tv Cavuto on Business FOX News November 21, 2009 10:30am-11:00am EST
>> santa seems to be losing oxygen here. brian: can you put that on every time? can we hear you give plea a break. >> this is perfect. brian: the cost of freedom continues. "cavuto on business." [captioning made possible by fox news channel] neil: cancel those plans tonight. you've got a date with harry. and guess who's paying. hello, i'm charles paine in for neil cavuto. harry reid's bill. his history proving him wrong? let's get reaction from ben stein, dagen mcdowell, adam and my friend, joe bataglia. in 1965 congress said medicare's insurance program would cost $9 billion by 1990.
actual cost, $67 billion. in 1967, the entire cost of medicare was predicted to hit $12 billion in 1990. actual cost, $98 billion. both estimates were only wrong by about, oh, 700%. ben, judge from history, is this $849 billion pricetag realistic? >> it's the slightest realistic. i don't think there have been any government programs in the civilian sector which have cost less or even the same as the projections. the idea that he's going to be able to predict this is like the idea that the climate specialists can predict the weather 100 years from now or 30 years from now. they can't predict it all we know is they're going to be wrong. if history is any guide, they will be wildly greater than projected. charlie: joe, what do you make of this pricetag and should we believe it? >> we shouldn't believe it at all. we know from history that they don't hit the mark. puts the screen up there. we know when they go to conference, this is going to appear, all kinds of additional
costs that weren't in the original projections. this is the greatest one. let's up front the revenues, the taxes and revenue streams and download the fees and expenses further out so it doesn't make the analysis. the next 10 years look great but for the rest of the decades to come, disaster strikes. charlie: but the second tenure would knockoff $650 billion off the deficit. do you believe these numbers and should we even feel disrespected as the public? >> no. the short answer is, no, i don't believe them. but the long is answer is the important one here. i love you in particular. but this is a nonsensical question you're asking. we can't get it right. let's take ben's metaphor. just because we can't predict the weather -- and by the way, we can't. it doesn't mean before the airplane takes off we don't check the weather forecast anyway. we take our best guess, we do our best job. the government, by the way, is not the only entity that's bad at forecasting. >> you're living in --
>> errors in forecasting. >> historically in every instance the government gets it wrong and programs cost more than initial estimates, then you're living in fantasy land if you think in the one instance with this health care overhaul they're gooding to somehow get it right. we don't even need to wait, ben to figure out that they're playing fast and loose with the numbers. by the way, when you count in medicaid and the states and the funding, it's going to be double this $850 billion figure. charlie: hold on. >> we don't take off in an airplane if there's a hurricane. we do check the weather. but we don't take off if there's a hurricane. >> i do want to say one thing. i don't know that anyone's asking the government to be perfect. but i think the american public is saying be honest with us. be honest about all of this. and that's where there's a big problem. no one believes this number is even near the actual amount it's going to cost. >> i totally disagree.
