are not about the minimum wage. Jobs are a federal and economic policy around regulation, broken record around regulation, and that's where jobs are created.
John Layfield: (WMT) Walmart up 15 percent in 1year
Gary B Smith: (JNJ) Johnson and Johnson Doubles in the next 5 years
Jonas Max Ferris: (CXW) Corrections Corp Of America up 15 percent in 1 year