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.
Bulls & Bears
This past week's Bulls & Bears: Gary B. Smith, Exemplar Capital; Tobin Smith, ChangeWave Research; Eric Bolling, FOX Business News; Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com; Marc Lamont Hill, PhD, Temple University, and Price Headley, Bigtrends.com.
Trading Pit: Nasty Hurricane Season: Time for a National Disaster Fund?
Marc Lamont Hill: Yes we need a National Disaster Fund. The reality is that certain people are vulnerable and certain people can't afford insurance. And even people who can afford insurance are often not given the resources they need. And I do not buy the argument that all people choose to live in certain places. Sometimes the reality is that people have to live where they live – they just can't move and relocate because they are in "danger" areas. We might as well put a structure in place.
Gary B. Smith: NO!! This is why we have private insurance. It's also why people can choose NOT to live in areas prone to tornadoes and hurricanes.
Tobin Smith: The funds should come from the areas that have the most disasters: hurricane regions, earthquake regions, tornado belt, wildfire regions, flood regions.
Taxes should come from home owners and property owners in the disaster regions.
Eric Bolling: If you choose to live in a disaster prone area, you have made a choice. Live with it and buy insurance. We don't need every taxpaying citizen in a place like Iowa to bail out (multi-million dollar) coastal properties and businesses.
We already have national flood insurance for coastal homeowner bailouts.
Pat Dorsey: This is what insurance companies are for. Temporary funding to feed people, provide temp shelter, move the infirm from hospitals, rebuild infrastructure: sure, that's a good federal/state thing. But rebuilding homes/replacing property? No way.
"Small Town" v$ Big City: Does Sarah Palin Have It Right About the Economy?
Gary B. Smith: I firmly believe that if you can manage a town's budget and your own family's budget, you can manage a budget or government of any size. Size, in fact, doesn't matter, as it all comes down to key elements: revenue, spending, and debt. A big city might have bigger raw numbers, but the fundamentals are the same.
Marc Lamont Hill: I agree with Gary B. that the small town aspect isn't really a big deal. And I think she has the right idea on the fact that excess spending is bad. (We can all agree on that.) Where we disagree? What we constitute as excess spending. Certain social programs are necessary (national health care). And spending for things like that is not a bad thing!
Stocks Shake Off Bad Jobs Report: Sign Worst Is Over?
Gary B. Smith: I do think the worst is over. We bounced off the July lows, forming an almost perfect double bottom! Also, the reaction to what was a dismal jobs report was a really good sign for stocks overall.
Price Headley: I'm a bear. Look, it's encouraging that the market has recovered in the face of this bad job news - I'm expecting a trading bounce in the coming week, as fear definitely hit a short-term climax Friday morning which often tells you the market is washed out for now on the downside. But I think after this bounce, we're likely headed lower into the mid October earnings season, combined with increased volatility ahead of the election.
Gary B. Smith: Palin trumps Obama and market rallies! Buy "IWM" for a 15 percent gain by year end!
Tobin Smith: Semis are cooked! "SSG" up 50 percent in three months!
Pat Dorsey: Improve your money skills with DeVry; "DV" up 30 percent in 2 years
Eric Bolling: Go bottom fishing with Toll; "TOL" up 50 percent in 12 months
Price Headley: Financials still in trouble! "SKF" up 50 percent in 2 months
Cavuto on Business
On Saturday, September 6th, 2008, Neil Cavuto was joined by Ben Stein, "How to Ruin the United States of America"; Charles Payne, wstreet.com; Dagen McDowell, FOX Business Network; Adam Lashinsky, Fortune Magazine; Dan Weiss, Center for American Progress Fund; Reta Lewis, Democratic Strategist.
Bottom Line: Hanna, Ike, and Josephine: Drowning Offshore Drilling's Momentum?
Neil Cavuto: Nothing like some hurricanes to put the kibosh on drilling. I kid you not -- some environmentalists say the hurricanes are proof of the dangers of drilling: More rigs going up, more rigs that could go down?
Charles Payne: I think it will give greenies the grief. We will see here these platforms withstand the harshest that nature throws at them. We already had a pretty big scare with Gustav. We have these three more.