the congressional budget office, for one, these people aren't lying professionally. they're making their best estimates. they have a methodology. we can all agree it doesn't work as well as we would like it to work. let me just ask you. what is the alternative you're suggesting? should we give up? should we not try to do this? i know that's what some people want. that's not what the majority of the american people want. >> first of all, they can only react to the program put in front of them. they can't judge it. charlie: the c.b.o. >> that's correct. charlie: they can't be manipulated. >> that's right. they take what they get and feed it back. the house and the senate both tried to get the costs for the doctors put in someplace else so $200 billion mysteriously disappears from this program. but to answer your question, why not go with the root cause of what we think is the problem, which is we have people who aren't covered. do they belong in medicare or medicaid? that would take care of a big percentage of these people. number two, if it's about portability, about being denied coverage, let's make rules and regulations that enable that to
happen and let the private sector deal with this on the margin. no, this is a frontal assault on civil liberty to try to get the government to run health care. it's a disaster in the way it is. >> if you're worried about health care costs going up, you main it easier for people to buy insurance. you do something in terms of litigation reform. and you also put power in the hands of the people and give them big tax breaks to buy insurance on their own. but to joe's point about what the house did this week, and it's something that was largely missed, $210 billion. that's almost a quarter of a trillion dollars in medicare cuts that will not happen for doctors. it's not in the house health bill because it would raise the pricetag and create a deficit over 10 years, according to the c.b.o., rather than somehow help the budget deficit. but, oh, ok! we don't know how we're going to pay for this money but it doesn't matter. we just pushed it off to the side. >> it blew up in their faces a few weeks ago. charlie: and
people are saying that's why the a.m.a. backed the bill. ok. the pricetag promised to the american public seems like a farce. dagen's made a great point. the numbers added up. plus we're going to pay taxes on this before it even kicks in. so realistically it's a five-year plan. don't you think honesty should play a role no malter what? malt -- no matter what? >> it's not at all unusual for a corporation to raise money for a project that they intend to invest heavily down the road. does the pricetag often go up down the road on that capital project be it a steel mill or an automobile factory? absolutely. charlie: but, ben, how often in the private sector does the pricetag go up 700%? >> well, the difference in the analogy which adam seems to be missing is the private sector borrows the money and invested in them voluntarily. the government has taken from us at the point of the gun. the government is taking a huge amount of money from us at the
point of a gun for a program that we know up front is going to cost enormously more than they say if anyone is going to be punished by it it's going to be the old people and secondly the doctors. why do they deserve to be punished? let's just buy health insurance for inding yent people. adam keeps asking what's the alternative. buy health insurance for digent -- for in di gent people. >> they are not forcing anything upon us, benl. >> they're not? try not paying your taxes, adam, and see what happens to you. >> i absolutely have to do that. charlie: i think they are going to be voted out of office. in 20 minutes, why steve forbes said a vote for tonight's bill is also for rationing care in america. but next, the same week we find out tens of thousands of those created jobs were completely made up democrats in congress call for stimulus two. what? ú#÷@ç
>> this is a "fox news alert." a rare saturday session is underway right now on capitol hill. pictures of the senate floor where a crucial vote on health care reform is just hours away. democrats need 60 votes to start debating their bill. and right now they have zero republicans. that means they need all 58 democrats plus the two independents. the two holdouts right now, louisiana senator mary landrieu and arkansas senator blanche
lincoln. we will have live coverage of the vote and everything leading up to it here on the fox news channel. that vote scheduled for 8:00 p.m. eastern tonight. you're also going to see now some live pictures from the international space station. this is mission control. they switch back and forth. the two astronauts are floating hundreds of miles above earth right now. it's the second spis walk of the mission -- spacewalk of the mission, trying to do some maintenance work and upgrade the shuttle. we'll show you those pictures all day here on fox, the most powerful name in news. i'm jamie colby. >> part of this plan is to create jobs. >> keep the promise that we are making of bold, swift action to create jobs. >> will save or create up to four million jobs. >> the time is to act. the time is to move. the time is to create jobs. charlie: remember that passage of $787 billion stimulus plan to create jobs or the world will come to an end? the economy has said see you
