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Bulls & Bears
On Saturday, January 30, 2010 Brenda Buttner was joined by Gary B. Smith, Tobin Smith, Pat Dorsey, Eric Bolling and Julian Epstein.
Best Job Creator: Free Market or Big Government?
ERIC BOLLING, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: We really should be following the Apple or Ford model. These are companies that have developed and produced products people want and cut costs to streamline their businesses wherever they could. They've innovated, changed the way they did business, and do their part to help the economy get better. Ford is doing much better than anyone could have expected.
JULIAN EPSTEIN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: People on the right always say the only solution to helping the economy is the private sector. People on the left say government is the solution. Both are wrong. At the end of the day, the American people want practicality. There is no question that innovation from the private sector is one of the main drivers for job creation. However, when the economy is contracting, and banks stop lending, and businesses stop hiring, the government steps in for countercyclical purposes. Economic growth was contracting, and millions of jobs were being lost. Now we have positive economic growth, and the number of jobs being lost is significantly diminished.
TOBIN SMITH, NBT MEDIA: Look at what Steve Jobs has done with his job. Apple has grown from 50,000 employees to 125,000 employees. I think President Obama has this whole thing backwards. In capitalism, capitalists go out, take risk, innovate, and because of those people innovating and a market demanding what they're making, jobs are created. The President's approach has been for a small group of people trying to figure out what people want, or what they think the economy needs. And to pay for it, they'll take money from successful people for the so-called greater good. It's totally upside down logic.
GARY B. SMITH, THECHARTMAN.COM: The government not only chooses sectors to support, but it does so inefficiently. Historically, whenever the government steps in and tries to create jobs, they barely budge the unemployment rate. And the money for those programs doesn't just fall from heaven, it's money the government is taking from one group and moving it to another group. There is no actual net job created. You're just using money that could have been spent or invested elsewhere more effectively by the private sector.
PAT DORSEY, MORNINGSTAR.COM: What's unfortunate about the government's latest efforts to create jobs is that the economy is already recovering right now. We're no longer in the middle of an economic crisis. We are seeing fewer job looses, and some job creation in certain sectors. There is upward momentum in the economy right now. Unfortunately, the unemployment rate is often the last thing to recover. This always happens. I'm a skeptic of what politicians can actually do to help or harm the economy. We're just in the midst of a common business cycle, and the economy can recover without the help of the government.
Should Spending Freeze in D.C. Start With Lawmaker Perks?
GARY B. SMITH: This report of Nancy Pelosi racking up over $100,000 in food and alcohol expenses for her plane is ridiculous. If anyone working for a private company tried to put something like this on their expense report, they'd be out of there so fast it'd make their head spin. Government officials get extremely generous pension plans, free child care, etc. I don't mind government officials spending money; it's just that they're not accountable for their actions, and seem to have little ethics or morals guiding what they actually spend money on.
EPSTEIN: After September 11th, President Bush determined the Speaker of House, given their prominence in the line of succession, needed to have access to proper aircraft when traveling. The former speaker, Dennis Hastert, frequently used this privilege. These numbers are grossly inflated. These numbers tabulate all specified travel expenses on Pelosi's office. However, when she travels with other members, they pay-in for the travel costs.
TOBIN SMITH: We can't miss the point here. If you're the CEO of a company you get rid of unnecessary expenditures, like not flying in first class. It would not be a threat or hard for Nancy Pelosi to fly commercial from a security standpoint. All she has to do is fly under an assumed name. That's just about the safest way to fly. And it would send a good signal of lawmakers cutting back on all of their perks.
BOLLING: Either way, these numbers show the frivolous spending that goes on by lawmakers. It doesn't matter if it was bought by Pelosi's office or one of her guests. Did she really need a $53 bottle of Grey Goose? These so-called Congressional delegations are really out of control. They travel around the world, bringing spouses, friends, etc. and claim they're doing government business.
