tv Varney Company FOX Business December 4, 2012 9:20am-11:00am EST
>> imus in the morning ♪ >> are you ready for this? ambassador anna wintour? it pays to be a publisher. the fashion magazine editor is considered as ambassador for london or paris. yes, as europe struggles with crisis our official representative may be a celebrity bungler. new taxes announcing, these are
taxes no matter how the fiscal cliff works out. and larry ellison knows it and pays to avoid a dividend tax. gets 200 million dollars. i'm still shaking my head. ambassador anna wintour? "varney & company" is about to begin. [ male announcer ] this is steve. he loves risk. but whether he's climbing everest, scuba diving the great barrier reef with sharks, or jumping into the marke hgoes with people he trusts, which ishy he trades with a company that doesn't nickel and dime im with hidden fs. he caworry about other things, like what the market is doing and being ready, no matter what happens, which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense, from td ameritrade. i heard you guys can sp ground for ss than the ups store. that's right. i've learned the only way to get a holiday deal is to camput. you know we've be open all night. is this a trick to t my st?
>> ambassador anna wintour, it's got an interesting ring, does it not? a new report says that president obama is considering the fashion magazine editor for the ambassador's post in london or paris. she's a top obama fundraiser, a celebrity. very well-plugged in on the left and she ran two big fundraisers for the president this summer. >> i'm anna wintour, and i'm so lucky in my work i'm able to meet some the most incredible women in the world. women like sarah jessica parker and michelle obama.
stuart: anna wintour reportedly an absolute terror to work for. remember when she was played bye meryl streep in the devil wears prada. portrayed as a monster. >> what are you doing here. >> came to be a journalist and-- >> so you don't read runway. >> no he. >> and before today you had never heard of me. >> no. >> you have no style or sense of fashion. >> i think that depends on what you're-- >> no, no, that wasn't a question. >> oh, i think we should set her on the french. and remember when jon stewart from the daily show made fun of me for this? >> vogue editor anna wintour holds exclusive for-- >> stuart varney that's a little-- i go annoying the president is doing fundraisers, you don't have to put on that accent. anna wintour, you don't need to put that on to make fun of anna
wintour. >> hi, i'm anna wintour. >> i take it back, i take it back, varney that was a pretty good impression of anna wintour. i had no idea. stuart: all right, that was funny. we will have a lot more on ambassador anna wintour later, indeed throughout "varney & company" today and including one from the judge, on why the ambassador roles frequently given out to big donors and political allies. all through the show, we promise you. look, we've been debating the fiscal cliff, new taxes that could be coming. there are an entire list of taxes that will be coming guaranteed all part of obamacare and now the irs is paying the role of tax cop. and of course, the opening bell, we're expecting a pretty flat opening to the market and watching facebook of course. back in a moment.
>> here comes the opening bell a minute from now. they're trading and expect a flat opening for stocks. however, i can tell you now the price of gold is down. way down, actually. down about 1%, but that puts it below $1700 an ounce and we also have a drop in the price of oil. down about a buck and a half at the moment. and i'd urge you to watch facebook this morning, it's moving and some kind of new app
available so that you can get into facebook without being a member and get somebody's phone number. i'm not sure i understand it, but all will be revealed and made clear on "varney & company" this morning. and 20 seconds to the opening bell, again, looking for down side, no. an and actually dead flat, maybe two or three points higher at the opening bell, but, again, it's going to be a very slow trading session as we run into december. running to christmas here and the holiday period and we've still got this fiscal cliff. and 2000 miles apart and don't expect a great deal of heady volume trading today. it's not going to happen unless there's a headline on the fiscal cliff that jolts everybody back to the trading floor. we're open and running and the dow industrials are running higher in the first 15 seconds. now this, larry ellison, top guy at oracle a check for 200 million before the end of the year because oracle is paying a big dividend this year. by taking the money now, ellison
actually saves 56 million bucks. 56 million the treasury will not be getting. so, nicole, the stock price, please. >> well, the stock is slightly lower, but it's just such a statement by all of these companies, not only oracle, but all of these companies quickly accelerating dividends in order-- these payouts in order to beat the fiscal cliff and keep the shareholders happy and in turn, some of these leaders of the companies like larry ellison, as you noted. getting 200 million dollars. so, this will be his payout and what's interesting though, he wasn't involved in the vote because he owns 1.1 billion shares, now, i wonder if he said, i'll have this one out. >> i wonder, it's another story of the rich avoiding the tax the rich policy. okay. and actually, nicole, hold on a second because i've got another special dividend to tell you about, just announced and this time it's a cruise ship operator carnival and the company announced special dividend 50 cents a share paid out, go ahead.
>> yesterday i was watching fox business and i can't remember, maybe you remember, the ceo of a company. maybe home depot and he actually was very pro the raising of taxes and such, even on dividends and yet, his company set up the dividend payout and the-- what is it, costco. stuart: costco. >> some of the ceo's are torn, whether to pay it, not pay. stuart: jim sigler is his name-- jim senegal. >> a big obama supporter and his company sped up the dividend payout. stuart: and they borrowed the money, 3 1/2 billion dollars in order to make the $7 per share dividend payout. and somebody downgraded their debt because of that. >> oh, see, now the plot thickens, that doesn't sound good. stuart: it's called hipocracy, that's just mine coming out there. and and dead flat at the
opening. the head of the cheesecake factory he says that obamacare will be very costly for small businesses. they will either have to pass the costs along to their customers or cheapen the product, heaven forbid and david overton, i'm quoting now, for those businesses that do not cover their employees, they will be in for a very expensive situation. the price of cheesecake factory up so far this year, down almost 3%, back to 33. the irs is about to release 159 pages of new tax rules, tax rules that will help pay for obamacare. they include, a 3.8% sur tax on investment income of all kinds on upper income people starting next year and .9% health care tax on wages for the rich. above $200,000. that's defined as rich year. and those taxes together will raise roughly 320 billion dollars over the next decade. all to pay for obamacare.
