I wish all a healthy and prosperous New Year, wishing as well that most of these predictions are in error.
Last year, 24 predictions; about half of which came to pass to one degree or another. Completely wrong on Romney, election results; the impact of Fast and Furious and the ruling on the Constitutionality of ObamaCare.
I was essentially correct on the economy, unemployment and most foreign policy issues. Syria has degenerated into civil war, the Saudi’s are apoplectic and Iran is feeling the pinch. Talks with Iran, as predicted, failed and internal dissent continues to grow based on economic conditions and inflation. The degree of religious repression predicted for 2012 as a result of the Arab Spring, gone well beyond expectations; there are daily reports of violent religious repression throughout the Islamist controlled Middle East and East Africa.
This Year’s Predictions, Domestic:
The economy will not top 2% in quarterly GDP growth; we will begin to see the inevitable result of Federal Reserve policy take hold in the form of inflation beyond the inflation we’ve already seen in food and fuel. Real GDP, adjusted, will fall far short of what the economy needs to provide the growth necessary to create jobs in the private sector. Our answer will be to continue to extend unemployment benefits, pro growth policies will be absent from this administration.
There will be no serious agreements on debt and deficit reduction. Private capital and lending will remain in stasis. Democrats will not participate in entitlement reform and Republicans, who cannot seem to find their own ass with two hands and a flash light, will cave in over and over again. The Republicans will continue to be outflanked by the ongoing campaign of the President.
2013 sees the first serious impact of ObamaCare. By year’s end polling in opposition to ObamaCare will reach 60%. It won’t matter.
A significant number of people in the top tax bracket, targeted by the President will, literally, manage their income levels to stay out of that bracket. This dynamic will result in tax receipts from that segment of the population declining not increasing. Would you rather pay 33% on $250,000 in income or 39% on $250,010? That $10.00 in income will cost you $15,000 in taxes. Economic history shows that this is always how it goes, examples of this dynamic are everywhere, such as the current example in France; it doesn’t matter; facts don’t matter. Canada looks like a much better place to invest your money, be employed or seek economic opportunity as compared to where we’re heading.
It would be nice to predict that in 2014 the mid-term election will result in a severe reduction in Democratic control. That however, may be a bridge too far. The President has had significant success in distracting us away from large issues by focusing on the small issues and populist themes. He will continue to do so and put Republicans into some combination of reacting or being forced into non material ‘busy work’. The President’s legislative proposals and positions will move ever farther leftward and the same basic formula of “why would you oppose tax reductions for 98% of the people?” will be a consistent approach. We’ll see it in the immigration debate; “why would you oppose legalization for 3% of the people?”
If ‘moderates’ and ‘independents’ were paying attention they are now aware that their much ballyhooed impact on elections took a back seat to the Democrat’s impressive effort to ‘find’ heretofore unidentified, inactive and fundamentally knowledge deprived voters. While this effort was targeted at battleground states, the formula is clear and it is unlikely the DNC will abandon the strategy anytime soon. 2014 elections will result in either status quo or a voter rebellion in favor of Conservatives. Too soon to tell but I don’t see much in the middle of those two options.
Scandals within the administration will continue to present themselves. People who pay attention will be appalled, the Media will continue to sing President Obama’s tune. A backlash against the media will not happen.
John Kerry will be confirmed. The State Department under Mr. Kerry will go down in history as one of the most significant appeasers in history. Islamic violence will not be confronted; neither will be Russia or China. The UN will become, under Mr. Kerry, our go to organization for the determination of foreign policy. Mr. Kerry will continually look to the UN for approval of US foreign policy.
Newt Gingrich will re-emerge as a major player in the arena of Conservative ideas and Republican strategic thinking. Look for Newt in the second half of the year.
Executive Orders will continue to be applied by the President regardless of Constitutionality. It is the basis upon which the President’s ‘fundamental transformation’ will reside. Regulation will follow right behind; there will be an unremitting deluge of regulation constantly ‘nudging’ us towards the President’s Democratic Socialist vision for the country. We will be constantly reminded that he ‘won’.
Class warfare on the heels of the election will not mitigate, it will be a consistent theme of the administration going forward. The ‘success minority’ will be under constant attack.
This Year’s Predictions, Foreign:
The absence of any true central authority in Islam means that nearly any Imam can declare Jihad against non Muslims. That is exactly what is happening and will continue to happen. No one will do anything about it. As Muslims run out of Christians and Jews they will turn upon themselves based on the competing sects within Islam. Let’s hope they do a good job of it.
Egypt will devolve into dictatorship, and the Middle East’s most significant nation will follow the path of Iran.
Al Qaeda affiliates will move out of Eastern Libya and eventually overrun the remaining portions of the country. They will then, successfully, set their sights on Tunisia.
Syria will use chemical weapons on the rebels. Russia will scream and then do nothing as a key Russian Naval Base exists in Syria. Russia will, however, attempt to buy off the Jihadist influences in Syria once Assad’s fate is sealed. They are likely doing so now.
Saudi Arabia will continue to buy time. The arming of Syrian rebels is just one of many pay offs the Saudi’s have and will continue to make. Saudi’s are attempting to hold back the rising tide of opposition to the Royal Family by funding Jihadists, so long as they are not within the Saudi borders. They bought off the Saudi version of the Arab Spring; it’s what they know how to do.
Israel will continue to receive messages from the US that they are, at least politically, on their own. Chuck Hagel as a potential Secretary of Defense is the best demonstration of the fundamental anti Israeli attitude within the administration. Mr. Kerry is also no fan of Israel despite public statements to the contrary.
Benghazi will not be the last US diplomatic outpost targeted by Islamists. Already in Yemen a $160,000 bounty has been offered for the death of the US Ambassador by al Qaeda.
Hamas will attempt to take control of the West Bank eliminating the power of the current Palestinian Authority and fully radicalizing the entire Palestinian political structure. Should Hamas see success in this effort there will be a military confrontation over the West Bank. The confrontation with Hamas in Gaza will also heat up again in the second half of the year.
Israel will face the Iranian red line this year. They will do so alone. Should clandestine efforts prove insufficient to hamstring the Iranian nuclear program Israel will be prepared to go it alone. Quiet support from Saudi Arabia will also be present.