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.
OUTRAGE GROWING OVER LAVISH SPENDING BY GOVERNMENT AGENCY
CHARLES PAYNE: First of all it looked like a hell of a party. I got to admit I'm a little jealous. I'm upset I wasn't invited because I helped to pay for it. Now the president just said I wasn't going to be paying for that, I shouldn't even pay for my own party. I remember 2010, the president said no one. Why are you guys going to Vegas, we are in the middle of an economic meltdown and that kind of stuff is wasteful, so I didn't go. They went. I don't get it. We talk about the ultimate double standard.
DAGEN MCDOWELL: I looked up what the general admissions association do.. They are responsible for managing and supporting the government functioning of federal agencies and in part to keep the cost down. My favorite was, they spent 130k dollars on 6 planning trips to plan the event.
CHARLIE GASPARINO: I think there is a real serious point here. We have a president who is running on an agenda of class warfare, on beating up on Wall Street, which listen, I've engaged on beating up on Wall Street a lot in my career. Some of it is deserved, some of it isn't. This a very class warfare president. All I'm saying is this, if you're going to base your entire campaign on that on the division of classes and then allow in your government this sort of nonsense that really undercuts it. It shows the inherent hypocrisy of at least 2/3 of his plank for running for president.
BEN STEIN: Well, I hate to be the skunk of the garden party but I don't blame him at all for having a party. Las Vegas is a very inexpensive place to arrange parties surplus hotel rooms you get very good bargains. I don't see why government workers can't have a nice party. Me, like you I have a family member namely my wife who used to work for GSA she worked very hard. I don't see what the problem is with them having a party in Las Vegas. Just because they are civil servants doesn't mean they have to put on hair shorts and flog themselves. Civil servants are entitled to a good party too.
ADAM LASHINSKY: Well first of all I want to say, Charlie I don't hate you cause I think someone needs to say that. Also, you government haters should acknowledge we saw some real talent there and we should be heartened by that. More importantly, this is not a political issue in the least. First of all this is not an administration issue they fired a bunch of people over this. They thought it was a bad idea and this is not the president saying I think you should go on a junket he said you shouldn't go on a junket and these people got punished for it, they acted badly. They are civil servants who got out of hand according to our definition of it not Ben's.
STOCKS SELLING OFF ON RPT FED IS NOT PLANNING NEW STIMULUS
CHARLES PAYNE: Wall Street, they are worse than these welfare queens I swear. These are the biggest brats in the world when it comes to taking away free money. I'm talking Wall Street. The guys downtown in the cannons of Wall Street I'm not talking about the individuals because they are not even moving this market right now. I'm talking about the guys at Wall Street who want this free money. But the bottom line is Wall Street wants this free money as long as possible even thought they know ultimately the consequences.
CHARLIE GASPARINO: No no, Wall Street sold stocks because guess what, the free money might be over. It's not like they want it and want to make a rational decision based on interest rate policies. By the way when we talk about Wall Street and the people selling those stocks are selling them on behalf of average people and mutual funds. Bottom line, Ben Bernanke wanted to create a wealth affect by keeping interest rates at zero. It's almost over. Interest rates are going up, so you sell the freaking stocks.
DAGEN MCDOWELL: I think as a nation whether you are an investor or not you are drunk on free money and we don't know really how horrible and long the hangover is going to last because this has been going on for so long. We keep talking about inflation but I remember February of 1994 when Alan Greenspan suddenly raised his interest rates unexpectedly and everybody fell out of bed. Hedge funds blowing up right and left people are not prepared for the day that the free money stops sloshing around and if you're not buckling up now than you are a moron.
BEN STEIN: Everybody wants something for nothing. The interest rates have had a negative effect on the ordinary saver and the ordinary retiree so maybe it is time that they go up. If there really is a gain in economic activity if we really are in the recovery than it should definitely be going up. People get upset about it for a while then they will recover and they will get onto something else to be upset about. It doesn't seem to be like a huge thing although I have to say the Santa Monica college thing is really pretty silly because there are a lot of kids in my neighborhood in Beverly Hills who are rich rich kids who go to school in Santa Monica College, the idea that they are getting a free education for the taxpayers of California is a bad joke. If they really need the money that's one thing if they don't they shouldn't be getting a subsidy.
ADAM LASHINSKY: If I could just restate something that Charlie said... investors are not complaining they are reacting.
GOVERNMENT DENIES INFLATION DESPITE FAMILIES SPENDING MORE ON FOOD
BEN STEIN: I do the grocery shopping in my family. I am embarrassed as a Jew to say I buy a lot of ham. But the prices are astronomically. If the government doesn't realize that the food prices are insane, then they are insane. It is a very discouraging situation to how many of your friends are unemployed, how many of their homes are underwater and then see prices that are absolutely out of control.
DAGEN MCDOWELL: I like to think I know more about hogs than the actual kind that you eat, not the kind you date than anybody on this program. One thing that's going on is it's the governments fault that a lot of these prices are higher we have horrific sugar supports in this country that keep sugar prices elevated. Then with hog, a lot of it is grain prices going up. So point the finger right back at the government if you're not happy about paying more for ham.
CHARLIE GASPARINO: Listen, the consequence of a ridiculous fiscal policy in the Obama administration is monetary policy. We have to keep interest rates at zero, money in the system and that causes inflation in commodity prices. Grains and everything else that goes into food prices and it's a tax, it's the most regressive tax because it hits poor people and working class people the most and it's really a shame.
CHARLES PAYNE: I echo everything that has been said so far. But I think that Ben Bernanke and President Obama both agree that there will be collateral damage in their game plan. You look at the jobs report on Friday the only good thing in there is manufacturing the only reason that that is doing a little better is because the dollar is cheaper more or less. Bernanke has said this much, he knows gas is a problem even though he doesn't pump it he's hoping America will hit at a certain point and pull right back down. This is collateral damage that they are willing to accept to try to spark the economy.
ADAM LASHINSKY: The only part I disagree with is that there is some sort of conspiracy here. I mean the government doesn't want to deny that there is inflation a lot of prices are cheaper. The people who are responsible for those statistics are busy going on junkets in Las Vegas they are not trying to manipulate the numbers.
ADAM LASHINSKY: (JCP) JCPenney
Neil, I am really intrigued with what former Apple executive Ron Johnson is doing there. You saw layoffs this week that's a good thing not a bad thing for this stock. It's already down a bit from its enthusiastic high.
BEN STEIN: (DFMEX) DFA Emerging Market
Those guys are so sharp in putting together indexes pretty much unbelievable I've had extremely good results with it by my modest standards and I just love it, I hope to keep it for the rest of my life.