and joining us now art laffer, former reagan economic advisor and the best looking 72-year-old i have ever seen. [laughter] thank you, thank you very much, stuart. stuart: now, look, these obamacare taxes, these are totally separate from the fiscal cliff debate. these are taxes which are going it take effect no matter what. and here they come. you can see it. 320 billion over ten years. and you think that's going to have an impact on the economy? >> of course it is. it is-- well it's not the same as extending the bush tax cuts. it's part of the fiscal cliff, because just like all of these other things, stuart, people are trying to move income out of 2013, into 2012, which makes this year look a little bit better than it should, but what it means is that when we hit january 1st, 2013, the economy's going to collapse as far as i can tell. stuart: whoa, whoa, collapse is a strong word, art. >> collapse as low as we are, i
agree. stuart: now, the obamacare tax change is a change in the tax rate. >> yes. stuart: that's something that the president's absolutely insisting on. he wants tax rates to go up for the top two income brackets and that's being forced by the republicans. they don't want the rate to go up. they'll pay more in overall revenue, but don't want the rate to go up. your comments please on the president's stand-fast position on raising tax rates? >> well, rates are where the real action is, i mean, if you broaden the base and lowered rates, tax revenues on the rich went up. you'd have far less-- and the when you're growing the economy and profession of vobs and output, employment production. stuart: why is he doing it? >> i don't know, maybe because he thinks he can. he won a big election and push it on whether it's right or
wrong. stuart: i think he had a round of golf with former president bill clinton just the other day. >> yeah. stuart: and bill clinton was-- you voted for him, twice. >> i sure did, he was a good president. stuart: do you think there's they chance that some of the moderation of blirn will rub off on the leftism of president obama? >> no, i think that clinton's leverage is gone totally. he supported obama totally in the election. without clinton i don't think that obama would have been reelect and that's what he did for him. and what clinton could do in the future, i don't know. i don't know why obama is so insistent on higher tax rates except it fits his rhetoric. stuart: at the end of the day, i think that the republicans will actually submit on the issue of higher tax rates. it may be just tax rates higher for those making half a million a year, i think they'll retreat a little bit. >> i think, too, what i'd like to see the republicans do, i'd like to see them pass a bill
extending tax cuts below $250,000 and everyone agrees those should be put through and then put through another bill that extends the tax cuts on those $250,000 and above and let the democrats take ownership because you know, they're going to be held responsible for the economic performance of 2013 and come 2014, you can actually get a political change that might make a difference. stuart: we'll wait and see on that one. art laffer, always a pleasure. >> bye now. stuart: the republicans submit their fiscal cliff solution. now, that plan put out by speaker boehner, includes 800 billion dollars in extra tax revenues and that would come from limiting deductions and not from higher tax rates. and there would also be 1.2 trillion dollars worth of spending cuts and the white house immediately dismissed that plan, saying, the lower tax rates for the rich and quote, fix the middle class with a bill. again, we come back to this. the main sticking point is the tax rate issue.
the president insists more revenue comes from higher rates, not deduction limits. -pit's a standoff and it contins less than four weeks to go until the deadline. be careful what you say in a local police want a law, new law requiring that text messages be saved for two years. how do you feel about that? ever texted something you wish would go away right now? there is of course the privacy issue as well. well, here comes the judge. he will be new at 10 on this one. got it. shares of darden restaurants, they're down today and they're the company that runs olive garden, red lobster, and they're down a lot. why is that, nicole? >> this is not good news here, they did a ton of promotions and now they're saying the promotions didn't work and in turn they're expecting numbers for the earnings season that will be below the analyst expectations and they're expecting sales at the olive garden to be down 3.2%. and at red lobster, 2.7% so
sales are weakening, the earnings per share below what they anticipated and so, now, the ceo, so interesting, we need to come up with a new plan and we are going to work on different promotion because the current quarter is disappointing. do you think? >> well, nicole, hold on a second. the promotions i'm not sure which restaurant chain did it, but they promoted 2 for 20. two people-- oh, that was applebee's apparently. >> all right. stuart: my chains-- >> and let me ask you a question, general petraeus and broadwell, do you think they were texting? i know they actually set up a g-mail account and write notes to each other in the draft and log on and see the other person's notes without sending them. maybe try texting. stuart: you wouldn't want me speculating on a personal relationship now would you? >> no. stuart: thank you. all right, nicole you've said enough. the dow still is up 14 points
and i'm call it a dead flat market. what else we've got. what does anna wintour get for throwing those big fundraisers for the president? she's being considered for an ambassadorship to either england or france. you can bet i have something to say. and i really do. california tax pain could be arizona's gain. we talked to a mayor who's trying to lure businesses away from the formerly golden state. a reporter with the sporting news doesn't like tattoos. and says most quarterbacks do not have them. now, he's being labeled racist because of those remarks. we'll talk to him next hour. yeah, he's here. remember, we want to hear from you, send you e-mails email@example.com and please comment on tattoos. i personally hate them. now, seven early movers-- somebody is olling their eyes off camera. and pep boys post a loss on weak sales and down it goes. the drug maker jereon, says it
has stopped developing its treatment for brain cancers and cut the work force by 40%, there it goes. and dividends for the next three quarters and all of them early, the stock is now up. and profit rises at the home builder, toll brothers and the company said new orders rose sharply. up goes the stock. and tellabs, another special cash dividend. up it goes. the medical supply company baxter is going to buy sweden's gambro he for about 4 billion dollars, down it goes, not much. autozone, keeping costs low, posted a higher profit and that stock is down a fraction. and all right. the dow industrials up 23. obamacare, it is coming, like it or not. and we've heard that electronic medical records are going to save millions, maybe billions of dollars, really? how is that possible? a man who runs a medical records company, he will tell us and he's next. ♪
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>> let me introduce you to athena health. it's a software company in the digital medical records business and we're joined now by the chief executive officer. his name is jonathan bush. some relation to the bush political dynasty, i do believe and he joins us from watertown, massachusetts. is that correct, sir? >> well, i think of them related to me and the free world. stuart: you're a nephew to george w. >> a nephew of one and cousin to