Neil Cavuto: But, that wasn't category four or five storms. We don't know if they can withstand.
Charles Payne: The bottom line is they withstand a pretty good storm, the harshest so far this year, and probably the harshest since Katrina. It also underscore that we probably shouldn't have all the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and it might be smart to have a few off the coast of California and a few off the coast of the East Coast and maybe even ANWR.
Neil Cavuto: You sound like you're acknowledging there might be something to their point.
Charles Payne: Absolutely not. Listen. We know things happen.
Neil Cavuto: I think I found you vulnerable.
Charles Payne: That was a good one.
Neil Cavuto: I can understand the more they are out there, the more you essentially could get affected by a really bad storm, but we're playing percentages here. I talked to the folks who build these things, including a couple this past week, saying "Neil, there is nothing to worry about." You're worried. Why?
Dan Weiss: Well, first of all, you have to remember that building a whole energy infrastructure off our coast right where hurricanes flow is like putting a nuclear power plant on an earthquake fault line.
Neil Cavuto: We have a lot of them. If you have ever seen an aerial of the Gulf, they are everywhere. There are tons of them out there. They have been there.
Dan Weiss: After Katrina, Neil, we had about nine million gallons of oil spill on and offshore, which is about equal to the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
Dagen McDowell: Dan, I hear these statistics all the time. There was a study done by NASA and the Smithsonian. Oil drilling is the smallest source of leakage into the ocean. Natural seepage just from oil deposits out there is a bigger source of it. Frankly, if anything, these storms illustrate how critical more offshore drilling is to this country when it shuts down a quarter of our oil production.
Neil Cavuto: Last week, you wanted all of us to ride scooters.
Dagen McDowell: Listen, I think we should be riding scooters, but drilling for oil, too! We can't get rid of cars.
Dan Weiss: Like T. Boone Pickens has said, the reality is we need to reduce the dependency on oil.
Neil Cavuto: He also said drilling, too. All of the above. Go ahead, Adam.
Adam Lashinsky: I will take a slightly different approach. I'm going to suck up on my first time back and say "Neil, you have been saying for months we have to do everything." This is a good example of it. We have to look for energy sources wherever we can get them. Oil is in the water. To say that we're not going to drill for the oil in the water is synonymous with saying we're not going to drill for oil. That's just not a possibility.
Neil Cavuto: What do you make of this whole argument?
Ben Stein: I think Mr Weiss misunderstands how these drilling platforms work. It's not like they're hit by a storm. It's like pouring over a bottle of milk that doesn't spill all over the ocean floor and the ocean. There are safety valves that snaps shut and it doesn't leak anymore once there is some damage to the drilling platform. These are incredibly safe. As Dagen says, there has never been a major spill from these things. Nine-million gallons is not an enormous amount when you compare it. It's not an enormous amount when you compare it with the volume of water that we're talking about. We have to do it anyway. There are also risks and dangers involved in gearing up and ??? for World War II. There are risks and dangers in every darn thing you do. There are risks and dangers in stepping out of bed and getting into the shower. We have to do it. It's much more important that we have some energy security than we allow for the possibility of a little bit of leakage in the storm. You don't understand the technology of these. They are way, way beyond just spilled milk.
Neil Cavuto: This was pre-designed, Dan. I do want to get your final thoughts. I'm not blaming you, but a lot of environmentalists seized on these hurricanes like the latest excuse like with the polar bears in Alaska, they couldn't skip over ice anymore, they were all going to drown. You just leap onto the latest excuse to not drill. Answer that.
Dan Weiss: Here is an important thing to remember. There was just a study released this week by real scientists, peer review that shows due to global warming, hurricanes will get much stronger as the ocean heats up. Remember, what is Category 2 today is…
Ben Stein: That is not what the study said.
Dan Weiss: That is absolutely what the study said.
Ben Stein: That is not what the study said. That is completely, completely wrong. The study said there will be some storms that will be stronger and most of the storms will remain the same size, but there is no evidence that storms in general are getting stronger.
Neil Cavuto: Dan, answer that.
Dan Weiss: Look at the IPEC report. We are going to have stronger hurricanes. We don't want to put oil rigs there.
Neil Cavuto: I don't know which one of you is right, but I know we're done.