later to over three million jobs. what's congress' new plan? pass a new stimulus package called the jobs bill. they want to get it done by the end of the year. joe, 80,000 bogus jobs that we found out this week in the government's math. is there no end to this? >> there isn't. there was a plan before this one when bush was in the white house. the $600 checks. that was when unemployment was 4.8%. they had the same litany of cut this thing off at the knees right now. so here we are at this point. 1/3 of the money went to states to pay salaries. another third went out as income to people who need to save and pay down debt. and the last third, as i checked electronic all of those shovel-ready projects, they're all government projects. there's nothing in if it for the private sector. now they're shocked. charlie: someone would say to you, listen, you know what, why wouldn't we try it again but sharpen it up and make sure we do do shovel-ready jobs? >> we've squandered the national treasury. we are totally in. we are now at the point of deteriorating the value of the dollar, having international
nations tell us we're not stewards of management, not even good cap it willists and more -- capitalists anymore. >> the world is telling us now you don't get to keep spending money indefinitely and borrowing it from us. we said on this show, you don't get a do-over. you don't get to do it again if you mess the first one up. charlie: you were for it initially. >> it was at the time, earlier it seemed like crisis. but we did say -- and ben said it on this show as did i that it was really, really going in the wrong direction. and i will say, charles that if you look at what is going on now, you know, unemployment benefits, 99 weeks for some people. that's not pushing people to get back to work. >> 99 weeks and counting. i think they'll continue to extend that. ben, initially you had some compassion or felt that the government should do something to try to spur this on. what's wrong with the second attempt at this? >> i'd like to correct my beautiful friend dagen and say
that we don't have to sell our bonds to the chinese or to the japanese. we can just have the federal reserve buy them. that's not a problem. >> that's scary, though. isn't it ben? charlie: monetizing the debt will be a whole different show. maybe next week. >> the question is, is it working at all? it has to be working. the money's going somewhere. it's not just disappearing. it's doing something for someone. it's just that the economy has had such a huge shock by the mismanagement of people like tim geithner who had the unbelievable nerve to blame the collapse of lehman on the republicans when he had a huge hand in making it happen. to see the economy has had such a big shot to the amount of stimulus needed to fix this. it's enormous. and i don't think we can afford that. we have to let the private sector work it out. it's painful but it's true. >> kicked it down the road as well. charlie: adam, do you think we should give it another shot, a psychological boost is at a time when that was badly, badly needed in the economy.
this thing was designed to kick in more next year. we really haven't given it a chance yet. and by the way, you know, it's just so funny. the administration is trying to be transparent. they had a good way of trying to track this stuff. they haven't done a great job of it. but we're beating them up for it anyway for trying to be transparent. >> they're still talking about the ideas though, that we talked about earlier in the year of ways to cut taxes for people. give businesses a tax credit to hire. cut the payroll tax for people, for businesses. we were talking about that earlier and it didn't wind up -- >> also -- charlie: to adam -- >> lying is not the same as transparency. charliely: what do you make, joe, that this may gain some public support? unemployment 10.2%. maybe even people who were afraid of deficits might say, you know what? let's give it a shoot. but make sure this time it really is a jobs bill and perhaps a tax break? >> given the agenda of this administration and the admission so far in the economy, no one
has confidence in what's coming. as a result, small businesses are being put upon here so they don't hire, that they don't invest. there's no incentives for them. this is a democratic party who idea logically is dead set against wealth creation in america. they are into transfer of wement. this is inconsistent with that agenda. therefore, they will do nothing here to help this economy along. all they'll do is kick the can down the road by giving states money for one year to keep people working, give people $13 a week for debt repayment. and then apply government buildings and buy more cars. >> small bidses are drowning in paperwork -- businesses are drowning in paperwork and the government is throwing out more hurdles. let's just tax them with a health care bill. yeah! they're really going to want to create jobs then. charlie: the new plan now is to juice up electric cars. it's a green agenda. but guess what. they've got to juice up your tax bill to do it by $124 billion. another green outrage when we come back. w
>> keep rolling there! no, no, no. this is electrical. i need a nuclear reaction to generate the 121giga-watts of electricity i need. charlie: ok. the future is now for electric cars, if you're in the electric car making business. but, of course, you're going to need help from uncle sam. so a new call for $124 billion in government incentives,