the other and they're gone now, but thanks for having me on. i want to just correct-- i think the problem with health care in terms of information technology is that most of it is in software companies and athena health is a cloud-based service, a national network nobody has to buy software and information requirements changes. stuart: and you are in the business of putting medical records on electronically, right? that's what you do. >> that's right, medical records, communications and bills, all of those sort of footprints. stuart: we're told that within obamacare, this is going to save a lot of money, okay? i'll give you 20 seconds, go ahead. give me a commercial, if you will. i want 20 seconds how you are going to save the medical system billions of dollars, go. >> we're not going to-- there's going things that we do, all right, one is that we're going to eliminate the duplication and today, amazingly, 48% of what a doctor orders either doesn't
happen, or happens and get lost and later gets repeated. so the number of taxes repeated is off the charts, actually if there were charts to track and we know that. so that's the first thing, the good medical records will do. internet based medical records will eliminate duplication and the second thing they'll do is by connecting the health care supply chain together. it will create that age old american strong suit, shopping. it will be possible for doctors to look up and down the supply chain, and choose the best place to send the pattent. >> okay. >> and say they have no idea how much stuff costs and when they do, they don't get any benefit from it, and the things that change in obamacare. >> i've heard some negatives here and i'm going to throw some negatives at you. >> there are many. stuart: there are indeed. fraud, for example, hacking for example. power outages, for example. let's first of all deal with hacking, i don't want my medical records hacked into and chucked out there for the world to see.
what are you going to do about it? >> no question. as you aggregate and improve the quality of information, it becomes more valuable. it's a lot easier to hack a stack of charts behind gladdist in the doctors's office than-- >> no, it's not. mr. bush, come on. no, i don't think so. >> well, most people would agree, you don't agree that's fine. it's absolutely the case, that information managers in health care become fiduciaries, this is not facebook. it's not that big a deal when somebody else is seeing your facebook page, it's a really, really big deal when somebody else is seeing your chart that doesn't need to. so have to act as a fiduciary-- >> there's a doctor on the program who says look, it's extra work and now they've got to put stuff right on the computer and spending time and got to do it accurately and the doctor has to do it and putting it into the computer tick, tick,
tick and takes time and-- it makes me want to puke to hear you say it out loud. it's so true. the number of rules and regs that a doctor has to follow to justify payment is a distraction to delivery of care and creates data nobody cares about and doesn't improve health. and when you have to do it on-line and check up better it's worse still. at athena health we actually track the number of minutes that doctors spend moving their mouse or documenting and gotten it down to 5.9 minutes. i wish it were 5, but gotten it down from the national averages which is actually a 18% the rand institute studied and found that doctors have to spend 18% more thyme documenting on one of the software based emr's than without it so we've got the code cracked and it's a problemen through iteration and sending things to people's houses it's better. stuart: you're an honest man and given us very good 30 second commercial and admitted there were some problems with the
overall system. there are some negatives, that's good stuff. jonathan bush, everyone, thank you for joining us, we appreciate it. >> a pleasure. stuart: come again. i'm really running late today, but got the gold report for you, below 1700 bucks an ounce. we're down $21 right now. california, i keep calling it the formerly golden state and it used to be great and now it's in major financial trouble and the people frankly don't seem to realize it. and businesses fleeing, the states become, again, i'm going to say it, sounds harsh, the national laughingstock. david asman and liz mcdonald will be here to kick a little more sand in california's face. here they come. ♪ obligations, but obligatio. i need to rethink the what i really need is sleep. introducing e ishares core,
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>> california, honestly, is like a hot blond high school chick who's been getting by on her looks, never having to study, not having to exercise or eat right, just a beautiful, genetic hand, a beautiful ocean, beautiful mountains, beautiful weather and now she is he' 45 and she is he' falling apart. >> oh, at that hurts. that was adam carolla on
o'reilly last night. and liz macdonald, any comments on that. that's terrifying, california is it the hot tamale, the hot chick and losing the smart guys-- >> he was making fun. >> very funny. stuart: he's right, but-- >> the fun chicks to use his technology, terminology, would -pbe the midwest, places like wisconsin, indiana, ohio, reformed governors that have put in stuff that's leading to change. that's leading to growth. absolutely. and you're going to-- >> well, you can throw texas in there as well. stuart: i shall. and local law enforcement wants access to your text messages. they want your wireless company to keep those records, text records for two years and ever send a text you didn't want to send and want to get rid of it now? well, judge is on that story. new at 10 in a moment and plus, the starting quarterback of the san francisco 49ers covered in tattoos, and one sports writer
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listen to this. law enforcement is calling on congress to force the wireless companies to store those text messages for two years, in case police need them when investigating a crime. that's new at 10:00. and the judge, judgg napolitano will -- [laughter] stuart: but the big story this hour is john boehner's counteroffer to the president, immediately dismissed by the way. it includes 800 billion dollars in tax revenue, not from higher tax rates. that is the sticking point. president obama wants those tax rates raised. john boehner, he wants fewer deductions, limits on deductions. that's the status quo right now of the discussion there. i want to bring you to the big board because we're going nowhere this tuesday morning on very low volume. back below 13,000. tuesday morning, here's the company: elizabeth macdonald is with us. david asman is with us. and nicole petallides right there on the floor of the new
york stock exchange. china, cracking down on money transfers at wynn macau casinos. i guess that wynn stock is going to be down? nicole: you are right. we're seeing the stock down nearly 4% here. this is not good news for them overall. basically china's new leadership cracking down on fast money moving. they are going to set rules where you can't -- restrict the limits on how much money can actually be taken out of the country. there are a lot of new rules that would be put in place. all of it is obviously for responsible gambling, but it seems to be a lot deeper than that. stuart: i've been to that casino in macau. i mean totally different from anything you will ever see on the strip in las vegas. i mean it is really really different. i will get to that a bit later. david: yeah, we're all interested in that story. stuart: i don't gamble.