Head to Head: Sarah Palin the "Reformer" -- Is This What America and the Economy Needs?
Sarah Palin sound bite from Wednesday:
"I got rid of a few things in the Governor's office that I didn't believe our citizens should have to pay for. That luxury jet was over the top. I put it on eBay… I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending: Nearly half a billion dollars in vetoes."
Neil Cavuto: Who knew the Iron Lady moved to Alaska?! I know. Juneau ain't London. And Sarah Palin doesn't exactly look like Maggie Thatcher. But, she sure sounds like her! Palin's tax-cutting, pork-bashing, pistol-packing message resonating big time with Republicans. Now, will it register with voters? Will they see in this 44-year old hockey mom someone who can knock the puck out of a do-nothing Congress? Boy, am I glad I got that out correctly…
Reta Lewis: You know what? She gave a great speech to that audience. I think she is not a reformer and neither is John McCain a maverick. Basically, when she is talking about cutting pork, she talked a lot about small towns. I'm from a small town. I'm from a small town in Georgia. I didn't see any solutions for small-town America as it relates to lower gas prices, health care, how they are going to put food on their table, and educate their kids. You know what? It's great to get rid of the plane. Who needs it? It's great to get rid of the chef. We would all love to have it. At the end of the day, what America wants is someone to offer up some real solutions. I didn't see that in the speech. She gave a great speech, though. She is great for the right.
Ben Stein: It was a fantastic speech. Unimaginable how she could have given such a good speech and McCain could have given such a poor speech, but that's what happened. I don't know that tax cut-thing is going to work. As I have said many times on this show, it doesn't do any good to cut taxes and keep expenditures roughly the same. It just means we add to the deficit and make our children and grandchildren pay it off. I'm not a huge fan of tax cutting unless you really, seriously are going to cut expenses and we're not.
Neil Cavuto: It's a good point. I have heard Ben's argument… we don't get serious about spending. We haven't. The Republican-Democratic administration. There is something about this administration and it's willingness to address earmarks and all that might be like my commitments to diets; they are just thrown out the window. But, I kind of thing this time they have some sort of commitment to it. What do you make of that?
Adam Lashinsky: I agree, Neil. If you are sincere about your commitment to your diet, then that's actually very meaningful. I think there is a lot of sincerity there. It's not just about cutting taxes. I agree with Ben. It may not be the right thing to do. It's going to be extremely difficult to do politically. These two are serious about cutting waste. That's symbolically important because it says to the voters, "We care about how we're spending your money." Past administrations have shown that they just aren't.
Dagen McDowell: They literally can't. If they make those tax cuts permanent and cut corporate taxes, they are literally… there is nowhere to cut enough in the discretionary budget. You always talk about diets, Neil. You go on a diet. That's what Sarah Palin did with Alaska. But, you try and put the entire country on a diet… it's something very different. You would have to get rid of whole departments.
Neil Cavuto: Charles, I don't want to leave him out because he gets made and he beats me up in the break. Charles. The one idea that was mentioned with McCain was that horrible speech. I agree with that. I would have cut it to seven minutes, and be done with it. He mentioned $700 billion we pay around the world to countries that hate us, you know. I'm just saying that when we assume that the discretionary part, and Dagen is right, is limited and all, we assume we can't do anything about it so we don't do anything about it. He threw out that $700 figure…
Charles Payne: It goes way above $700 million. There is much more than McCain being sincere. He has a track record, no pork. Imagine if everybody we sent to Washington actually said for the sake of the country, "I'm not going to have my own version of the 'Bridge to Nowhere'." We would have a lot of money.
Dagen McDowell: Cutting the pork is not enough to offset making the tax cut permanent. You go through Social Security and Medicare – that's trillions of dollars. Great. It's not going to happen.
Charles Payne: The real challenge for the next president, though, is to get America off this notion that somehow the government has to pay their credit card bills because they made the choice of buying a car they couldn't afford.
Neil Cavuto: That's the argument, Reta, that your guy is making promises that will make this even more difficult. What do you make of that?