including $13.5 billion in tax credits for public charging stations. ben? >> this administration and the congress remind me of a certain terrible, horrible historical person in his bunker just moving around phantom divisions at the end of world war ii. i mean, obviously i'm not saying that about mr. obama in person but about the congress in general. they're just dealing with phantom amounts of money that they don't have. where does the power come from to power up the electricity? they've got to burn coal at a power plant to power up the electricity to feed the electricity to the car. the electricity doesn't just appear out of thin air. it's incredibly inefficient to make it out of solar. it's incredibly inefficient to make it out of wind. this administration just lives in fantasy land. charlie: so, why, adam, do you think it is that this is driving their agenda? with everything that we're concerned about -- trips overseas, cap and trade, financial regulatory reform -- none of this stuff covers the main topic at hand, job
creation. why now? $124 billion for electric cars. >> well, look. there will always be unintended consequences from these kinds of policies. let me just point out two things. one, the private sector already is leading the way in this direction. charlie: when you spend $124 billion, you kind of know what you're doing. the point is, why would we even do it? >> the government incentivizes things all the time, charles. they've been incentivizing the oil industry for years and years and years. there was a tax policy that encouraged homeownership because we thought it was a good idea, and it was. that got out of hand. good ideas will go in the wrong direction. that doesn't mean you don't try to get them going in the right direction. as far as encouraging jobs, that's where industry already is going toward, these green jobs. >> yeah, because that's where the government subsidies are. >> no. that was starting well before that, dagen. >> we do not get a try
with $125 billion, adam. by the way, ben stead electricity doesn't appear out of thin air. money doesn't either. we ca pript it, but we have to -- we can print it but we have to borrow it from somebody. look at spain and the solar subsidies. they had financial trouble, and, poof, they disappeared. and you had a bubble that collapsed almost instantaneously. charlie: what -- who has the influence at the white house? we had the union leader, right, adam stern -- andy stern. he's at the white house more than the president is. the green agenda. why do these guys have so much influence and are getting so much money? >> they've cooped the agenda for the democratic party. so the democratic party owes. now it's payback time regardless of the economics. that's why health care is so wrong-headed. the oil and gas industry, has not been incentivized for 30 years. we kicked them off the united states. they're investing outside the
united states. this is the time critical where we invest in that infrastructure so we can leapfrog to the green of the future. but this is not the aen aagenda being pushed forward. >> if people wanted to buy electric cars, they would be buying more hybrids. there's a natural gas car out there. >> let's burn more coal. that's a great idea. charlie: ben, you're in california. is there even a demand for this? $124 in electric cars? >> people in california are already buying hybrids like mad. practically every new car you see in california is a hybrid. and people don't have incentives, they're just doing it because they think it's the right thing to do or it saves money. though it turns out the batteries are incredibly toxic and are going to poison the earth for many thousands of years. if the cars are really efficient, if they really are a good bargain, people will buy them. by the way to your point and to joe's point, the oil depletion allowance was taken away about
32 years ago. but it's nice that you remember. >> there's plenty of tax incentives that the industry enjoyed over the years besides that. if we want to make a contribution to this debate what ben said at the beginning about we're going to need to burn more coal is right. so if we want to be serious about this, we have to start talking about nuclear energy again in a big way. think that's a possibility. charlie: that's not up for debate in this administration, guys. next, forget about the government's agenda to go green. our crew has an agenda to make you some green.
charlie: the best way to go green is with our gang's stock picks. >> a medical device company, under a cloud. but a 30% grower, 20% return. i think the stock goes from $93 to $73. charlie: adam, you like this one? >> i do. i tried to find something not to like. i'm gooing to pull a ben stein and say this is a good pick. charlie: you're not worried about the device make ers? >> no. the extra money we've been spending are going to benefit from this. charlie: adam? >> exxon. i think long-term oil companies despite all the money being spent on green initiatives are going to do very well.
they're relatively week right now because they've had a hard time finding oil. it's a bit of a value play. considering we're talking about exxon. charlie: ben? >> exxon has got a fantastic rave on "baron's." the article was convincing to me. i think it's a great pick. i don't know that it is already in the price considering it was already written up in "baron's" cover but it's fine. it's a great company. incredibly well run. charlie: and your idea? >> my usual, go with the index, pick the diamonds, the dow jones industrial average 30, that will be fine over the next 30 years. charlie: do you prefer individual stocks or go with e.t.s. or things like diamonds? >> i think somebody looking for diverse fiction, volatility down, go with something like the diamonds. my problem with