Bulls & Bears

New questions over strategy to fight ISIS

Time to spend whatever it takes to better protect the homeland?



Nightclub Terror Attack Sparks New Calls to Beef Up Security at Soft Targets

Gary B. Smith: We have a defense budget that is about $600 billion. The problem is we're still spending I think because of this large military governmental organization build up over the years, we're still spending despite World War II kind of fights. We have combat ships that cost millions. The Defense Department doesn't want them. The government doesn't want them and yet these individual districts where they are built we keep building them because that is their meal ticket. We divert some of that money, not all of it into fighting today's wars, which is ISIS and terrorism. And we have plenty of money there.

Ashley Pratte: I think at this point we need to look at every possible option because clearly ISIS is not contained. And yesterday the CIA director came out and said ISIS is as dangerous as ever, which really squashes that liberal narrative that is out that that says we are doing enough to protect ourselves. Because ISIS is at war with us and radical Islam is in at war with us what we believe in is, our values and freedoms and way of life in America everywhere is the target. Makes the cost extremely high to secure the American people. At the same time, all of this stuff, there are going to be major crackdowns now and I think there needs to be because of the time we're living in. If we can't clearly define the enemy, that becomes problem number one.

Julie Rodginsky: You are right. And Gary, Ashley is right. The difference between us and Israel is a much geographically larger with a lot more soft targets and reality is you can't protect them all. There are place likes Disney and the empire state building that make a lot of sense. But this nightclub was one out of a million places that could have been hit. It happened to have been an LGBT nightclub but there are thousands across the world and across the city and across the state and the country. And the problem here is that where do you stop? Where do you stop spending money to secure every soft target? There is not enough money, imagination or personnel to do that effectively.

John Layfield: I think Julie is right. America is such a large diverse country that it is tough. Especially a lone wolf you are talking about. And we don't need more conventional warfare. We need bytes right now. Not bullets. We had a coordination problem between intelligence agencies. That's been pretty much fixed. But if you talk to the FBI right now there are some simple things that we can do that can be done without a whole lot of money. And that is communication. And that is better and not delayed between the federal and local agencies and we also can go and declare war on ISIS and that way it is no longer a matter of free speech with these companies. Now it is a matter that they are a declared enemy. A couple of things we can do can go a long way. I think we have to switch to a new war and that is on our shore and it is bytes not bullets.

Jonas Max Ferris: If they had more people just investigate more people. I don't know. This is what we have to stop. Moving the money from somewhere because there isn't really a solution. Like I don't know how you go about -- like I think someone in politics has to say you can't really solve this problem with more money necessarily. I like the idea of taking it out of the, say, the multi-billion dollar nuclear submarine program which we probably don't need anymore. There are 65,000 night clubs in America. You are not going make them all secure. Even if you had all that money out of the programs. I think you have to do -- during the gangland wars in the '20s and '30s they decided to raise taxes on guns that criminals used and $3,500 taxes. So there are ways to theoretically lower the ability of terrorists to get things and make money for the government. Not just spend more money vaguely with some notion of hardening targets.

New Debate Over Socialism as Crisis in Venezuela Escalates

John Layfield: It makes no sense. Sounds great to a bunch of young unemployed kids but it never works in reality. Chavez ruined a beautiful country of Venezuela by promising riches to the masses that obviously this model imploded on him. Every innovation and every invention almost has come out of a free market. The train to airplane to car the mobile phone to computer all of this because of free markets because that simply couldn't happen in socialism.

Jonas Max Ferris: Norway is an oil rich country that supports everybody but it has ways of doing the rules and regulations to make market sense. The problem with this country is they would just decree we have to sell this drink for 50 cents but the cost of making it is $2 so it goes out of business. They didn't just seize it or tax it or have royalty taxes like Russia and others. It was just completely irrational populist garbage. It doesn't make any sense. But it works with the private market and is functional and what this did was just insanity. So let's not mix it up with what it really is.

Ashley Pratte: Feel the Bern. What I'm thinking right now is socialism in Venezuela is literally killing people. Food shortage, medicine shortages. Doctor shortages. Electricity, all of the above. And yet we are talking about bringing this here. And on paper it sounds great, give us everything for free but it is not economically sustainable. And at the end of the day socialist ideas have consequences and it is all on the better promise of a better quality of life which in Venezuela's case did not happen and that is going to happen here because you run up a massive debt and the economy falls into the shambles and it is not sustainable.

Julie Rodginsky: I'm not a huge fan of Bernie sanders but I don't think he's talking about setting up the means of production, seizing it. Setting up and basically nationalizing the banks and nationalizing every single aspect of our free market. That's certainly something he's never talked about doing. So anybody is talking about socialism coming to the United States, somebody who lived in the socialist country as the little kid. I know what socialism is.

Gary B. Smith: Well here is the problem. I don't think, I agree with Julie a little bit, but I don't think Sanders is proposing that. I think Sanders is proposing some sort of Scandinavian model he thinks is utopia. If you spend even five minutes with that, a lot of those countries are more capitalistic than we are. In fact they are against the very much things the feel the western people want. Scandinavian countries are big free traders not. Government mandated minimum wage. School vouchers for crying out loud. Denmark in some reports is more economically free than we are. So even if you say we want the same model as Sweden, I'd say go towards that. But that is not socialism. That is some hybrid between socialism and capitalism. If you want Sanders to call himself a socialist Democrat -- if that is what the feel the Bern people think they are going to get they are sadly wrong.

Democratic Lawmaker: Drug Test the Rich Before Approving Tax Deductions

Ashley Pratte: No. This is ridiculous. Tax breaks allow people to keep their money. Welfare is when tax breaks are given out to people. So yes there should be requirements in place for welfare recipients that make sense. It is federal government money being given out to individuals. Tax breaks and allows you do keep your money. That is a big difference I see.

Julie Rodginsky: A dumb idea but also as dumb as testing people for drugs. You're essentially implying anybody on welfare is a drug dictate which is offensive to them. And those on welfare are much less likely to be on drugs than the average person not receiving welfare. So if you want to test people on welfare, test people who got the Wall Street bail out for their cocaine problems despite taxpayer dollars paying to keep them on Wall Street too.

Gary B. Smith: This must be my half hour of Julie lovefest. Because I agree with her in this case and that is going to be a rarity, believe me. But the fact is this is, I hate the government intrusion. It is not the government's job. If you are going to test for drugs, test for alcohol, obesity, things like that. It is always a slippery slope where the government wanting to examine things you are doing, wanting to -- let's separate government intrusion from government welfare and tax policy.

John Layfield: And if you are going to test somebody, test Congress for stupidity. This is ignorant. I've been broke and I am proudly now in the 1 percent. I worked very hard to get here. And am proud of that fact and I have been drug tested for 30 years. I continue to get drug tests. You want to give me a check. You want to drug test me, that is your prerogative. I feel the same way about welfare recipients are.

Jonas Max Ferris: What is the difference? There is really no difference over your lifetime. So I don't want to get into that topic. I will say I'm open to soda taxes but this doesn't make any sense for so many reasons because drugs are expensive and I don't even know if there is a high percentage of use by really poor people.

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