Reta Lewis: My guy is not making promises that are going to make this difficult. She basically distorted him in her speech. Let me just tell you the real issue for America is when they get ready to hire the next president, what they are wanting is somebody who will make this world better and make this nation better. What's what my guy is doing. I think they are coming exceptionally close. When she is out there talking about small-town American, but yet she is offering no solutions, it's just a female Dick Cheney. Once we get past the personality, once we get past the personality, we are going to get to the issues.
Neil Cavuto: A female Dick Cheney. What do you make of that?
Ben Stein: It's so amazing. It's like a line from "Saturday Night Live." I don't know how she is at all like a female Dick Cheney. Dick Cheney is a Yale-educated, although he did drop out…
Reta Lewis: It's not about education. It's about his policies.
Neil Cavuto: Let him finish. Go ahead, Ben.
Ben Stein: Mr. Cheney is a Yale-educated, although a dropout, Washington-insider of the ultimate kind. She is the ultimate Washington outsider. I don't know how you can possibly compare the two of them. It's comical.
Reta Lewis: It's not comical. Basically, she embodies the same philosophies of her Party of the last 25 years. It's what America is going to reject because right now, we have 6.1 percent unemployment and 80 percent of Americans saying we're on the wrong rack. That's why Obama and Biden will be the next president and vice president of the United States.
Neil Cavuto: Reta, real quick. Do you hunt?
Reta Lewis: I don't hunt. But, I'm from Georgia and we do believe in our guns down there.
Neil Cavuto: Just curious. I have no idea why I asked that.
The Cost of Freedom: Should Congress Stay on Vacation?
Neil Cavuto: This week – Congress gets back to work. But, should they? Since they left last month, right around the time of the Olympics started up, gas prices are way down. Coincidence? Maybe not.
Gary Kaltbaum: Get a quarter, send them all to Albania. Watch them screw up Albania, also. Last session, they did nothing. No bills. If you think about it, these people watched oil go to $145 and still nothing. You know what they are great at? Putting each other down and seeing nothing get done. That's all we have seen over the last eyar.
Charles Payne: I agree. This is a do-nothing Congress whose poll numbers are, believe it or not, lower than the President's. We do need them to come back and address the issues Gary talked about – offshore drilling, the housing situation. Also, America sort of takes its cue from Capitol Hill. No one there seems to be in charge. If American feel like they are drowning, even if they showed some leadership, I think we could get consumer confidence up and maybe people feeling like there is a ray of hope.
Dagen McDowell: Give them a little credit. They passed the stimulus package. They passed the housing bill earlier.
Charles Payne: What did that do?
Dagen McDowell: This just kicked in, Charles. Give it some time. Frankly, a lot of people think the economy would be dragging and badly without them.
Charles Payne: Would you go on a five-week vacation?
Dagen McDowell: Charles, they passed it.
Charles Payne: If you house is crumbling, do you leave?
Dagen McDowell: This country might be in a recession if not for that stimulus package right now. It might be.
Neil Cavuto: If also depends on where. If you were telling me in Paris, then maybe. Ben Stein, what do you make of this whole debate?
Ben Stein: It's hilarious! Obviously, to try to connect Congress being on vacation with the fall in oil prices is a joke. It had to do with enormous factors such as the collapse of the speculative bubble. Congress had nothing to do with that, wouldn't have had anything to do with that if they were hanging upside-down like bats. It has nothing to do with Congress whatsoever being there or not being there. We cannot have a country without a Congress. The Congress is a symbol of representative Democracy under the Constitution. Who would be in charge? Some dictator? The Congress has to be there. Congress is working hard. It's a myth that these guys are all jerk-offs.
Gary Kaltbaum: It's not just about a Congress…
Neil Cavuto: Let Gary make his point. I will get to you Adam. Go ahead.
Gary Kaltbaum: My point is we want an effective Congress. Not just a Congress. We don't want a Congress just sitting there fighting each other on a daily basis. I gotta tell you, as I watch it, I get sick to my stomach. All this jabbing each other, and nothing ever getting done. The Housing Bill – did nothing for housing.
Dagen McDowell: It just started.
Ben Stein: It's not true that nothing got done. As Dagen said, bills got passed and an awful lot of work gets done. Constituents want them to fight with each other. They don't pick them to go along with the Democrats.
