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.
MARKETS AND ECONOMY SEE GAINS AMID YEAR OF DC GRIDLOCK
Tracy Burns: They general do better when it is complete and utter standstill down there. Why? All the uncertainty is out. We don't want to know there's a new tax or regulation. We don't want to know. We want to know they are fighting about what to have for lunch. We can go about our business and grow the economy. We have seen it time and time again. When there's gridlock in D.C., The markets do better.
Jonas Max Ferris: When the economy is humming along, you don't need to mettle with it. However, in a crisis, you want a congressman or president that can do stuff. We didn't do anything in the last recession at all. A lot of stuff got criticized over time. If it never happened, we would have a serious problem on our hands like a lot of countries. You want there to be agreement. We are not going to get rid of the deficit without strong action. We never return to the higher tax rates and spending we had in the '90s. We are in times now. We are running a deficit.
Gary B. Smith: You know, it's curious. I have been reading articles, this has been the laziest Congress ever, and they didn't get anything done. Survey after survey shows that people hate Congress. Why would you want something, an institution that you hate, for them to do more? You know, Tracy hit the nail on the head. Unless they are naming buildings, Congress is redistributing our money or making new laws, which restrict activity. In the latter, you are restricting free enterprise. I would like them to take 2015 and 2016 off. Think about how they can do better, then come back.
Chuck Rocha: There's peace and calm all over Washington, D.C., because they are not here. It will continue to be gridlock. The Republicans won back the senate, but not the 60 votes they need to stop a filibuster. The approval rating is so low because workers blue collar workers have not felt the recovery. Real wages haven't gone up in a long time. There's a lot of frustration for a lot of reasons.
John Layfield: The less they do the better. It's a proven fact every two years Congress' collective I.Q. Goes down significantly. These guys are in exception. Compare them to the past do nothing Congress. Harry Truman's do-nothing Congress passed four times as many bills as this Congress. When leadership leads, they can stay on autopilot for some time. That's what this country has done for ten years. We haven't had grownups in Washington, D.C., for quite some time. At some point, deal with immigration and tax reform and an energy plan. They can't do that. They are playing their political base to get re-elected.
NEW GAS TAX HIKES TAKING EFFECT IN FIVE STATES AMID LOW PUMP PRICES
Gary B Smith: If they can get their hands in our pockets to get more and more money and play this, you know, apple pie song of we need to do the bridges and roads, they will do it. Taxes in Virginia, which I'm next to are going to go up 45 percent In Maryland, I'm paying 27 cents a gallon. I know the argument; they need to fix the roads and bridges. You know why they are in bad shape? Because they are run by the government. Can you imagine walking into a McDonalds where the floor is crumble and the handrails are falling off? They are go out of business. No, I have to drive on i-95. Hand it over to private enterprise, we would have better off.
Chuck Rocha: Places like Virginia and Pennsylvania have a Republican governor last year who passed there. You went through a budget process. Everyone is going to clap their hands, we gave tax cuts back. At the end of the day, you don't have money to fix the roads and bridges. You add a tax to people paying taxes, driving their car to work. Let's not shift it to people with money to people driving to work. That's the problem I have with this.
Jonas Max Ferris: Shifting the burden to the people driving to work. They have raised the income tax to fix the budget. A lot of states didn't drop as much as we would like. You can't keep squeezing the same lemon. You have to spread it, close the gap. We are going to need to close the gap. Why not make it a gas tax? We are used to paying $3.84. It's $1.99. So it goes back to $2.20. Isn't that better than income tax?
Tracy Burns: I am with Jonas. With regard to what was said by Gary B., This is not the administration spending x amount of dollars. It's the person with their hands on the purse string. That's Congress. They are appropriating the money. Better as Jonas mentioned, better to have them working and paying taxes, which will offset the cost, as he mentioned earlier.
John Layfield: Now is the time to raise it if you are going to. The problem is, just like Tracy said, 40 percent of the gas tax is being used for earmarked projects. You can't trust politicians with money. Adding more to the deal to stick their hand into is not a good idea.
US NAVY AIDING IN RECOVERY OF AIRASIA FLIGHT 8501
Jonas Max Ferris: Generally, I'm not for regulations if they raise costs. On the other hand, I can track when my groceries are going to get delivered and when a car service is in the block. It's time to track a plane where it is. It's not that excessive or expensive. I the track a dog for $30 a month. This is something that needs the government to step in and require.
John Layfield: Through fuel efficiency, because they are using GPS to track the plane, there are a lot of efficiencies. You can make up for it in fuel alone. I don't see why it's not already done. It should be standard on airplanes.
Gary B. Smith: This is another case of the government dictating how safe you should be and what you should do. Here is how the free market should work. If an airline company's plane went down and they said we decided not to go with the tracker. What do you think would happen to that business? Zero. No CEO, if he thought the passengers were willing to pay would go without the tracker. If they thought they would get away with it. Not every car is a Volvo. They advertise how safe they were. There were cars that were less safe. Why the government didn't say every car must be a Volvo and have the safety stuff. The airlines would be willing to pay if the market is out there for it.
John Layfield: Just this week on twitter somebody suggested that somebody should kill me. I don't think there was intent behind it. Twitter said it did not violate the abuse policy. If somebody saying I should be murdered doesn't violate the policy, I don't think cyber bullying violates it as well. This is serious, cyber bullying, not the death threat I got. This is different. I don't think the school should monitor it; it should be done somewhere else.
Jonas Max Ferris: I like what David said. If it happens in the private sector, it's probably the right way to do it. The schools spend so much money on education; they should send nutritionists to our homes. If you post nasty things about another employee after hours, your boss is not going to be its after 5:00, I don't care what you do. I think the logic could apply like public schools. They should be run like companies anyway.
Chuck Rocha: We are using a 1972 VW Bug to track it. Something very old and outdated. That is the free market. Nobody is going to make them do it. If they don't have to do it, they are not going to. There's technology out there. This should be more cost efficient than $120,000 a plane. If I can track my dog, I should be able to find a plane cost effectively.
STOCK PICKS Scoreboard
Gary B. Smith's Worst: Express
John Layfield's Worst: Safe Bulkers
Best: Molson Coors
Jonas Max Ferris's Worst: Soda Stream
Best: Southwest Airlines