DORSEY: Should a spending freeze start with lawmakers and their perks? No. Where it should start is Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, defense spending, etc. If we're going to make any impact on the budget, or the deficit, somebody on Capitol Hill has to have the political courage to go after these untouchable issues. If you want to move the needle, start with the big stuff.
More Global Warming Reports Based on Sloppy Science; Time to Kill the Energy Bill?
TOBIN SMITH: I hope this latest U.N. climate report that's now proven to be bogus helps kill any climate bill in this country. The raw economics of climate legislation just doesn't work. At this point, I think the results of a WWF wresting match are more real. The fact they used completely sloppy science to try and prove Himalayan glaciers were melting just proves how bogus these climate change plans are.
EPSTEIN: We're still not sure if this U.N. report was sloppy science or not. If that turns out to be the case and completely missed the facts, it should be criticized. But I don't think this undermines the underlying thesis that climate change is happening, and we need to do something to offset its negative effects. Almost all independent scientists agree that global warming is coming, and it will be a major environmental and economic disaster. We need to get smart and move towards a green economy.
BOLLING: Strike three. Is there any solid research that proves there's any major global warming going on a grand basis where the science might not be tainted? Remember back in the 1970s, the huge concern was global cooling. I just don't think we can rely on the data and research out there.
DORSEY: I think the climate bill is DOA to begin with. Whatever the reports of faulty data may be, frankly the point is moot.
GARY B. SMITH: This is a money issue. The big proponents of climate change are all about getting money and research funds. Unfortunately that's what the whole issue has become. This is a money issue, and can we afford it? In the end, we should stop climate change legislation right now.
TOBIN SMITH: Bet against Geithner and the White House! "BRKB" up 25 percent as Tim goes down
DORSEY: Wachovia acquisition is money! "WFC" prints 50 percent in two years
GARY B. SMITH: Accelerator problem, minor glitch! "TM" drives up 20 percent by Nov.
BOLLING: Fight terror and climate bill! "PBR" strikes 30 percent gain in one year
Cavuto on Business
On Saturday, January 30, 2010 Neil Cavuto was joined by Ben Stein, Charles Payne, Dagen McDowell and Rob Stein.
Using Bailout Cash for Jobs; Good Plan or Money Grab?
CHARLES PAYNE, WSTREET.COM: This is a cruel joke to businesses. Most businesses right now are just hoping to stay in business. The government giving businesses $5,000 to hire someone isn't going to give nearly enough incentive to do so. And the fact the government plans to use TARP money makes this even worse. When are we going to close this program down? It's like it's the President's personal piggy bank now. I really don't trust any of it. Somehow, this stuff is going to end up in union hands, and the true job creators won't see any of it.
DAGEN MCDOWELL, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: There's no such thing as a one-time tax, because taxes never go away. I think we're just seeing a fundamental dishonesty by the government here. And there's also a degree of arrogance. This is our money, but lawmakers and the White House are pretending they know better—they think that the government is more efficient at this stuff than private business. We're going to decide how best to spend people's money, rather than the American taxpayer making that call.
BEN STEIN, AUTHOR, "HOW TO THE RUIN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA": This is not a bad idea. We want businesses to hire. But they should hire and the government should roll back on imposing regulations. The government set $787 billion for the stimulus package. Given the average job pays about $50,000, they could have created 15 million jobs. Instead, the government can barely point to a few hundred thousand jobs actually created. Where has all the money gone? So why on earth are we going to trust them to spend even more money to create jobs? It just goes into a black hole.
ROB STEIN, ASTOR ASSET MANAGEMENT: I guess the money has gone to the stock market. The stock market was up over 20 percent this past year. That's $2 trillion of wealth creation for people who own stocks. This money has helped spur economic activity. The economy is growing, and it's doing better than anybody expected. Friday's GDP growth number helps show this. GDP is indicative of economic growth, and that's clearly taking place right now. You have to spend government funds wisely. GDP and employment trends are finally getting better, so it appears at least some of what the government has been doing is helping.