Neil Cavuto: Adam, what do you make of this?
Adam Lashinsky: What you're saying Gary is glib and completely irresponsible. Decisions don't get made quickly anywhere. Do you think in the business world that a capital project gets funded in two weeks because the company decides this is the right project for the company? Of course not. It takes time. It takes argument. It takes discussion. Could they be better? Yes. Do we want them to go away? No.
Neil Cavuto: All right. That's the debate here.
More for Your Money: Stocks That Win No Matter What!
Neil Cavuto: We're back! So which stocks will jump no matter what Congress does when they get back to work? It's time to get "More for Your Money."
Adam Lashinsky: Baker Hughes (BHI)
Ben Stein: iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (EEM)
*Ben owns shares of this ETF.
Gary Kaltbaum: Philip Morris (PM)
Charles Payne: Stryker (SYK)
Forbes on FOX
Will "Triple Threat" of Storms Knock Out Our Economy?
Steve Forbes, Editor-in-chief: We have more to fear from the weak dollar than from these strong hurricanes. After all, after Katrina we still had good growth in 2005 and 2006. If you're looking at hurricanes look at hurricane Barack and hurricane Joe with their proposals of over regulation, over taxation and over spending. That's the real threat to our economy.
Mike Maiello, Associate Editor: These hurricanes could knock out our economy which is so fragile right now that it seems like you could knock it over with a feather. If we have another hurricane and Bush botches it again, even psychologically, we're gonna have a hard time recovering from that.
Elizabeth MacDonald, Fox Bussines Network: I think Bush did recover some ground with Gustav. Hurricanes have been around since Adam, and no one thinks that a hurricane can knock a major economy like the U.S. What could do it are those maniacs in Congress with their over taxation and their super-size government spending.
Quentin Hardy, Silicon Valley Bureau Chief: The storms can have a psychological effect because they judge our response to disasters. The problem with New Orleans wasn't the hurricane itself, it was the poor people left behind by the government. They got lucky with Gustav. We haven't really been tested yet.
John Rutledge, Forbes Contributor: Hurricanes don't kill economies, people kill economies. People in Washington, although last week it may have been people in Denver. There are two real risks right now. One is the Fed policy. Since March it has gone from dumb to dumber. Second are taxes. The increase in income taxes, dividend taxes and capital gains taxes, if they were to be enacted, would take the stock market down $2 trillion in market cap.
Victoria Barret, Associate Editor: We have to think locally and nationally. Locally these hurricanes do cause a lot of destruction. People loose a lot of their assets. But Katrina is evidence of how resilient our economy really is. It was the 6th strongest storm in history. The economic growth fell immediately that quarter but we still had 1.7 percent growth and the first quarter of the next year we had very impressive growth of over 4 percent. We rebounded very quickly at the national level but the local effect really lingered
Best Ticket for Jobs in America: McCain-Palin or Obama-Biden?
Jack Gage, Associate Editor: Gov Palin is right. Let's frame this issue. As she said in her speech, Obama wants to do two things. He want's to increase minimum wage, which prices out skilled workers at the bottom of the totem pole. Second thing is he wants to give a $500 tax credit to small business owners to compensate them for the double taxation as both employer and employee. Now let's look at what Palin has proposed. They want to cut taxes for all businesses from 35 percent, the second highest in the world, to 25 percent. And cut the death tax 2/3 from 45 percent to 15 percent allowing small businesses to stay in the family for generations.
Quentin Hardy: In June McCain hired the same people that slimed him in the 2000 election and this week you saw their handy work come right out. On Monday they released the thing about Palin's daughter and then blamed the press all week for reporting it. Sarah Palin did have a small business for a while, appeared to have a few problems and then got a job in government where she used the same lobbyists that Jack Abramoff used to steer $27 million of pork into her town. She mentioned that Obama is going to raise taxes on people making more than $250,000 a year. If her family is going to make that much with a gas station, Godspeed.
Victoria Barret: Beyond tax policy there is the issue of what kind of costs small businesses face. I think Palin and McCain understand that's energy, healthcare and taxes. With what they're proposing, certainly on the energy side when they're talking about drilling offshore, you're going to see lower energy costs in the short-term and that's going to be a boost for small businesses. And their healthcare plan will also lower costs and put more burden on the individual and give us more choice.
