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.
Main Street vs. Mainstream Media
Consumer confidence at 16-year high, home prices at 31-month high, stocks near all-time highs, but you wouldn't know it from the mainstream media...
Jonas Max Ferris: Americans are more optimistic about the economy and new policies than reporters. Most of the ‘good data' is more optimism driven: stock prices, home prices, consumer confidence etc. The hard data is a little light so far. This is not to undervalue optimism – this was a key missing point since about 2000 but really after the 2007-8 economic and real estate crash. Some of the negativity is just left vs right wing. There was too much negatively in the right wing media during the Obama years about the economy as well. People can also be negative about the President – like this one – and optimistic about the economy. Obama had higher approval ratings but mostly lower optimism signs. Much of the negativity is about non-economic polices – Russia, immigration from small countries. Even those who hate the direction of politics now don't think these areas of concern are bad for GDP growth or earnings. In fact some policies – like less regulation and environmental rules can boost earnings and the economy.
Gary B. Smith: Americans do sense optimism for sure. A hope that things can get better, whether it's border security or healthcare, or taxes. But, so far, we've seen an administration that can't seem to get much done other than remove previous executive actions. That could be because Congress is divided, or there's no pork to spread around, or Trump has few leadership qualities. Whatever, if something concrete doesn't get done soon, optimism will vanish.
John Layfield: Mainstream media is infatuated with hating Trump – there is definitely a disconnect from what they're saying and what the people are seeing. The people have it right, no matter how crazy it gets, they're excited for change.
Lee Carter: I'd trust the markets and the American people more than the media at this point. I think there is a huge sense of optimism right now. I think all of the job creation announcements have given folks a HUGE sense of security. I think that healthcare failure wasn't as big of a deal as some are making it be. Healthcare is not nearly as important as jobs and taxes. And taxes... well, they better get something done there.
Julie Roginsky: It's up to Trump to put some runs on the board, and it is not up to the mainstream media. The economy is projected to grow at the same rate as during the Obama years. Trump has not been successful at all.
Ivanka Trump Accused of Nepotism for Taking Unpaid Job at the White House
Jonas Max Ferris: Almost everybody who is rich is working for free for the government. Do you think Darrell Issa or John Kerry needs the paycheck and the healthcare plan? There are plenty of people who would pay to be in The White House so that doesn't make it a good choice. The issue is are these your best hiring options – the same issue if Hillary put Chelsea in the White House. While it is perfectly acceptable to put your kids in a business you started in the private sector (though you may anger shareholders and other employees), nobody alive started the government you don't get that perk with the job. The whole point of having a CEO style President is to start running the country like a successful business and less like a failed operation run by bureaucrats. Trump has made a few legitimate business type placements, like them or not, but many of his ‘hires' are people who wouldn't get a top job in a successful company. You probably wouldn't take them with you to your next venture like Bloomberg did when he left the job.
Gary B. Smith: Didn't HRC work for free when she was first lady? Wasn't Bobby Kennedy Attorney General? Didn't Michelle Obama take a large role in the former White House? I don't see any problem with family in high positions; it's been done forever, dating back to John Adams appointing Quincy to diplomat through FDR appointing James as secretary.
John Layfield: It is nepotism, but if she gets paid or not that shouldn't matter. The people voted for this – Trump's family is big when it comes to making decisions, he ran his business with his family, they're very close.
Lee Carter: Ivanka is one of the best allies Trump has. And calling it nepotism? How about Bobby Kennedy being Attorney General? Did anyone shout about that? This is nonsense. Let's talk about the things that matter: Like taxes, Jobs, and The economy.
Julie Roginsky: Ivanka is not a big advocate for women. She talks a big game but her policies don't reflect it. I'm completely against nepotism under any circumstances; if Hillary ran and Chelsea was given a job, I would've opposed that as well. Ivanka Trump is not qualified to work in the White House.
Supreme Court Battle Intensifies Ahead of Confirmation Vote for Judge Neil Gorsuch
Jonas Max Ferris: He is a pro-business judge. The case could be made he is not really pro-business but anti personal rights expansion. He is not so much siding with a corporation to fire someone as any person to fire any person. Bottom line, workers will have less rights/powers etc. and employers will have more. In general this is good for business. It is a win for workers if you define a win as more jobs with fewer rights.
Gary B. Smith: This is going to be great for businesses because he only seeks to interpret the law as written. As long as what they do is legal, which is all businesses ask; Administrative agencies enjoy remarkable powers in our legal order," Gorsuch wrote in dissent. "Still, there remains one thing even federal administrative agencies cannot do. Even they cannot penalize private persons and companies without some evidence the law have been violated."
John Layfield: This is a win for job creators, Trump's whole admin is a win for job creators, but this isn't what we should elect judges on – should be elected by how they interpret the constitution.
Lee Carter: An originalist on the Court is good for business because they will look to cut unnecessary regulations.
Julie Roginsky: I would never vote for Judge Gorsuch especially with regards to the trucker case. You're dealing with actual people and not abstract judicial theories.
Gary B. Smith: Most of the country starts tackling lawn care in April. SMG up 20 percent next 12 months.
John Layfield: GM – 20 percent up in 1 year. JBL does own it.
Jonas Max Ferris: Oh it's on! Talk about a flame war. McDonalds announces the quarter pounder will eventually be made without frozen meat. Wendy's starts a twitter war with a dig about the other frozen burgers on the menu! It is just time before Burger King chimes in about flame broiled. I fear no burger empires will not win this war. The fresh meat burger chains outside of the super powers will gain. Shake Shack (SHAK) up 20 percent in 1 year.