Good and Bad: My Outlook on the Next Four Years

OK, so after some time to let the dust settle and having dismantled the noose from my basement rafters, I think we can see some good news and bad news about the next four years.  I certainly don’t think the hyper-Conservative outlook of America morphing into a North Korea-esque full on communist regime will manifest.  But I also don’t think the Liberal vision of a unified Utopian Eden will come to pass either.  In all honesty, I did ask for an Obama re-election, so how much complaining can I really do?

First, the bad news:

  • The Supreme Court.  There is a chance, a good chance, that President Obama will have the opportunity to fill a vacancy or two in his forthcoming term.  With any luck, one of the Liberal appointees will decide to retire leaving the Conservatives to preserve the sanity of the Court.  Unfortunately, it seems that SCOTUS Justices don’t seem to care much who is in the White House when making the decision to retire.  Conservatives and liberals alike have vacated their seats when a politically opposite President was in office to replace them.  What makes this worse is President Obama will likely replace the vacancy with someone in the same vain as Justice Sotomayor or Justice Kagan, both of whom were controversial for their political activism prior to their appointments.  We can expect highly controversial rulings if Justices Thomas or Kennedy decide to retire.
  • Spending.  President Obama in his first term in office, after having declared $4 trillion of new debt over the course of 8 years “unpatriotic” added more than $6 trillion in less than half that time.  We saw an increase of the federal debt of nearly 60%.  That cannot sustain if we want to not become Greece.  President Obama seems to have no sense of restraint when it comes to borrowing and spending.  At this pace we can expect to see a near 100% increase in federal debt by the time 2016 rolls around.
  • Israel. Obama seems to be a passive onlooker when it comes to threats to Israeli security.  With nearly every Middle Eastern Islamic nation believing Israel is a cancer which needs to be exterminated, the President has seemingly either not taken the threats seriously, paying only lip-service to the Israelis; or he plans to continue to be a passive onlooker to the turmoil which is set to ensue.  Israel is primed and ready to do what it needs to do to keep itself safe and protected.  Iran, a nation whose leaders have unabashedly stated its goal is to wipe Israel of the map, is on the brink of nuclear weaponry.  Likewise, Israel is set to strike preemptively to slow Iran’s progress.  This will no doubt put the region into a full fledged war.  Obama has been vague as to his support militarily for Israel and its right to defend itself.  Having already given his tacit approval of returning to the 1967 borders, and his criticism of Israel’s warnings to Iran, I have little confidence that they will have full U.S. support in the matter.
  • Obamacare.  Despite what its supporters claim, Obamacare is a fiscal nightmare.  So far its projected costs have doubled which means twice the funding will need to be gathered.  How will it be funded?  Well, since $716 billion has already been pilfered from Medicare, the new taxes set to begin in 2013 will have to be reevaluated (read: increased).  At some point, the wealthy cannot be further taxed, revenues will have to be sought from the middle-class and business owners further burdening them and making the economy even worse.
  • Unemployment.  The current state of unemployment is not showing any signs of turning around.  With more people signing up for disability and leaving the workforce all together than finding full-time work, it’s not looking good.  Sure the rate has receded in the last couple months, but it’s a superficial façade.  There are still record numbers of people looking for work, or more work, than ever before.  So far the response to the problem has been to extend unemployment benefits which is like plugging a leak in a dam with bubble gum.
  • Welfare spending.  As it stands nearly 1 in 7 Americans are on food assistance.  The number of people who have signed up for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, aka food stamps) under this administration’s watch should be cause for shame, but it seems to be worn as a badge of honor — or at least nothing to be ashamed of.  When he took office in January of 2009, there were 31,983,716 people enrolled in the program.  As of July 2012, 46,681,833 take advantage of the program.   Additionally, spending on the program has ballooned from $3.6 billion to nearly $6.3 billion, nearly a 100% increase.  Given the sharp trend upward, and the relaxed standards for meeting the requirements, the number of recipients will only skyrocket.

Now for the good.

