Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 Predictions

From the Panhandle Blog Jobsanger:

This is the time of year when a lot of crazy people think they can predict what the future will bring. I must have lost my mind because I've decided to join them and make some political predictions of my own this year. I must have purchased a defective crystal ball though, because I'm not seeing too many good things happening this year. Here's what I see happening in 2011:

* The outsourcing of good American jobs to other countries will continue unabated this year. Any attempts by progressive Democrats to stop or slow it down will be killed by the Republican majority in the House of Representatives.

* The lie that Social Security is in trouble will continue to grow (even though it is fully funded through 2027, and elimination of the tax cap would fund it for decades to come). Attempts will be made to cut benefits and raise the retirement age.

* Unemployment will remain high and no serious job stimulation effort will be passed by Congress (although the Republicans will try to further cut taxes using job creation as their excuse -- in spite of the fact that tax cuts do not create jobs).

* The housing market will not recover in 2011 (and can't recover until the jobless situation is fixed). Foreclosures will remain at all-time highs, and if Congress takes any action at all it will be to make it easier for banks to foreclose.

* The Republicans will not repeal the new health care reform law, but they will defund it (and that's pretty much the same thing).

* Private insurance companies will continue to raise the price of their premiums (and continue to refuse to pay for expensive treatments even for those with that high-priced insurance).

* Millions of Americans will continue to be unable to afford any health insurance coverage.

* Medicare and Medicaid will be cut by Republicans and Blue Dogs, causing even more doctors to refuse to treat elderly and poor patients.

* The huge gap in wealth and income between the richest 1-2% of Americans and the rest of America will grow even wider.

* America's transportation infrastructure will continue to crumble, because the Republican House would rather give the rich more money than put ordinary Americans to work fixing it.

* Global climate change will grow worse as Congress refuses to do anything about it. Taking their lead from America, other countries will also fail to find a solution.

* Toward the end of the year, Michele Bachmann will announce she's running for the senate seat currently held by Senator Amy Klobuchar.

* President Obama's approval ratings will remain in the upper 40's, setting him up for a possible re-election in 2012.

* Texas Republicans will raise taxes and then deny that they did it (claiming it was just an expansion of the "tax base" or the raise involved fees instead of taxes).

* Texas Republicans will pass a "voter ID" bill making voters present a picture ID to be allowed to vote (in addition to their voter registration card), claiming this will prevent voter fraud (although there is no evidence that fraud even exists).

* The Texas legislature will not approve casino-style gambling in the state (and the gambling money and taxes from it will continue to leave the state and go to Louisiana, Oklahoma and Nevada).

Actually, I would love to be wrong about most of the above predictions, but I don't think I am. 2011 is going to be a tough year for America. What do you think?

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