david: man oh man. [laughter] stuart: moving along, republicans counteroffer to president obama's solution to the fiscal cliff yesterday with a plan of 800 billion dollars in new revenue from tax reform, not from higher tax rates. plus, about a trillion dollars in spending cuts. speaker john boehner said the president's plan just wouldn't pass. unfortunately, the white house responded with their la-la land offer that couldn't pass the house. so basically they are at odds. david, here's what i've got, here's my calculation, rough back of the envelope, okay? when i can find the envelope. okay? it is president obama wants 800 billion dollars more in tax revenue from the rich in the form of higher tax rates. the republicans want about a trillion dollars more in spending cuts. david: uh-huh. stuart: the two sides are those
dollar numbers apart. and you say what? david: i say i don't think the president cares if it passes the house. because if it passes, he gets everything he wants. he doubled the amount of tax income he wanted from the private sector because he wants many r in his proposal. -- he wants more in his proposal. if it doesn't pass, he gets automatic tax increases from everybody, more government money from the private sector. he gets big cuts in the military, which he also wants. and if anything goes wrong, he blames the republicans. i don't think he cares. either way from his perspective he's a winner. if he was looking for a deal, he would be dealing. he's not dealing. he's campaigning. stuart: you say if we go over the cliff, he wins. if we go with his plan, he wins. no way he loses on this situation. liz: fiscal cliff diving at the 11th hour -- i hate the cliches, i'm tired of them but we will see an 11th hour deal on
december 24th, christmas eve or new year's eve in the dead of night. i'm worried about that. a very bad deal no one will have read. stuart: i think there might be a deal at the very last minute in which the republicans say okay higher tax rates on people making more than a half million and we'll talk about spending cuts at some point in the future. david: i think there's a 50/50 chance there won't be a deal. stuart: that's why the dow industrials are doing nothing because nobody knows what's going to happen. all right, new calls to cut the tax deduction on charitable contributions. here's what fred hyatte wrote in the washington post. overwhelmingly the deduction benefits the wealthy and the rest of the country has to make up the gap. of course it helps the wealthy, but it does a lot more good for the charities and the people they benefit, doesn't it? how much would worthy charities be hurt if the deduction was limittd? we will ask the head of the charity navigator on this program today. that's at 10:33. the charitable deduction
discussed here. did you ever text something that you wish you could delete forever? yes, i have. new at 10:00, for you right now, local police want a law requiring text messages to be saved for two years. all rise, the judge is here. by the way, look at page 278 of this book, theodore and woodrow, how two american presidents destroyed constitutional freedom which is -- okay, okay. >> is that the only page worth reading, page 278? stuart: as a matter of fact is. [laughter] >> you're a literary critic now. stuart: this is a privacy issue, isn't it? >> sure, it is a privacy issue. it is pretty unusual that the police are asking for this. we say the police, this is a national organization, a charitable foundation, if you will, that represents the interests of police. it has a charity arm and it has a lobbying arm. and the lobbying arm is asking for this. but just last week, the senate
passed legislation, hasn't gone to the house so we don't know how the president will -- it will fare with the president if it passes the house. that says if the police want these texts and e-mails they have to go get a judge and a search warrant. from the time of the constitution, up to the time of patriot act, the post 9/11 changes would be wiped out because it would require a search warrant. but this doesn't make them easier to get. this requires companies at their own expense to keep them there so that they are there if the police do get the search warrant. stuart: so the privacy issue is kind of negated because they have to get a search warrant. >> it is really a privacy issue and business judgment issue with the telecoms. question, who is the government to tell them how to keep their records? answer, the government wants to make its own job easier so it is saying hold on to them for two years. liz: say stuart is at the casino in macau, someone takes a
picture of him, there's a criminal next to him, i'm not saying he hangs around him, i'm saying the photo could be used in the court case. couldn't at&t say we need the photo, thus we own the photo because it was transpired across-country lines on the phone? couldn'' at&t say it's our business property? >> it is at&t's business property. the government is saying you have to keep it longer than you want. look, i oppose personally because i think the constitution doesn't authorize the federal government interfering in the operation of a private business. the government can keep its own records for however long it wants. the government can keep its own e-mails and texts for two years, but it can't tell at&t without compensating it to engage in an expensive proposition that doesn't advance its shareholders, its stock equity. david: by the way, if there's a letter that's sent, it is not the property of the u.s. postal service, it is still the property of the person who sent the letter? isn't it the same for messages? >> unfortunately no.
