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.
VOTERS STILL WORRYING OVER THE ECONOMY AS PRICES KEEP RISING
Charles Payne: This is a worry for the President. The bottom line is, everyone who is watching this show has a dollar that goes a lot less further than it did three or four years ago. Their house is worth a lot less than it was three or four years ago. Certainty about the future is just about what it was three or four years ago. That's why the economy is front and center. Americans are still very afraid.
Ben Stein: I do the shopping in my family and I'm stunned when I see the prices at the grocery store. When I see the official numbers coming out from the government about inflation, I just don't-they're living in some other universe. The prices are staggering at the grocery store. That's a problem that every housewife or man finds themselves confronting every day. It's breathtaking and to still see high unemployment. There are a lot of your friends and neighbors who can't get jobs. China is supposed to be slowing down. China is probably hiking up the price of foods, but not as much as they were. The prices are just astronomical.
Dagen McDowell: This is about deflation or falling home prices. That is one thing that weights on America's psyche about the economy. Number two, it is gas prices. Last year, the average household paid a record amount for motor fuel--$4,150. That is what is weighing on the psyche, not just the unemployment rate, which gets slapped on the front page of every newspaper.
Adam Lashinsky: We all know that politics is about momentum. If Rick Santorum had peaked three weeks ago, then he wouldn't have virtually tied Mitt Romney in that Caucus, and he did. The momentum is clearly in the President's favor right now. The unemployment rate is dropping. We did get a healthy jobs report last week. That's extremely good news for the President. I'm sure all of the republicans are very concerned about that, as they should be.
GM RECALLING 8,000 CHEVY VOLTS TO FIX POTENTIAL FIRE HAZARD
Charles Payne: If GM wants to do this with their own money, but we're so deep into GM. This is strictly coming from the White House. There was no consulting with GM or GM management. This is strictly the White House's idea, their utopia world.
Ben Stein: America is a country that is obsessed with cars. We have incredibly great cars. Consumers are good at picking out the great cars. We have great car designers at companies-every single one of them. Why do we need the government telling us what kind of car to drive? When we have a group of bureaucrats in the government, in consultation with GM, telling us what kind of car to drive we come out with a car that is very far from perfect. If the market wants electric cars, they'll figure out electric cars that work and that don't catch on fire. Let's let the market handle this. If we can't have a free market in cars then we really are not a free market country anymore.
Dagen McDowell: People do like electric cars. You get the kickback from the tax break. The Nissan Leaf-the Volt is arguably a better car-sold 9, 674 last year.
Adam Lashinsky: This is a relatively small and experimental project. It's very good that GM is doing it because one day it could be very big and very important to GM. Right now, it isn't. That's okay. They're working on it. We should be celebrating the fact that GM had a fairly good 2011, a good December sales report and they're getting back on target.
CRITIC: GOVERNMENT VISA PROGRAM GIVES FOREIGNERS FIRST SHOT AT JOBS
Charles Payne: This is outrageous. We spend so much money overseas and I don't get it. I don't get why we don't understand that this would be a major investment in American kids-a lot of whom don't really have any idea about the pros of capitalism and need some sort of effort to go out there. California just passed a law to have taxpayer money to spend on illegal immigrants to go to college and get their schoolbooks paid for. At some point, when do we care more about the kids born in America? I just don't get it. I really don't.
Ben Stein: The most valuable thing you can have your child do, starting in middle teen years, is to work. I don't think the President helping foreign kids work here is going to make much of an impact on the overall employment picture of working teenagers. But, learning how to work is so important. It's more important than learning about the history of Rome. It's more important than learning about which amendments to the Constitutions do what. Learning to work is crucial.
Dagen McDowell: Part of this is encouraging kids to come here and go to University. President Obama wanted to spend $1.5 billion on this summer jobs program, which was not approved. Sometimes it just comes down to getting rid of regulations that were in place or policies that are in place rather than spending money. Frankly, I think the children and parents in this country need to focus on the kids working for free.
Adam Lashinsky: It's a good thing to show the rest of the world what the United States is. This program bringing people here is not a bad thing. We do plenty for our kids.
STOCKS YOU SHOULD HIRE
Charles Payne: Deere and Company (DE)
Ben Stein: SPDR Dow Jones (DIA)
Adam Lashinsky: General Motors (GM)