Which Voters Will the White House Listen To: Oregon or Massachusetts?
PAYNE: Here's the Oregon message everyone should be afraid of: $125,000 for an individual, and $250,000 for a household is now rich. These numbers keep coming down and down. You get help from the government based on how much you make. Meanwhile the "rich" threshold keeps lowering and more and more people are getting hit with higher taxes as the government comes after them. Oregonians are already up in arms and looking to move across the border to lower-tax Washington State.
MCDOWELL: If you wanted to know where the White House agenda really is, just look to the President's State of the Union address. President Bush's tax cuts are going to expire at the end of the year. Even if you took all taxable income of the so-called rich, you still would not come up with enough money to cover all the new government programs and initiatives being proposed by Congress and the White House. So no matter how much money the government may try and grab from wealthy taxpayers, they won't get enough to close the budget gap.
B. STEIN: Oregon is a special case. Militant liberals dominated the vote in Oregon, and the state's unions pulled out all the stops. They spent an enormous amount of money to get these tax increases passed. But this is a tiny little laboratory test tube. It shows us that militant leftists, who are well organized and well funded, can still carry the day in certain circumstances.
R. STEIN: I think we've seen many Oregon voters don't like rich folks. But if you get the money and the passion of a certain voting group, either on the right or left, you can get a certain specific issue passed. I don't think this is a statement on what the rest of the country actually wants.
AFL-CIO Head Loves Present Job Focus; Time to Worry?
MCDOWELL: This is absolutely a reason to worry. But it should come as no great surprise because we saw how deeply the unions have our lawmakers in their pockets. Look at what happened with the union-exemption on having so-called Cadillac health care plans taxed. Something very untoward, if not nefarious, is going on. Unions are funneling money to Democrats, and they funnel the money back to unions.
PAYNE: Definite red flag. Over 90 percent of non-union American workers are getting these special perks and benefits. The vast majority of Americans won't see any benefit from this. They're proposing student loans being written off after 10 years if you go work for the government, but 20 years if you move to the private sector. There's just little sentiment for shared sacrifice that President Obama and Democrats used to talk about.
R. STEIN: New proposals for job creation aren't the worst thing. It sometimes takes government initiative to get major development projects under way, like high-speed rail systems connecting major metropolitan centers. I'm not sure this statement by the AFL-CIO president is cause for us to worry.
B. STEIN: The union movement has collapsed in the private sector. It only really exists in the government sector. In government, workers don't have to compete, and only in an environment where workers don't have to compete on pay, performance, or productivity can a union survive. Unions are a thing of the past, but unfortunately the unions own the government and vice-versa.
Mid-Term Stock Winners
PAYNE: Century Aluminum (CENX)
B. STEIN: Cohen & Steers Quality Income Realty (RQI)
R. STEIN: PowerShares QQQ (QQQQ)
Forbes on Fox
On Saturday, January 30, 2010, David Asman was joined by Steve Forbes, Rich Karlgaard, Neil Weinberg, Mike Ozanian, Quentin Hardy, Victoria Barret, Elizabeth MacDonald, Mike Maiello, and Kai Falkenberg.
In Focus: President Obama Says He'll Freeze Federal Spending Starting In 2011, But Is Spending Cut What We Really Need?
DAVID ASMAN: President Obama is out pushing his plan to freeze government spending next year, but Steve Forbes says forget the freeze—cut spending now; that's how to heat up job growth again. Who's got it right? Hi everybody, I'm David Asman. Welcome to Forbes on Fox. Let's go in focus with Steve Forbes, Rich Karlgaard, Elizabeth MacDonald, Quentin Hardy and Mike Maiello. Steve, first you. Cut now?
STEVE FORBES: Cut. This freeze is a phony anyway. It affects about 1 percent of the budget spending in real terms at their 25-30 percent increase in spending. In terms of getting this economy moving again, you have to cut back the government's take of the economy and by the way, cut taxes and stabilize the dollar like Ronald Reagan did; we'll get real growth again.