Neil Weinberg, Senior Editor: I think Obama has a better plan. I think even Sarah Palin will admit that over the last 8 years the rich have gotten richer relative to the poor. And what Obama is talking about is a progressive tax, helping with healthcare and the rich paying more on Social Security.
Steve Forbes: Small businesses are hurt by those things Neil mentioned. The other thing that will hurt small businesses is Obama and Biden will unleash the trial lawyers which is a huge cost to small businesses. And unionization. Getting rid of secret ballots, this is Soviet style and that's going to hurt businesses as well.
Mike Ozanian, National Editor: 75 percent of the taxpayers who benefited from Bush's tax cuts were small businesses. Small businesses contributed over half of the economic output of this country over the past 10 years and over 60 percent of the job growth.
Emergency Oil Stockpile: Tap It to Lower Gas or for Emergencies Only?
Evelyn Rusli, Forbes.com Anchor: Look, it's called reserves for a reason. It should only be used for emergency situations like terrorist activities or natural disasters. Not because oil is uncomfortably high. Oil will go higher in the long-term. Right now our reserves hold 707 million barrels. That's good for like 33 days. It's an unsustainable policy to just release the reserves every time oil ticks up.
Mike Maiello: The financial crisis that Steve just said should be over by now is an emergency. Bush didn't just respond to an oil company, he responded to Citgo, Venezuela's national oil company.
Steve Forbes: It shouldn't be used unless it is a true emergency. If you want lower oil prices allow offshore drilling, go ahead with nuclear. And strengthen the dollar. That will get prices down.
Jack Gage: Nancy Pelosi doesn't want to change oil prices. She wants to change an election. If delivering oil fro the Strategic Oil Reserve will help her do that than she's more than happy to oblige. President Bush has reacted in the fashion that the SPR was built for, for national disasters.
Mike Ozanian: Pelosi needs to remember that we paid on average $24 per barrel for the oil in the reserve. She wants to go buy $110 oil to replace it. It's typical Democratic math here. It would put us in a big hole.
Informer: September Stock Surprises
Evelyn Rusli: Starbucks (SBUX)
John Rutledge: iShares Singapore (EWS)
Neil Weinberg: General Motors (GM)
Should Folks Living in Hurricane Zones Pay Special "Weather Tax"?
John Bradshaw Layfield, Layfield Energy: Good Lord, yes. Look, New Orleans is a great city…I spent a month there one weekend. If you live there, it is your right as a human being and a U.S. Citizen to live there, but you have to understand you are living below sea level. These levees, they said they were going to break three years ago. They broke. They are up to a category three hurricane right now. They were breaching on this last category two hurricane. These levees are obviously probably going to break again. If they break, god bless you, but I shouldn't have to pay for it.
Tracy Byrnes, FOX Business Network: It seems to be short-term memories. These properties should be reserved for the rich and famous. They can afford the risk. The fact we build low-income housing near water is looney. If you want to live there, it is beautiful. U.S. Beaches are the number one tourist spot in the country. We can't not build there. We have to. It has to be paid by the people that live there. You have to take on the responsibility. That means insurance. If that means a tax, so be it. Low-income people should not be allowed anywhere near the water.
Wayne Rogers, Rogers & Co: Well, with all due respect to both of you, you couldn't be more wrong. People are already taxed in this for restoration purposes. What are you going to do, say that people who live along the Mississippi and its boundaries when it floods, they should not be there so you are going to tax them for living along there? That's half of America. They will tax you in Texas because you have got a tornado? Is that what you want me to do? How about let's just tax all of the people in New York City because of 9/11. That was a disaster that didn't affect anybody else in the country. You people are really off your rocker here.
Jonathan Hoenig, CapitalistPig Asset Management: You already have all these government policies which basically encourage people to live in risky areas. I mean, let's talk about flooding. Going back to the 1960's with national flood insurance which subsidized people for living in risky areas. Now we got FEMA which doles out billions of dollars, $4 billion plus a year, basically subsidizing people to live in risky areas. I kind of agree with Tracy that people should be able to live wherever they want but have to pay for the consequences. Unfortunately, I think the regulation on the insurance companies causes a lot of them like State Farm to throw their hands up and say why bother taking the risk?
