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.
LAWMAKERS NIX EARMARK BAN DESPITE PROJECTED $1.08T DEFICIT
Charles Payne: This is sick and crazy. You create temporary jobs, but long term white elephants because you have to maintain all of this stuff that you build. In an age where we know we have to tighten the belt and the debt is out of this world, it's nuts. This is a Washington DC problem, not just a Harry Reid, democratic thing. Everyone in Washington is inflicted with this.
Dagen McDowell: The problem with this is the lack of transparency. I've said it before, until people make it prohibitively expensive for Congress and lawmakers to spend borrowed money they're going to keep doing it, particularly when it will get them elected or reelected.
Adam Lashinsky: I just don't think this is an issue that we need to turn up to eleven. We're flashing the trillion dollar debt, but the earmarks are not a trillion dollar problem. There are far bigger problems and there are more important ways to address the deficit. Not with earmarks. I think we should treat Congress like an adult. We don't want to take away their spending power.
Gary Kaltbaum: Here is the problem. They just don't care. Deficits are done on purpose. They do not happen by accident. These earmarks are planned beforehand. To me, earmarks are important. There were 39,000 proposed last year. But, it's also about the baseline budgeting. You can raise the budget by one trillion dollars and it never goes down. Raise it another trillion dollars and it never goes down. One day the market will speak up and it will be loud and clear. You're going to see, just like we saw in Spain and Greece, interest rates start to skyrocket because of the higher deficits.
CRITICS JUMP ON ROMNEY OVER COMMENT ABOUT THE POOR
Charles Payne: Mitt was right. The very poor in this country do have a lot of programs. People aren't dying in America. In fact, the very poor are suffering from gout. In the 1920s and 1930s that was called the rich man's disease. The very poor have entered into this Faustian deal where they've said if I can go to my mailbox twice a month and get paid the same amount of money that I would get paid at a low paying job then I'm not going to take it. In return, you can have my vote, but give me some political cover. Think about it, in this country, we don't criticize the people that suck up the lion's share of government aid, police department services, fire department services, we crucify the people that are paying the lion's share of taxes. It's worked out great in that particular point, but here's the problem-we have generational poverty. In this country that shouldn't exist.
Dagen McDowell: I think there's so much political focus on the middle class and Charles talks about those who pay taxes. However, half of this country pays no federal income taxes. Those people are not paying for our defense. That raises a very tough issue about spreading it out and broadening the base. That's something that politicians don't want to talk about. Lower income Americans and the poor in this country should be the focus. Unfortunately, you have to talk about the board, undefined middle class in order to get elected in this country.
Adam Lashinsky: Mitt Romney at this point doesn't need to be worrying about getting any votes from the poor because he's not getting any. He effectively said it's working out okay for the poor, or at least I don't have any better ideas right now and my focus is elsewhere on the middle class. I think this is analogous to the conversation we've been having for a few years about TARP. There's all sorts of problems with the safety net, but you can't prove that just because there are so many problems with it that it hasn't helped people.
Gary Kaltbaum: I think what Mitt Romney should say I'm worried about the poor because whatever safety net we have provided just has not worked. Look at the evidence. The food stamp numbers are abominable. The poverty is abominable. In a study I read it said California pays $47,000 a year for each prisoner, but to get a kid into the Boys and Girls club would cost $1,000. So, whatever the government is doing has been wrong and unfortunately, they just don't want to change. The safety net has to be fixed. It can't just be a check. It has to lift people up into education and jobs.
FACEBOOK LOOKING TO RAISE UP TO $5 BILLION IN STOCK IPO
Charles Payne: This is good news, but I want to see $5 million IPOs. We don't get those anymore. Sarbanes-Oxley, Reg FD did kill it and that's why a lot of companies have gone public in Hong Kong.
Dagen McDowell: This is the future of the country. The value in our wealth is in ideas and intellectual property. We need to not be so hung up on the manufacturing jobs that have gone elsewhere. They're not coming back. This is our future and our wealth.
Adam Lashinsky: Microsoft, Oracle and Sun became public in a horrible environment. These companies are really the exceptions. What it proves though is Sarbanes-Oxley didn't kill the IPO market in Facebook wants to go public.
Gary Kaltbaum: When companies become public it means they're getting capital and growing their business. Home Depot became public, started with one store and created hundreds of thousands of jobs. Just recently with Facebook, you added Zynga and a few others. It increases confidence. Every big winner in the market over the last 30 years started as an IPO and created wealth left and right from jobs to investors making a ton of money. It's only good news.
STOCKS HOTTER THAN FACEBOOK
Charles Payne: Holly Frontier (HFC)
Adam Lashinsky: Garmin (GRMN)
Gary Kaltbaum: InteractiveCorp (IACI)