MIKE MAIELLO: I'm glad Steve is right, that Obama's freeze is a phony freeze because it's too early to say "mission accomplished" on fixing the economy. Freezing spending now is as irresponsible as yanking all of our troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq right now. We need a Marshall Plan for America. We need direct grants to small businesses.
DAIVD ASMAN: So we're not spending enough, you say?
MIKE MAIELLO: Absolutely we're not.
ELIZABETH MACDONALD: There is so much fat marble throughout the government that could be cut. We have $1.2 trillion in abandoned federal properties just sitting out there not being used that could have been sold at the height of the bubble. Look, the reason why the president's poll ratings are dropping is because the American people are seeing him more and more as this disproving, finger wagging, senior lecturer at the University of Chicago and not appealing to the real spirit and optimism of the American people. The true fire-tested gold of the American people is entrepreneurship. When John F. Kennedy was criticized for his tax cuts as benefiting the wealthy in the early '60s, he said the best form of welfare is a high paying job. That's the attitude you want to have in this country.
RICH KARLGAARD: I would like a real freeze. A real freeze would be across the board and it would not be linked to inflation, which would mean year by year, the government would shrink by two or three percent. That would be predictable enough so that people could plan. That would remove this great veil of uncertainty that is really hurting our economy right now.
QUENTIN HARDY: In 1937, Steve's grandfather wrote about Roosevelt's crazy spending and how terrible it was. A month later, Roosevelt cut and the depression went down again. There may actually be a link here between government spending and reviving the economy. But the reality is we do have an enormous deficit we have to cut. The problem is we keep saying this is off the table: defense, Medicare, Medicaid, Homeland Security. Whenever anybody tells you your budget is safe, it's going to bloat and have waste in it. Those are the areas we have to cut—the sacred cows.
Is President Obama's Plan to Forgive Student Loans After 10-20 Years College Welfare?
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Let's tell another 1 million students that when they graduate, they will be required to pay only 10 percent of their income on student loans, and all of their debt will be forgiven after 20 years, and forgiven after 10 years if they choose a career in public service.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
DAVID ASMAN: And who is going to pay for all that? Well of course, you! And Neil says this is nothing but a new college welfare program.
NEIL WEINBERG: This is wrong on so many levels. I don't even know where to start, but let's start with the labeling. Why doesn't he call it what it is: the deadbeat student and socialization of higher education program. That's exactly what it is. It says you take out a loan and then guess what? You don't have to pay it back. So what is it going to do? It's going to encourage people to go to college when they can't afford it and they have no intention of paying for it. It's going to increase cost because there will be more students wanting to go. It's just wrong.
QUENTIN HARDY: I really don't see it that way. This isn't about underwriting beer bashes. This is about an investment in the future of the American economy. If you educate better, they will be able to earn more, and they will have more flexibility in their jobs. Maybe we should stress certain majors like engineering or accounting. They may be a little boring and tough, but they contribute to the economy. I think helping people get more education is not just interesting and important, it is essential for the future of the world economy. We want to be players there.
MIKE OZANIAN: Less than half the people that get government subsidized education never end up graduating. Let's put this program in baseball terms. It's a strikeout. Strike one, it's a government mandated transfer of wealth. Strike two, it forces college costs up because you get increase in demand and with that an increase in supply. And strike three, you're going to get more debt.
ELIZABETH MACDONALD: I'll tell you, this is a singular outrage. The high college tuition cost in this country is so horrible, I can't tell you how upset this makes me feel. What you're underwriting is colleges that are behaving like hotel barrens, like Donald Trump or Steve Wynn. These are fat cats blowing out their dorms like hotel rooms, adding ice skating rinks and posh Hogwarts-style dormitory rooms. So you are going broke by degree because of this fat-cat behavior. People have to take it upon themselves in the free market to say, I'm not going to try to buy into this fake network and this dot com-type bubble that's going on in tuition prices. People are saying, look, you don't have to buy an expensive college degree to think you can get a better education. There are better choices out there.