i agree with you, but the government has taken the position that if the letter is no longer in the physical custody of the post office, but the e-mail is somewhere digitally in the custody of the telecom, that the telecom can be told how to long to keep it. stuart: a letter is still the most private form of communication. i think it is. >> there is a federal statute that prohibits the fbi from reading your mail without your search warrant. the government doesn't enforce the statute. it reads the mail anyway. stuart: you have not upset me. we will save that for later. >> you should be upset. stuart: are you done? >> no. [laughter] stuart: nicole, please get me out of this because -- i want
you to talk about big lots because i believe the stock is moving. tell me about it. nicole: fine, you are absolutely right as always stuart the stock is moving indeed. big lots up about 7%. couple of things coming here into play, first third quarter loss less than expected. raised full year earnings forecast. that's good news. a change at the top, the current chairman ceo and president, mr. fishman will be stepping down and will stay in these roles until the new successor is appointed. they will be searching internally and externally. it is very interesting. i will see you later stuart. david: stop mentioning macau, stuart. stuart: i am not surprised anymore when i see a professional athlete covered in tattoos. check out the arms of new san
francisco 49ers quarterback. now that ink is the source of controversy. here's a quote from a controversial column: stuart: whitley was attacked on the internet over that story. he joins us now from orlando. sir, welcome to the program. you are a controversial guy, aren't you? really stirring it up there, r. whitley. >> that wasn't my intent. i just have always looked at tattoos as sort of an odd thing to put on your body. stuart: i agree with you. i'm 100% with you. i don't like tattoos. don't want my kids to have tattoos. donald trump doesn't like his five or six kids to have
tattoos. we're with you. but i want to know why were you called a racist because you made the statement about tattoos on a quarterback? >> well, i think had i do it all over again, i started the column about making a line about san quentin and how the inmates there have tattoos, just to point out that your average tattoo person does not have exactly the best reputation in society. so people associated prison tattoos the whole thing with the quarterback as if i was trying to bring him down. actually the quarterback is a fine face of the franchise. he is by all accounts a humble hardworking. i compared him to tim tebow who is about as good of an icon as you can get to a lot of people. it's not the face. it's the arms that bother people. there are a lot of reasons for that. stuart: you are saying that the image of someone with a tattoo covered in tattoos as the
quarterback is, that image is inappropriate for the public face of a major sports franchise, which brings in a lot of money. i mean that's what you are saying; right? >> i think what it would do, it might actually advance the evolution of tattoos. you are seeing more and more people with tattoos obviously in the last 20 years. i see them at the gym and everywhere. where it is no longer just a san quentin and all that. but there's still something about it. in the corporate world, the ceos, they don't have the tattoos, and i think there's a reason for that. it has a -- it has a bad connotation. when cam newton who was a quarterback for the panthers was interviewed, the owner of the carolina panthers asked him do you have any tattoos? he said no sir. let's keep it that way. he knows that he's there to put people in the seats. and a lot of people are bothered
by the sight of a guy covered in tattoos. there are a lot of reasons for that. stuart: i want to get back to the race element here because the quarterback is black, i believe, that's correct? >> actually he's adopted and i think his parents, one was black, one was white, his birth parents. stuart: and you were criticized as being a racist, but i believe you have two adopted black children of your own, do you not? >> yes, i do. i sort of regretted making that point, but it had gotten so out of control frankly. you know, we're all in this business and we get criticized and we accept that. but certainly this thing had gone viral and i was becoming like the new face of the kkk within 12 hours so i thought that in my sort of desperation, i said well, you know, i just wanted to let people think that there's more to this than just the reflection of i disagree
with you therefore your opinion must be racist. there's too much of that in society these days. stuart: i agree entirely. you make your point very well. i'm sorry, i have to go. you have made your point. it is a point well taken by everybody here on varney & company. and we appreciate you being a stand-up guy and coming on the show. i appreciate it. >> my pleasure. stuart: okay, sir. here's what you are saying about this on my facebook page by the way. mike sees no problem with the tattoos, quote, he isn't going to try and be a ceo of a fortune 500 company. he's a quarterback in the nfl. to each their own. jim a bit more harsh quote: >> but i think maxine may be on to something. quote: stuart: i think the best business idea that i ever had -- actually it was jake novak, our former producer had, he said why don't you start a chain of
tattoo removal parlors across the country? david: i had a former rap star on my old show who said he spent a fortune removing his tattoos. that's the extraordinary thing. very easy to put them on. very difficult to get them off. stuart: anna wintour could be the next u.s. ambassador to the u.k. or france. what? my take on that next.
