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.
WORRIES MOUNT TAX HIKES COMING FOR EVERYONE AS DEBT NEARS $16T
Tobin Smith: Well as the great Bill Clinton came up, he decided to tell the truth that no one else was willing to say. We've been saying on this show for years I think, that you can only kick the can so far. By the way, if 50 percent of the people pay zero taxes and 20 percent of the people pay all the taxes, somebody's got to kick it a little bit more. Now we keep thinking it's the one percent. So everyone's got the pain coming and that's what I've been saying for a long time.
Gary B Smith: That is the slipperiest of slippery roads. Basically you're seeing, and Toby is saying, that people who want to raise taxes period are saying that big government is good. Well I think we have to go the opposite way. We need a philosophical argument, what is the proper size of government? I think everyone would look at all aspects of government and say it's too bloated, it's ineffective, it's inefficient, we can't pay our bills even with tax increases across the board. Government spending whether it is entitlement spending or discretionary spending has to be cut. We need to keep more of our money that we earn and the government needs to get back to its basics. In some infrastructure, defense, and that's about it.
Jonas Max Ferris: There is no way these cuts will be enough. Bill Clinton is sort-of half right. We had across the board tax cuts before, so we're going to need across the board tax increases to back to balance. We ran a balance budget towards the end of the Clinton administration. We also need to get back to the spending levels of the Clinton administration. All the spending has basically grown faster than inflation as well. Defense alone has gone up 60 or 70 percent, adjusting for inflation. So, we have to go to those tax levels across the board-the 50 percent who aren't paying taxes, paying taxes and less government spending. Everyone is going to have to get a little less from government and pay a little more. It's the only way out of this. Hopefully we can do it over a long period of time and not cause an overnight collapse like Greece.
Scott Martin: I think Jonas brought up something really important: the balanced budget of the Clinton years. Now, let's look back and see when that happened. It wasn't early when he hiked taxes in 1993, on both corporations and high income earners. The balanced budget actually came after the tax cuts of 1997, when capital gains were hit and so were the high income earners. That's the deal. We have to get growth going. You say the dotcom boom of the 90s contribute to that. We have to have a lower tax policy to get people investing again.
Christian Dorsey: It's not the time to hike people's taxes, Brenda, and Bill Clinton said that we should wait until economic conditions improve. He didn't say we should do it right away, he said that when recovery is afoot and we have the kind of growth that we had in the late '90s, then we ought to have taxes like we had in the late '90s. It's really not that controversial of a point. I want to go back to something that Gary said about having this philosophical conversation about the size of government. The problem is that in Washington no one is actually talking about reducing the size of government, they just want to spend different things and if that is going to continue to be the paradigm, then we have to raise more revenue. It's that simple.
WHY FACEBOOK'S NO-HUM DEBUT MAY BE GREAT NEWS FOR EVERYONE
Gary B Smith: The stock opened the day at $38 and I thought there was a possibility that it could end up in the $90 range. That's how much people wanted to own this stock, at least the retail investor. Thank God it ended the day above the $38 range. I think it showed people are kind of waiting to see where this settles out. I think that's smart, I think that's good, I think that's anti-bubble, which is what we wanted this morning.
Scott Martin: Everybody was into this stock and nobody made any money on it, except Wall Street. I mean this was Main Streets chance to get in on something hot and I disagree with Gary completely, I wish it ran up into the eighties because what would have happened is chances are the individual investor out of my clients could have gotten in and made some money. And instead, the stock didn't do anything, and again, it just made money for people at Facebook who had the shares prior to the IPO.
Christian Dorsey: I do think it was priced right. This has nothing to do with a down day for Main Street. Main Street wasn't a part of this from the get go. This is not open to the Main Street retail investor, and by the way these Main Street investors are only about 20 percent of the population. That's how many people directly get involved in stock activity. So this is not a Main Street thing. This is finally the financial class. It doesn't matter; the number of people who are exposed to the stock special market is incredibly small and is shrinking.
Jonas Max Ferris: The point is, I think there is a little bit of right being said by these guys here. Right, we're not in a stock bubble which is great, and other stocks like Apple or Google trade at very low valuations relative to Facebook, but I think Facebook is sort-of on to something because the individual investor is kind of losing interest in stocks at this point, that's not really a good thing, I would have actually been better if it went up, even though it's an expensive stock. I don't want to see it double.
Tobin Smith: There are about 25 private companies that are worth more than $1 billion, but I'll take the other side of this argument. We created $100 billion of wealth today, and despite Christian's idea that it's bad to create wealth, $100 billion of wealth is going to get recycled in the Silicone Valley, that's going to create literally one thousand or two thousand new companies which will create hundreds and millions jobs, and by Lord, we're a capitalist country; this was capitalists finest day and to poo-poo it, because only 20 percent of people do stocks, misses the entire point of wealth creation and how that works in a real economy.
BANK RUN FEARS HITTING EUROPE; WORRIES U.S. COULD BE NEXT
Gary B. Smith: I feel safe. The more trouble the countries overseas are having, the more secure we've become. We are the default safe haven of the world. I suppose there is always a 1 percent chance there's a run on our banks, but I highly doubt it. In other words, I'm not worried.
Tobin Smith: Let's not forget in 2008 we had our own bank run. We have $700 billion get pulled out of ATMs. That's why we got TARP and everything else. We proved we could stop a bank run. We're in a situation now where the Fed is going to create another $4 or $5 trillion of cash and if that gets in the economy inflation goes up, interest rates go up and then that's a different story.
Jonas Max Ferris: Europe has a situation where they're scared their money is going to turn into some other currency as these countries break off from the euro and overnight they're worth 50 percent less. I don't think that could happen in America. However, I don't think we should take it for granted that we're always going to be this place of safety. I think we can scare money away from bad tax policy in the future where money doesn't want to get taxed, so it disappears. So, we have other kinds of runs that we have to worry about. I think money likes to be in America in spite of our government, not so much because it's so wonderful, but because this is where the facebooks are, this is where the good investment opportunities are. So, as long as we're a good destination of capital, where you can get good returns I think we'll be okay, but we should watch scaring money away.
Scott Martin: This is a real scare. We went through something similar in 2008, which by the way, Europe didn't have. So, it makes sense that it's rolling over there now. It's a vote on two things. One, it's a vote on the economy. People get scared and take their money and run. It's also a vote on the government. That's one difference that I think we have here that we saw in 2008. The government will come in and save us, via the FDIC, via other backing purposes. The governments over in Europe don't have the faith of their citizens and that's why they're taking their money out. I think the government here, even though we don't like government involvement, is going to save us.
Christian Dorsey: If you look at the relative position of the United States to Greece, we're looking great. First of all, our currency is sovereign. We don't have levels of unemployment like we're seeing, for example, in Spain. We don't have treasury-draining corruption. Our economy has relatively greater flexibility in terms of job creation and raising revenues. Our relative position is great. That doesn't mean we say hallelujah, but we also don't need to panic and think what's happening in Europe is going to happen here.
Gary B. Smith: SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA) up 15 percent by Labor Day
Tobin Smtih: Wells Fargo (WFC) up 25 percent in one year
Jonas Max Ferris: Vanguard Information Technology (VGT) 25 percent gain in one year
Scott Martin: iShares Invest Grade Corp Bond (LQD) up 20 percent in two years