STEVE FORBES: That's right. We do need people to get higher education, but there is a trend here. The more government aid there is, the higher the tuitions go and the higher administrative costs of colleges and universities go. How many hours does a typical professor teach an undergraduate today versus 20 years ago? In the exact opposite direction. Get value for the money. We'll get the education, just don't waste the money.
MIKE MAIELLO: Here is a value. You come out of college, or you come out of law school, and you want to practice criminal defense or public interest law. But you can't because your payments are too high. You've got to practice corporate law or something that's more lucrative instead. What Obama is smart about is saying, look, it will be this percentage of the income you earn when you come out. That gives you the freedom to choose.
Could a Baby Boom Be the Best Thing for America's Struggling Economy?
DAVID ASMAN: Closed-door meetings in D.C. are doing little to stimulate America's economy, but what's happening behind closed bedroom doors may be doing the trick. That's right—Vickie says we need a baby boom to get our economy booming again. Vickie, go ahead.
VICTORIA BARRET: Look, the two inputs of economic growth are capital and labor. That means people. There used to be this economic theory that the economic pie was this big and if there were more people eating off of it, the pie slices were getting smaller. That has been debunked. It turns out that higher populations, population growth, actually increase productivity. We need more babies. And let's encourage this not with gimmicky tax cuts here and there, but with across the board tax cuts that give people more money to spend on their kids and less money to send to the government.
KAI FULKENBERG: What Victoria is advocating is more Octomoms on welfare. We've already got plenty of babies in this country thanks in part to John Edwards. (laughter) Our population rate already exceeds most other western countries. We don't need to be encouraging more irresponsible people to have babies that they can't afford.
RICH KARLGAARD: It will not only help the economy, it really is absolutely essential for the vitality of our culture. A vital culture is a growing culture. All you have to do is look at Japan and Western Europe to see what happens when the birth rate falls below replacement. Those are dying cultures. America can accommodate not only 300 million people, but 400 million, 500 million, too.
NEIL WEINBERG: Since this is a family show, I won't go into all the reasons you might like to have procreation in this country. But I will say this: it's a terrible thing to have a tax that says do this, do that. You have the government who is then going to be micromanaging our lives. The question we're talking about here is whether the government should encourage that with taxes. I don't think people should be having babies because junior is going to reduce their taxes. That's a bad idea.
STEVE FORBES: It would be good for the economy, especially in a free economy to have more people. More people mean more human capital. The tax code should not be against having kids. If you look at the deductions that we have today and compare them to what they were in the '30s, '40s or early '50s, they haven't kept up with the cost of living and inflation. At least have the tax code be neutral on marriage and on having kids.
Informer: Mutual Funds
DAVID ASMAN: With stocks down for the month, the Informers are here with the safest places to grow your money:
NEIL WEINBERG: Robeco Long/Short Eq Inv (BPLEX)
MIKE OZANIAN: Fidelity Emerging Markets Fund (FEMKX)
VICTORIA BARRET: Bruce Fund (BRUFX)
Kucinich Proposing Bill Letting People Retire Early to Collect Social Security: Good or Bad for Job Market?
JOHN LAYFIELD, NUTRITIONMARKET.COM: This is an insane idea. This is something France would do, just have them retire, we'll take care of them and someone else can have job. We need job creation in this country not job substitution.
CHRISTIAN DORSEY, ECONOMIC POLICY INSTITUTE: This would help. Kucinich's plan is intriguing, and I'm inclined to like it. It will add jobs at a low cost per job number. It will certainly help the job market normalize and provide an opportunity for firms to maintain or even jobs at a lower labor cost.
WAYNE ROGERS, WAYNE ROGERS & COMPANY: Could help the job market if the statistics are valid. If 70 percent elect early retirement under this plan, and if it will not add to the cost of Social Security, then what is the downside? It would mean that there would be that many jobs available. But - big but - it assumes that those jobs would be filled as opposed to being cut back. This is a tough call.