stuart: superstorm sandy made landfall in america more than a month ago. some businesses are still seeing the effects. shares of darden restaurants, that's the company that owns red lobster, olive garden, they are down today after the company announced it expects to make less money next year than it originally forecast. the company is blaming superstorm sandy for its lackluster performance. republicans submitted their solution to the fiscal cliff yesterday. white house and other democrats dismissed it immediately. take a look at how that affected the market this morning. not at all. the dow is up 43. 13,000 is where we are. liz macdonald says we will see is a last minute deal, christmas eve, new year's eve, on the fiscal cliff. we shall see. next, a special early my take. i am fired up about the prospect of ambassador anna wintour. i couldn't wait for the normal
stuart: california high taxes, strict green laws, a liberal supermajority in the statehouse, not exactly business friendly. that's why so many businesses are leaving. they are going to places like phoenix. so we're going to talk to the mayor of phoenix. greg stanton, what is he offering to the california refugees to get them to come across the state line? 10:45 this morning. it was 4:00 this morning, and i
received my first message of the day from our producer. i couldn't believe it. here's my take on ambassador anna wintour. yes, you heard correctly, ambassador to britain or france. what? a published report says president obama is considering the editor-in-chief of vogue magazine for either of those two top diplomatic posts. what are her qualifications you may ask? well, number one, she's a top fund-raiser for the president. there was that $40,000 per person bash with sarah jessica parker. raise that kind of money, and you are obviously ambassadorial material in this presidency, aren't you? she's also regularly reducing subordinates to tears. i guess that's a good reason to set her loose on the europeans. fame sells in this administration and so do leftist
politics. ms. wintour's brother served as political editor of the guardian, an anti-american british newspaper. surely that's enough. i will conclude with this, from spokesperson for vogue, ms. wintour is not interested in a diplomatic post. thank you. >> i'm anna wintour and i'm so lucky in my work that i'm able to meet some of the most incredible women in the world, women like sarah jessica parker and michelle obama. i always wait until t lt minute. can i still ship a gift in time r christmas? yeah, suru can. great. where's your ft? uh... whew. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. ship fedex express by december 22nd for christmas delivery.
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>> absolutely the case that information managers in healthcare become fiduciaries. this is not facebook. it is not that big of a deal when somebody else is seeing your facebook page. it is a really really big deal when somebody else is seeing your chart that doesn't need to. stuart: that was jonathan bush in our last hour discussing medical electronic health records, the ceo who is willing to tell it like it is. i thought he was pretty good last hour. time for a market check. where are we now? just below 13,000. we're up 28 points. some auto parts companies are down today. let's start with pep boys. where are we please nicole nicole: big loss here, down
about 12%. this is not good news here. they talk about losses. they have one off charges. sales are down. loser, stuart. stuart: how about autozone, that's down too? nicole: right and revenue missed again. third time in a row that they missed analyst estimates with the revenue numbers. they also said there have been fewer customers. the lingering effects of a warm winter actually come into play. as i read on, i was trying to understand why that is. it turns out that the warm winter, there's less wear and tear on vehicles from tires to all other parts, and so because we had a warm winter, they had lingering effects. they said they had fewer customers. stuart: interesting stuff. we appreciate it. thank you very much indeed. i want to go back tooanna wintour as possibly the ambassador from the united states to the u.k. or france. it turns out president obama has nominated 59 ambassadors since he took office. 40 of those were his supporters who lacked diplomatic experience. the judge napolitano is still here. there's a serious side to this,
judge. because look, europe is in financial crisis, and here we are even thinking about appointing an ambassador, our official representative, who is the editor of a fashion magazine. i have to take this seriously. >> well, listen, you and i and most of us that work here, most people watching you are no fan of ms. wintour. but all presidents do this. great britain is the plummest of the plums. stuart: it goes to a professional, surely. >> parties do this. it is wrong, but each sides rewards its contributors by giving them these jobs. president obama is not unique to this. it doesn't make it right or doesn't make him any worse than
any predecessor. liz: what are you going to do next? are you going to nominate sean penn to be ambassador to venezuela? or bruce springsteen labor secretary? i think she should be ambassador to russia -- no i'm kidding. no, really judge. david: i want to come to the judge's side here. think of great britain, world war ii. guess who fdr had as his ambassador? joseph kennedy, he hired a bootlegger to be the ambassador to the u.k. >> a bootlegger that said don't resist hitler -- david: exactly a bootlegger who was cozying up to adolf hitler. i'm not justifying it, but i'm just saying going way back to world war ii. >> to your point, presidents have been wrong to treat this
with a lack of seriousness. to treat it as if it's a social job rather than a political legal intelligence job. and we all know that not everybody that works in those embassies is not without intelligence experience and connections, without getting into more detail than i need to be. stuart: than you need to be, right. liz: like i said, she should be ambassador to russia -- no i'm kidding. david: if sean becomes ambassador of venezuela. we blame you. we love you, but we blame you. >> is he serious about this? stuart: in this news report, two people supposedly close to the issue are reported as saying that she is being considered for the ambassador -- establishment react to this? what would david cameron say? stuart: i don't think it would go down well to be honest with you, i really don't. it reminds me of the time when president obama went to england
short after his inauguration, what did he give to the queen, an ipod with his speeches on it? i mean, we've not forgotten that. nor the treatment of bp, british petroleum by the american authorities. i think we've talked about aana wintour to death, have we not? >> i think we have. stuart: all right. nothing sacred in the war on the rich, even charities now the target. we will find how much charities will be hurt if the deduction is cut. ♪ silver bells ♪ silver bells ♪ silver bells ♪ silver bells ♪ it's christmastime in the city ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] the markets keep moving.
