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Governor Perry's plan to cut costs: part-time Congress
STEVE FORBES: It is a good idea. The rule of thumb David, is the less the Congress meets the safer the Republic is and the more congress meets the more government gets gummed up. So once we get a flat tax and a stable dollar and undo Obamacare, the less these guys go to Washington the better. This is what our founders wanted. They didn't know about air-conditioning which allows these guys to stay through the summer. Yuck! Send them home!
MARK TATGE: Well you know David, Perry is a part time governor who really is a ceremonial governor who has very little power. It is spoken like a person who works part time with not much understanding of the complexity of Federal Government and how Federal Government is run. I mean we have a $3.6 trillion budget, 2 million employees in the Federal Government. How are we going to, if we can't solve the problems now, solve them on a part time basis. We have a little bit bigger economy now than we did when we started the country.
RICH KARLGAARD: I think Governor Perry's hear is in the right place but I think he has it backwards. If you are a broken business or a broken sports team or a broken government, first you fix what is broken. You have to simplify the tax code; you have to stabilize the dollar. You have to defund some bureaucracies. If you do that then you would see how much work is left over for the Congress people to do and the answer would probably be a lot less.
VICTORIA BARRET: Well I think it's a gimmick. Look, to me it is not how much these guys are in Washington though I do think turning off the air-conditioning in Washington D.C. over the summer months is a brilliant idea. Think of the cost savings. It is a gimmick idea. I do not think it solves our problems. We have big problems; we do need to fix them. I wish these people would spend more time actually reading the bills they pass. I mean is there way we could instate some kind of Middle School study period for them where they go into a library and are forced to read the bills they are about to pass? Could we do that David, do you think?
ELIZABETH MACDONALD: I think it is a good idea. You know the President right now is basically campaigning on a do nothing congress. Well yea do nothing please! Stop doing anything. And you know Texas meets what, every other year for 140 days that is about as much time Congress, full time in Congress, spends on the floor every five years. So you know the issue is congress meets too often and government has grown out of control and when you go down any of these D.C. hallways, you can shoot an arrow down a federal building hallway and not hit anybody still. So I say every other year just like Texas does. And Texas' economy is doing just nicely.
RICK UNGAR: Well yes, but I mean this is another one of Gov. Perry's ideas that would be best forgotten. If you are going to be a do nothing Congress, then yeah, it doesn't take much time to do nothing. But if you are going to function in the way we need Congress to function then there is ample work to be done 365 days a year.
Lesson from Penn State scandal: Cut off all tax dollars to public colleges?
ELIZABETH MACDONALD: Yes because colleges and universities are hurting the American family with draconian tuition increases that they basically spend on college bling or do-nothing college bureaucrats. They act like Donald Trump mini me's, blowing out real estate empires, NFL style stadiums and not lowering tuition costs. Every nickel that they raise tuition costs they should get a reduction in the amount they protect from income taxes because they are non-profits.
MARK TATGE: Well, let's break this down a minute. The federal government spends about $30 billion with a "B" on federal aid to education institutions. Most of the money comes from state. And for every dollar in tax money that is spent there is about and $8-14 multiplier in economic activity that is generated by public universities. So it does not make sense to basically remove all the tax money. If we are going to look at this in context we ought to be look at the defense budget where we spend $700 billion rather than $30 billion. That is a bigger bucket. Let's take out of that bucket.
KYM MCNICHOLAS: It is absolutely ridiculous. I totally disagree with Mark. Why are we investing tax payer dollars into these educational systems that are not preparing our kids for today's society? I was talking to Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce, he says there are plenty of jobs available he just cannot find the skilled workers to actually meet them. So Salesforce, Microsoft, Apple all kinds of jobs available. Why invest in these universities who are not preparing our kids for the future? We need to turn the educational system upside, invest in more innovative forms of education.
DENNIS KNEALE: You know it sounds so great right? Penn State scandal; let's just ban tax money to everything. Anytime you put a ban on everything all you are showing is you have no idea how to really fix the problem. That is not the answer to this problem. To suddenly cut off all funding for all universities is a ridiculous proposition.
MIKE OZANIAN: I think the general idea is to help the students, particularly those who come from low income families so they can get a secondary education. The problem is there is not enough accountability and as EMac pointed out, more and more of the money is going towards things like lucrative pensions and making sure teachers can take time off to get their doctoral thesis in something and not educating the children. That is the problem. That is what has to be addressed.
STEVE FORBES: That is a critical reason why tuitions are going up at four times the pace of inflation, twice the pace of health care costs. What they should do on the state level is give parents a voucher, say $20,00 for the kid in-state you shop which institution is best and let them compete and say we are giving more value for your money. I guarantee you a lot of that bling goes away.
Occupiers kicked out from Zuccotti Park
VICTORIA BARRET: Let's look at San Francisco. Our newly elected mayor toured Occupy San Francisco this week. He called it a public health nuisance. The San Francisco SPCA, that is our animal adoption center, is concerned it is not a good environment for dogs. That is how bad it is. I think it is a victory for capitalism in the sense that it makes communal anarchy look kind of bad.
MIKE OZANIAN: David I think it shows capitalism is losing. Look, the reason why these people are protesting is because we have a bad economy and we have a bad economy because we have abandoned free market capitalism in this country. From 1875 to 1913 where we had very few rules, there were only four banking and financial crises worldwide. From 1975-2009 when we threw in all these rules, regulations, government intervention we had 140 crises worldwide.
STEVE FORBES: Well I think Vicki made the point early about the rule of law winning in this thing. Free markets still have a ways to go and that is why the protestors should have been occupying Congress and the Federal Reserve instead of all these good cities around the country. That is why Mike is right. We have to get rid of the Federal Reserve, get a stable dollar, get a flat tax, get rid of Obamacare and by golly this country will come back and these guys will have to be occupied with getting a job.
DENNIS KNEALE: Alright but bout this. You can say that this is a victory of capitalism and I would be happy to take it as a victory of capitalism, but what really is going on here is we got really tired of these guys. At first we thought ‘Oh, that's cool,' and ‘They have a good point,' let them come out and do that. After two months and after staff infections and some isolated cases of violence we are sick of them. We are sick of their whining. They are driven by nothing but envy. You know we used to want to ensure an equal opportunity in this country. They want an equal outcome and that is called communism.
RICH KARLGAARD: I think it shows that the 99 percent are the people that vote for civilization over anarchy. If the Occupy Wall Street people had made one point and stuck to that I think they would have had the majority on their side. That is the unholy alliance between government and Wall Street. Consider this the seller John Paulson made more money in two years than Steve Jobs made at Apple in 35 years.
INFORMER: Many large retailers planning to open on Thanksgiving evening
ELIZABETH MACDONALD: APPLE (APPL)
KYM MCNICHOLAS: PETSMART (PETM)