JONAS MAX FERRIS, MAXFUNDS.COM: Help lower unemployment. This would lower the unemployment rate, if you define that as help the job market, then it would help. It would also reduce government tax revenues from those working assuming the newly hired in their place would get less money for same job for being younger. I'll give the idea an A for originality but in general we need people to work longer not shorter. If you would retire two years earlier just to get the benefits from social security than you are likely going to have problems paying for retirement for what, 30 years plus? This plan should be more budget neutral and the benefits you get at say, 60 would be economically less than waiting to 62, even more so than what a NPV calculate would dictate - an early retirement punishment.
TRACY BYRNES, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: The Social Security system is broke—tax receipts will start to fall short of outlays in 2016, and its long-term surplus will drain away by 2037, according to the most recent government estimates. So pushing more people into it soon is nuts.
JONATHAN HOENIG, CAPITALISTPIG ASSET MANAGEMENT: Social Security itself hurts the job market. There is no savings or investment with social security – money is taken from one group and given to another with only the hope that future generations will be robbed for your benefit. All that money I send to Washington could actually be invested in a business!
Giving Child Care Tax Credits for Families Making $85K and Under: Is $85,000 the New Rich?
BYRNES: These credits are all BS. They don't reach enough of us and aren't that much money in the end. And the 85k applies to families who qualify for the dependent care credit — those of us that make more than that get jack. And yes, increase in taxes on the 85k+ crowd — no doubt! Get ready, here they come.
DORSEY: No, of course not. This is an attempt to ease the burden middle class families' face balancing work and family care. It is absurd to argue that families making over 115 grand, those up to that will receive some benefit, should receive even more of a subsidy for their child/dependent care during these economic times. No, $85 grand is not the new rich. As the President reiterated last night, he has lowered taxes for 95 percent of Americans. No one to date has experienced a dime in tax increases.
LAYFIELD: Yes, get ready for taxes on everything that moves. New rich will continue to be redefined. Problem is spending not revenue brought in. We need balanced budget amendment and outlawing earmarks. Just reporting earmarks is like turning light on in a house while you steal-doesn't make any different except people know about your theft.
HOENIG: The very notion of a "middle class task force" is offensive. What if the President promised to "fight" for white interests? Or Latino interests? Isn't he supposed to fight for all of our rights, not just those in one particular racial or socio-economic group? "Child care tax credits" are another form of trying to "nudge" or "influence" how people live their lives, essentially providing a subsidy for people caring for children at the expense of those who are not. And "requiring employees to set up automatic retirement accounts" sure doesn't sound like a free society to me. We've seen a real shift in what the President considers rich. Used to be $250,000 a year, now it's $200,000 or $85,000. Oregon just passed a "millionaires tax" on people making more than $125,000. Regardless the basic philosophy is the same: the rich "owe" society and the government decides who is "rich."
ROGERS: Who knows? This is all ridiculous. Why $85,000? Why not $82,000 or $88,000 or $50,000 or any other number? From where do these arbitrary numbers come? Who is to say? Why should the President or the Congress determine the level of income? Either it works for everybody or for nobody. And does this not encourage having more children? Whether or not it foreshadows a tax hike is problematical. Everything foreshadows tax hikes in the current economic atmosphere because of the massive deficit.
FERRIS: $85k and under is the voter block the White House needs to re-appeal to. $85k is not the new rich, but it is the cutoff for reward. Basically the White House is putting people into three camps. Sub 85 camp, where you get even more government breaks/handouts. Call it $85k- 250k where you get nothing, then the 250k and up crowd who is getting stuck with the government's bills. States are adding a 1 million super group to really punish but that is another story. This is not a prelude to hike taxes it is hiking taxes to those making $85k or more. If you cut taxes below a certain point you really are raising the relative tax rate of the rest. An actual tax increase, not relative tax increase, will likely only hit the 250k and up crowd.