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stuart: the rich in america donate big-time to charities. but who is paying for the deductions they get from the federal government for doing so? i'm not sure that really works, but anyway, an editorial piece from the washington post says, and i quote, the total charitable deduction will amount to 230 billion dollars between
2010 and 2014. last year congressional budget office showed that taxpayers making less than 50,000 a year contributed less than a quarter to charitable donations. joining us now is president and ceo of charity navigator. here's the point, ken, this guy in the washington post, fred hyatte, he says the deduction for charitable donations is unfair because the rich do it all the time, it is just not fair and the rest of us have to make up the gap which is left by these deductions. you say what? >> i think he has it completely upside down. the wealthiest americans give two thirds or more of all charitable gifts each year. it is hundreds of billions of dollars that are involved. it is critical to the charitable sector. and to mess with that is i think the height of madness. stuart: suppose you strict the deduction for charitable giving or eliminate it, what happens to charitys? >> the last two days of the year 20% of all charitable gifts are
made. what is that telling you? people are pretty much letting you know that charitable deduction is a critical part in their decision making. to take that away or reduce that, i think it could have disastrous consequences. at the same time, charities are already being asked to do more with the needs that are out there of the unemployed, veterans groups and others. it is crazy. david: can i make an outrageous comment? i think this administration is at war with any competitor to what the government does. this administration sees private charities as a competitor to what the government, the federal government provides in charitable services. they also are doing that with education, by the way, any profit sector in education, is a competitor to what the government does. is there any truth to that, do you think? >> i mean the decision to give a charitable gift is driven by helping the community directly. when it goes through government, i mean we see every day the inefficiency of that, that the charity's mission starts to drift towards what the government wants rather than what the community wants, rather
than the mission of the organization. david: private charity is more efficient? stuart: more basic point, when the government does so called charitable work, it is essentially distributing money, it is buying votes. liz: that's right. stuart: when a private charity does good, there's no vote buying. it is an efficient delivery of service. am i crazy? >> added to that is that many of these charities do rely upon local state and federal money for some of their programs. they are already getting a major cut in all of that to begin with. then you add to that this? liz: yeah. it's upside down and backwards the way the white house and congress are going after the generous guys like david and stuart, who give money and get the deduction instead of at the front end, the irs rubber stamps all sorts of bad nonprofits, that's the way you do it, is you tax the bad guys, get the bad guys out of the system. that's the way you are going to raise money, not going after the
generous guys. stuart: wait a minute, is there a lot of fraud in the nonprofits? liz: yes, the fbi is constantly arresting nonprofit fraud. >> there's a big big problem and i think it is often underemphasized because there's ooh a fear of -- there's a fear of backlash. we see a lot of abuse and corruption and there needs to be more monitoring and enforcement. liz: the government should be doing what the taxpayers pay it to do. you can call yourself a nonprofit until the irs comes chasing after that. that's what's corrupt as well. >> it is very easy to become a nonprofit. there's not that much monitoring to get in. so there really is some problem in the whole way it is managed. stuart: so crack down on that, not on the deduction in the first place, agreed, ken, appreciate you coming by. thank you very much indeed, sir. >> pleasure. stuart: citizen states all over the country begging businesses to leave california and come to us. the mayor of phoenix will give
us his sales pitch next. listen to this. >> california honestly is like a hot blonde high school chick who has been getting by on her looks, never having to study, not having to exercise or eat right. just a beautiful genetic hand, beautiful ocean, beautiful weather, and now she's 45 and she's falling apart. want to try to crack it? yeah, that's the way to dot! now we need aittle bit more... [ male announcer ] at humna, we understand
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stuart: we're trying to keep tabs on a number of companies paying special dividends before the bush era tax cuts expire at the end of the year. just announced this mmrning, carnival will pay 50 cents a share, pay the money out on december 28th. oracle announced yesterday it will pay an early dividend which will result in a big payday for ceo larry ellison. he will get a check for about 200 million dollars. he will save 56 million by getting the money this year, not next. lastly for now, pharmaceuticals for pets, that company will pay a dollar a share to shareholders by the end of the year. pet med's stock is up. we are up 13 points, dead flat, low volume. that's the way it will be for much of december, unless there's a huge headline on the fiscal cliff talks. back with the mayor of phoenix trying to lure people away from california.
stuart: businesses in california fleeing that state, tax rates, cost of doing business just too much. one place they are going to phoenix, arizona. here's why, according to the phoenix economic council, operating costs are 40% lower than in california. arizona so attractive to business that in the last eight years more than 60 california companies have relocated there. phoenix mayor greg stanton joins us right now. your honor, welcome to the show. good to have you with us. >> great to be on, thanks for having me. stuart: okay, now, you have got
a great climate, understand that. your costs are 40% lower, but i want to know, did you prize those california companies over to you by giving them huge tax breaks? >> we want to make sure in arizona that we are as competitive as possible. stuart: is that a yes? programs, tax incentives, but look, a company is not going to move, a company is not going to expand in arizona just because of the tax situation. they are going to look over the long haul, over the long-term, whether you have an environment that's right for business. i think in arizona we are trying to get things right so over the long haul we can build a more diverse sustainable economy. i think we are headed in the right direction. stuart: i'm not being flip here, what kind of tax break dos you offer them -- tax breaks do you offer them, just give me an idea. >> if you bring manufacturing to our state, you are going to get a tax credit. if you bring research and development, you will get a tax
credit. if you engage in sustainability, green jobs, you will get a tax credit. look, we saw the landscape around the country, and we wanted to make sure we were as competitive as possible. and a lot of it is not going to be companies moving from california, but as this economy improves, a lot of companies are going to be expanding. and we want them to look to our city, our state as they make those important expansion decisions, particularly again for those jobs. stuart: do you actually go to california yourself and try to prize them loose? >> i have been there and will be there again. we travel anywhere in the country we can to be competitive on the job market. we're in a competitive environment. by the way, people fly to phoenix and try to talk to our local companies as they look to expand and grow as a possibility of growing -- stuart: how about illinois? we all know that california is in dire financial shape. we know that. but illinois is as well. and illinois doesn't have as good a climate as california does. i mean, weather wise. you go up there and try to bring
them down? >> sure, we have in the job recruitment business, you look around the country for where the best opportunities are, but again, you're not just going to sweet talk these companies. you've got to make sure you have the fundamentals right, not just tax policy, but you've got to have great neighborhoods. you've got to have great arts and culture. you've got to be committed to education. you have to have a quality of life that these employees, that they are going to try to recruit are going to want to live in. so workforce development, making sure you have the right people in place, which we're lucky enough to have. we have a great workforce here in arizona, as one of our competitive advantages. stuart: you are a democrat. and here you are, you're offering, you know, a good business climate, tax subsidies, tax breaks, you know. you're offering relief from those environmental restrictions that are in place in california. yet you are a democrat. is there not something of a contradiction there, your honor? >> no, you've got to be smart about economic development. you have got to be smart about economic policy.