Jonas Max Ferris, MaxFunds.com: The government in general should only be paying for unlikely events, not regular storms. Wayne is making a point here. The reality is we need some amount of low income housing in coastal areas. They are not all billionaires on the beach. Someone has to maintain the infrastructure, the levees.
Palin Says Drill More in Alaska: Right or Wrong Idea for America?
Tracy Byrnes: Absolutely. When she came on the FOX Business Network months ago and said we should be drilling in ANWR and she lives there. We're not going to hurt the caribou, the land is barren, there is no need saving it, they will not build a museum on it anytime soon. This is a step in the right direction. It gets us off our dependency. Why not? We should be using every ounce of oil we had in the US. If I had it in my backyard, I would take a shovel and start digging it for you.
Jonathan Hoenig: She has had to deal, too, with the green movement that keeps so much of that supply off the market. I have to say I think Sarah Palin is wrong on most social issues. She is against gay marriage, she is pro-life, but she is absolutely spot on in the importance of utilizing the natural resource that we have here at home because we have it in abundance.
Wayne Rogers: I'm in sync to the extent that she is talking about alternative energies, yes, but this is just one thing. You were talking about drilling in ANWR. I'm saying there are a lot of other things. T. Boone Pickens is making us aware of this every day with these commercials that he is talking about it. There is natural gas that we can use that we have not discovered yet either. If you're going to drill, you also drill for oil. There is a lot of natural gas out there.
Jonas Max Ferris: She is so close to Russia, maybe she plans to drill down across and get into some of the Russian oil. I would say she has made the most sound parts of the oil exploration today. She increases the royalty taxes essentially which if you're going to get American oil, it's America's oil, American oil should benefit from it. We should have a very high royalty tax which she seems to be for. I would be for joining ANWR if we had a $100 minimum tax for the government for every barrel you drill out. We would consume the cheap foreign oil first, save our oil when it is like $300 a barrel. That's sort of how I would roll. Sort of similar to what Palin would do.
John Bradshaw Layfield: This ANWR, you are talking about the equivalent of one square foot on a football field. 2,000 Acres out of 19 million. The stupidest argument I have ever heard out of these Democrats is will it take seven years? Where are we going to be seven years from now? Seven years from now, we can tell Venezuela to go stuff it if they don't take the oil out.
Mainstream Media Sexist Attack on Palin: Attack on All Working Moms?
Marc Rudov, TheNoNonsenseMan: Women are the biggest practitioners of sexism and also the biggest attackers on Sarah Palin. Look who is attacking her. Ellen Goodman, Sally Quinn, Maureen Dowd. Let's not forget the national organization of whiners. If you go to the N.O.W. Website, you can see they excoriate Sarah Palin. What mistakes did Sarah Palin make? She loves her country. She loves drilling for oil. She loves low taxes. She loves her husband, a no-no with feminists. And she hits abortion. So the fact of the matter is feminism is sexism.
Tracy Byrnes: How many people have slammed her are democrats, though? It's their job to slam her because she is a republican, mark. This is what they do. You know, no one has said anything ever about is Obama going to be a good dad because he's a working dad? And Sarah Palin has a perfect situation. She has a parent at home. Let's just leave her alone. This whole notion of a working mother should not even be on the table. We should be talking about whether or not this woman could run our country if john McCain, god forbid, happens to die. She can. Even with five children. She has done a damn good job running that state. She will be just fine in the White House. This whole notion to me is moot. I don't think it's a feminist issue at all. I think it's a more Democrat issue. The feminists are just fine with her.
Best Bets: Kick-Off Stocks!
Football is back! Give us some names that will kickoff a great season for your wallet.
John Bradshaw Layfield: BNSF Railways (BNI) – Friday's close: $99.80
Jonathan Hoenig: Bear Stearns Current Yield Fund (YYY) – Friday's close: $100.24
Wayne Rogers: M &F Worldwide (MFW) – Friday's close: $46.01
Jonas Max Ferris: PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish (UUP) – Friday's close: $24.43