Whiting column: Political predictions are easier to determine than effective resolutions
The New Year tends to bring resolutions, but after an election year, valid predictions are more likely to happen.
• The deal has been made. A President who will be 81 on election day and 85 before the end of his second term is unlikely to be re-elected. Consequently, Biden will resign for health reasons before 2024, making Kamala Harris president, enabling her to run as an incumbent. With her being a woman of color, the Democrats feel confident of victory in 2024 and 2028.
• Taxes will increase. Initially, income taxes on the mega-rich. When the economy isn’t negatively affected, this foothold will facilitate lowering the income threshold.
• Medicare will be allowed to negotiate prescription prices. Resultant cost savings will be slid into Obama Care to aid solvency.
• Future stimulus bills will continue to hide unrelated projects to repay past and prepay future political favors. The latest $900 billion stimulus has $600 going to 127 million people totaling $76 billion. The $824 billion balance isn’t headed to the people. Pork barrel examples include $1B for museums in Connecticut, $400M to a closed Kennedy Center, over $1B going to countries for foreign aid, and millions to new governmental agencies. All $900B to 127 million would be $7,000 each.
• Contrary to stated mission, Democrats will pass bills benefiting the well-to-do. They will repeal the portion of the 2017 Tax Act capping deductibility of state and local taxes at $10,000. Only the top 20% have an obligation more than $10,000. Forgiving college debt will benefit the same because their children are more likely to not only attend college but choose to not work during high school and college.
• Democrats will continue to help large corporations instead of smaller entrepreneurships. Last session they restored 100% deductibility of corporate business meals, repealing the 50% limit.
• Colorado will not be selected as the primary location for the new “Space Force.” Senator Gardner was carrying the ball for Colorado, as he did for the adopted Great American Outdoors Act. Without Gardner, one of the other finalists (New Mexico, Nebraska, Texas, Florida, Alabama) will be selected since new Sen. Hickenlooper doesn’t bring any political clout, influence or effective reputation.
• World-wide coal power plants will continue to increase. We will rejoin the Paris Climate Accords requiring a $3B US payment to underdeveloped countries though they aren’t the source of most fossil fuel use. We won’t open new plants, but all other signatory countries will continue to do so. Due to our lack of demand, coal price has lowered making it more attractive to other countries.
• We will reenter the Iran Nuclear Agreement with the original enforcement procedures: Iran can select the UN inspectors, dictate where and when they inspect.
• We will experience some form of international terrorist attack testing the Biden response. Historically, this occurs with a new president: Kennedy’s Cuban Missile Crisis, Johnson’s Vietnam TET offensive, Carter’s Iranian Hostage Crisis, Reagan’s Muammar Gaddafi’s international aggression and hijacking of airplanes, Clinton’s Osama Bin Laden, Bush’s 9/11, Obama’s Benghazi, and numerous other examples.
• China’s economic aggression will accelerate. They’ve already purchased IBM’s PC Division, Motorola, Smithfield Foods, Cirrus Wind Energy, Chicago Stock Exchange, General Electric Appliances, Ingram Micro’s Apple and Cisco contracts, Nexteer Automotive and others totaling over $100B. These diversified acquisitions puts them into our base-need industries and enhances their intention to move world trade currency from dollars to yuan, facilitating their manipulating the value of the dollar.
• China will continue to increase their influence and control over Southeast Asia. China is resource starved. They have 25% of the world’s population but only 10% of arable land and 7% of potable water. Consequently, they need Southeast Asia’s timber, minerals and ability to grow food without formal irrigation; no formal aggression or confrontation required.
• A third political party will emerge and attempt to gain traction. Beginning with overwhelming dissatisfaction with our political system’s extreme partisan nature and culminating with the recent Capitol violence, no one is happy. This creates an opportunity for most of the Republican party to distance itself from Trump theatrics and Trump supporter violence. They can attract very moderate Democrats concerned with the far-left liberal influence on Biden. Vehement Trump supporters will be unable to control the Republican Party and create their own party to maintain identity. Republicans will push economic support of entrepreneurships attracting their employees. With over 70% of those identifying as independent, considering themselves fiscally and socially conscious, Republicans will give them a home with political influence.
• After the violent actions at the Capitol, members of both parties choose to model empathy, decorum, respect, manners, discussion and cooperation, while choosing to work toward the benefit of the country instead of themselves or their party. This is the least predictable item. We can only hope.
Regardless, it is our personal responsibility to start the process by modeling that behavior ourselves.
Bryan Whiting feels most of our issues are best solved by personal responsibility and an understanding of non-partisan economics rather than government intervention. Comments and column suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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