look, i'm going to fight just as hard as i can for our schools and education -- education because over the long haul unless you have an education system that people have confidence in, you are not going to build the long-term sustainable diverse economy. one is not the opposite of the other. you shouldn't say you are on one side of the aisle or the other. i view that as an old way of thinking. we can be smart about tax policy and smart about getting the fundamentals right, the quality of life issues right. i don't view those as opposite of each other. stuart: okay. i wish you would go to washington and say that. we appreciate you being with us today. thank you very much indeed. greg stanton, mayor of phoenix. >> thanks for having me on. stuart: thanks a lot. we appreciate it. we will be right back after a very quick break.
>> coming up on lou dobbs tonight 7:00 eastern, obama wants the wealthy to pay for 8 days of running the federal government. that still leaves a trillion dollars deficit. get serious. former ways and means committee chairman congressman bill archer joins us tonight at 7:00 eastern. stuart: well, the tax on dividends is going to go up next year. maybe by 3.8%. maybe by a whole lot more. depending on the fiscal cliff. larry ellison, top guy at oracle, he had an early dividend payout. he got a check for almost 200 million dollars.
he saves 56 million by not getting that money next year. liz? liz: yeah, this is true for a lot of companies. it's the insiders who own stock in the companies that are making these moves. the so-called 1%. you know it is within their rights to do it. but what bothers me are those who say we must pay our fair share, the executives who are for, you know, raising taxes, that we have to sacrifice, and then they are avoiding higher taxes in obama care, as you point out over the break, nothing to do with the fiscal cliff, it is with health reform that they are avoiding. david: and these are the same people, the people who say we should pay more money who are saying there is no relationship between taxes and my business decisions. well, look at all the companies that are accelerating their dividend payout this year because taxes are going to go up. it is in direct contradiction to what warren buffett and others are saying that tax policy has no interference at all in business policy. of course it does. it always has. it always will. stuart: i think it's about 175, 180 companies are paying a
special early dividend. david: including of course oracle. billions and billions and billions -- the only good thing about it is that it's happening right before christmastime and a lot of people are going to use all this new cash in the economy in order to buy things for their families. so i think december is going to be a very rich month in terms of consumer spending. they may pay over some of the times that are coming, some of the bad times that are coming. stuart: think how much money this is denying the treasury next year. liz: that's right. stuart: billions of dollars right now. if 180 companies have had this early payout, that denies at least a billion. i've got to believe it is more. david: december may be looking great, but next year is not. stuart: the list is long, obviously, las vegas sands, the top guy there, walked away with
a check. on the board of costco, he was a speaker at the democrats convention saying what a great guy president obama is and what a wonderful policy tax the rich is. david: same with disney by the way. disney over a billion dollars of advanced dividend payouts. liz: i think charlie munger is on the board of costco. charlie munger is for a vat tax. stuart: let me break in a second. we have jeff flock -- i think he's -- is he on the mississippi? mississippi has dropped near record lows in terms of volume of water and the width of the shipping channel. are you on a boat there, jeff? i want you to give us the latest on this.
this is getting serious. jeff: absolutely. this is becoming very serious. you know, it is raining today, but that does not correct the drought that we have experienced all summer. take a look at this tow. i'm on board. this is transporting fertilizer, going up river, also some empty barges to bring grain down river. we are reaching a point where the mississippi river is almost unnavigable. you can't get two tow boats by like you typically can and there are parts of this river that may soon make it impossible to ship anything here. it could be a huge story. we will be on this all day long today, stuart. it is turning into a disaster along the mississippi. stuart: there he is, jeff flock, in the middle of it as always. thank you very much jeff. the highlight reel will be next. twins. i didn't see them coming.
i have obligations. cute obligations, but obligatio. i need to rethink the core of my portfolio. what i really need is sleep. introducing the ishares core, building blocks for the heart of your portfolio. find out why 9 out of 10 large professional investors choose ishares for their etfs. ishares by blackrock. call 1-800-ishares for a prospectus which includes investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. read and consider it carefully before investing. risk includes possible loss of principal. stuart: here it is. the highlight reel.
a trillion dollars more in spending cuts. go over the cliff, he wins. >> he blames the republicans. >> i am worried about that. a very bad deal. >> i do not think the president cares if it passes the house. if it passes, he gets everything he wants. stuart: if we accept president obama's plan, he wins, but america loses. we go straight into recession. >> yes, i agree with you on that.