Barring a major collapse or a terrorist attack, Barack Obama will be the next president. He will be aided by a Democrat-controlled Congress, and soon enough a Left-leaning supreme court. For his ascention, we can blame John McCain; for Congress, we can blame Republican leadership who allowed corruption and greed to infect the Reagan Revolution. But looking forward, here are some predictions for the coming four years:
The Fairness Doctrine will be re-enacted, driving radio, the last bastion of conservatism, Leftward and, ultimately, into bankruptcy. President Obama will encourage prosecutors to investigate “unfair, biased and untruthful” comments about government policies. Conservative bloggers and talk radio show hosts will quietly slip away, and Daily Kos and the Huffington Post will become “mainstream.” Fox News ratings will initially climb, but President Obama will again deny them access and will continue to slander the network until it becomes marginalized. If things get really bad, “Sedition” will rejoin the lexicon.
Reeling from the recent subprime collapse, Wall Street will struggle for several years. With their pay and benefits curtailed by Congress, Wall Street firms will be unable to hire or retain talented executives. Those who do take the jobs will be tempted to make money in other, less ethical ways. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley will merge into the banking sector and the innovative products and ideas that put America at the forefront of finance will dry up. Some firms will move out of New York, or significantly reduce their presence. Without the tax revenue from these firms, New York City will begin to collapse as it did in the 1970’s. The city may be nationalized.
The Broader Economy
Without risk taking on Wall Street, the credit crunch will tighten. Firms will have little or no incentive to take large risks, and any rewards will be taxed mercilessly. Several large corporations will fail. If the government steps in, intervention will be used as an excuse to raise taxes again, just as Clinton did in the early 1990’s. Layoffs and unemployment will become common place as American companies struggle to meet the demands of President Obama and his union-endorsed wish list. Higher corporate taxes and increased labor demands will drive manufacturing jobs off-shore.
Obama will raise your taxes. At first, he will work with Congress to avoid a squeeze of the middle class. Ultimately, we will be told that taxes are not being raised, we are merely returning to “pre-Bush” levels. We will also be told that, most Americans will “pay the same as they did under President Reagan.” This will be a lie, but it will be unchallenged by the press.
Energy & Environment
Offshore oil drilling will be blocked. Obama has already said that he does not object to $4 per gallon gas, only that the increase occurred so rapidly. Under the guise of “Global Warming”, oil and gasoline prices will steadily increase as windfall profits taxes and other taxes are passed on to the consumer. Congress will pass stimulus bill after stimulus bill to offset the cost of heating oil in the winter, and to encourage spending in the summer. Redistribution of wealth will become a reality. Meanwhile, $7 per gallon will be the new normal. What the government does spend in stimulus packages, it will use to distort the market for alternative energy sources. These new projects will make Ethanol look like a brilliant idea. (Incidentally, the next four years will set cold temperature records. Crops will fail and the price of food will skyrocket. We will be told that this “climate change” is due to human activity.) If owning an SUV is not strictly illegal, only Hollywood elites and politicians will be able to afford them.
Terrorism & Foreign Affairs
We will suffer a major terror attack on U.S. soil within the first two years. This would likely be the case in a McCain administration, but the response will be markedly different. The Obama response, if there is one, will embolden al Qaeda, who will move from hiding in Aghanistan to ruling Pakistan. Iran will continue to grow in strength and President Obama, will indeed meet with Ahmedinijad or his successor. Russia will invade Ukraine or Latvia and NATO will fail to react. Obama will call in the UN to impose sanctions, which they will not. Our image in Europe will at first grow, but the Obama bounce will be fleeting. As America’s status as a superpower wanes, we will become West England: tolerable to much of Europe, but not included in their reindeer games.
Obama and Congress will enact comprehensive healthcare reform. Premiums will first fall, then rise as health insurers begin to first compete with a government program, and then the government program becomes irrelevant. There will, indeed, be two Americas as there are two UK’s when it comes to healthcare. The broader population will be covered by Obamacare, a form of Medicare and SCHIP on steriods. The premiums will be next to nothing, but the covereage will make people long for HMOs. Instead of arguing with your insurance company (who can be bullied by the market, Oprah, 60 Minutes and others), you will have to argue with a government bureacrat for whom accountability is as foreign a concept as quantum chromo dynamics. The rest of America will continue to pay for health care through their employer or directly. The coverage will be better, but the lack of competition and the government program will raise prices. Good doctors will become harder to find as government mandates, malpractice claims and insurance headaches drive smart people out of the profession. Without a profit motive, new drugs are fewer and further between.
Gay marriage will become the law in all 50 states, either by federal fiat or through the Full Faith and Credit Clause. Whether you agree or disagree, the issue will inflame opinions just as Roe v. Wade has for over thirty years. A new Supreme Court case will enter the public lexicon, just as Roe did. Abortion will also continue to be a contentious issue. Crime and unethical behavior will grow and a “malaise” will infect the country.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 8th, 2008 at 9:36 am and is filed under Business Section, Edukashun, Foreign Affairs, Government, Op Ed, Politics & Policy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
Thanks for the pick-me-up Dan. Now I feel a malaise coming on. Nappy time.
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