Democrats Still Doing Closed Door Health Care Deals: Slap in the Face to Taxpayers and Voters?
ROGERS: They do not get it! The new deals are bad. They will keep trying but it is dead. They must be deaf. The people do not want it. Everybody who votes for any bill will have to defend it in November. The whole thing is a fiasco. The Congress and the President say so that the bill is good for Americans? Any bill? The devil is in the details and no one knows what they are! Dumb! Is anybody asking about tort reform? Is anybody saying that there is no point in paying for health care until you get sick because then they cannot turn you down? Fiasco!
DORSEY: I got to give you credit, this is an interesting conspiracy you've cooked up. Look, the tax credit is actually increased for people making up to $115,000 a year. If you look at it, clearly if you're above 115 grand, you're fairly well off. I know people watching in New York where you are here where I am in D.C., that's not a ton of money. But listen, we've got to face facts. You've got to draw the line somewhere and believe me, if you're making over 115 grand, you're doing fairly well compared to most people.
FERRIS: Sadly they do "get it." What they get is what really mucked up the healthcare plan getting done quickly was a lack of handouts all around and too many cuts. This sounds crazy for a plan that was going to cost almost $1 trillion but it was the proposed Medicare cuts, which got everybody, angered even republicans, and the sensible way to pay, a tax increase on Cadillac plans, which got unions all mad and in general was looking too "taxy." What we will probably see approved with much less noise is a $1.5T plan that just basically hands out more money to everybody with minimal efforts to pay the tab. Thanks China!
LAYFIELD: Yes, they don't get it. This is not a game, but politics are a game and these guys-this is all they can do. Americans want jobs and worry about the deficit. This bunch of partisan garbage is why these guys have such low approval.
HOENIG: I suppose when a trip to Copenhagen costs $1 million, $300 billion seems cheap. Health care in this country is not a free market. Costs are raised by government, which already accounts for over 50 percent of healthcare spending. No amount of "tweaking" can change that. Democrats and many Republicans believe that expanding a government, system will benefit us all. But the current system is broke. Why not try and fix that first? Their remedy to fix the current entitlement state is to enlarge it. Can you think of one government program that's ever been below budget with strong outcomes? We are talking now about people's lives and 16 percent of the economy!
BYRNES: These guys make Alicia Silverstone look like a genius in clueless. They don't get it. They clearly are ignoring the mass win, and this whole thing is now a sign of desperation so they can just get that photo op of the President signing something in the Rose Garden so they can go home to their constituents and attempt to get re-elected.
What Do I Need to Know?
BYRNES: General Motors to pay $1,000 to Toyota owners to switch brands. They're using our taxpayer money to lure in more business. Will it work? No. They are just wasting more taxpayer money. Remember this is bailout money that you the taxpayer are paying for. In the end it will be more money lost.
LAYFIELD: President Obama mentioning nuclear is a big deal, he understands it creates jobs now. Nuclear and infrastructure companies should buck the down trend in the markets. Buy CCJ.
ROGERS: Just because Pelosi says so, does not make it right or "so." Her health bill will not pass this year! Regardless of any bill, Teva Pharmaceuticals (TEVA) is a healthy choice.
FERRIS: You need to sell the MSFT, AMZN, and AAPL stock I recommended on this show. You should sell the Microsoft and Amazon AND Apple I've also recommended at way, way lower prices. Apple's new pad may not be everything and a bag of chips, but it takes away the burgeoning monopoly Amazon was building in eReaders and gives us one less reason to own a Windows-based device. The reason for selling AAPL too is the product is too low margin and will mostly achieve cutting into the profit margins that exist at Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple. Buy (JATTX). It does not have exposure to these high tech names.
HOENIG: The Shanghai Composite (China stock index) has closed below its 200-day moving average for the first time since last March, a worrisome sign that the boom in China's economy could be slowing. I recommend (FXP), which is inverse (short) China. But my idea was much more "be aware China is weak if you are thinking about investing in China" rather than "sell China short."