  • A Republican President in 2016.  Regardless of why voters decided to re-elect the President, when his tenure is up, Americans will has two fresh candidates to choose from both of whom will be running against the President’s policies.  By 2016, it should be undeniable we need not just a different direction, but an entirely opposite one.  I don’t think after enduring the next four years, they will be very sympathetic to the Democrat Party.
  • The Republican Congress.  In 2010 the American people replaced Democrat House members in unbelievable numbers.  This “shellacking”, as President Obama put it, was the check and balance the government needed and the people demanded.  It slowed the damage done in the first two years where Democrats had complete control of the House, Senate, and Presidency.  Democrats forced through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) using questionable tactics.  The President’s failed $800+ billion stimulus which was touted as the cure for the unemployment problem was also passes using political bribery and strong arm tactics.  The American Electorate wasn’t quite ready to give the President full reign just yet.   And hopefully the Republicans use their majority to stifle the President’s full agenda.  Traditionally, a sitting President loses seats in both Chambers of Congress mid-term, so there is some reason to be optimistic.  But Republicans will need to cooperate and compromise in some areas, but will need to absolutely put their foot down in others.

Unfortunately, I could only come up with two good forecasts.  I’m sure there are others, and I implore readers to offer suggestions.  Of course Liberals and Conservatives differ on what they consider good and bad in the political world, but I’m open to suggestions.  For now, we will have to sit back and see what happens.

Comments

  1. Dan Traube says:

    What of the GOP demographics problem? By 2016, old white men will be an even smaller number, whereas all the groups that vote Democratic will be larger – black folk, young folk, hispanic folk, folk concerned about the environment, women folk… The GOP is running low on voters, if they don’t change their direction.

    IF they don’t change direction (give up the anti-immigrant, anti-gay, pro-massive-military) stances, I see the GOP numbers continuing to decline with each election. You all have some bridges to build, seems to me.

    Refusing to even engage in conversation (blocking people from your blogs, for instance) is only going to make things worse. You all will have to start engaging respectfully and making your case respectfully/honestly or you’re going the way of the Whigs.

    • I don’t think there is.a demographic problem. Some old.white men will be dead by 2016 but there will more old white men coming in. We’re not going to run out. The same.goes for young black people. You’re confusing the category with the people.

  2. Court – woohoo
    Spending – as if Republicans would be different… At least we’ll get a decent economy to spend on.
    Israel – Republicans and Democrats are equally hawkish on Israeli protection.
    Obamacare – It’s a Republican construct anyway. Congressional Republicans took single-payer and used Romney’s Mass. model to create a monster. Better than the private-sector death panels we had, but it’s not better only because Republicans went half way.
    Unemployment – we shall see.
    Welfare – woohoo.
    2016 – Hillary Clinton vs Chris Christie. Quite an intruiguing matchup.
    Congress – The 2010 shellacking turned into an embarrassment of gridlock and gaffes capped off by a 2012 Republican primary that alternated between horrifying and hilarious. The Tea Party tried to bring back 18th-century science, laws, and values into America and Americans rejected the offer. Time for Republicans to go back to the drawing board, hopefully way back to actual fiscal responsibility and social libertarianism instead of the pro-war moralistic white elite they’ve become today.

    And a few good-news additions:
    Repeal of DOMA
    DREAM act passage (or something like it)
    And just maybe decriminalization of marijuana leading into an end of the war on drugs.
    But maybe I’m too optimistic.

    • Jason, I think your cheers and jeers of “The Bad” you know how I’d respond, so I’ll jump right to “The Good”

      Hopefully DOMA , a Bill Clinton bit of legislation, will persist. I think it’s important and it has nothing to do with ickiness.

      I support some kind of DREAM Act legislation. Personally, I think 8-12 years is too long to wait in line to legally enter the country. I think if a child is brought here, even illegally, through no fault of their own, there ought to be a mechanism in place to educate them and make them productive, legal citizens.

      I’m on the fence on Marijuana, leaning toward legalization or at least decriminalization. I could be swayed either way, really. Here in my home state, small amounts were decriminalized. If you are caught with less that 1/2 oz, I believe it is, basically the amount someone would have for personal use, an infraction ticket is issued, like a speeding ticket. I think this is the best way to go with marijuana. If the Govt wants money from the industry, this is the only way to get it. If its made legal and taxed, you’ll still have home growers and underground traffic. By issuing fines rather than jail, and attach the non-payment to a drivers license or something, you ensure revenue to the Govt.

  3. John One thing you failed to mention: what if Isreal gets tired of waiting for help from America and bombs Iran. What if Iran bombs some of American bases scattered around the area. What if we end up in a world war. This is something that might have been avoided if Romney had won…..

    • I am pretty sure there will be war in the Middle East. I also think, like you, that Romney’s unwaivering support for Israel would have kept Iran and others at bay.

  4. The point is that angry old white men, as a proportion to the rest of the voting public, are a decreasing bloc. With black folk voting 90+% against GOP, hispanic folk voting 70% against GOP, majorities of women, young people, urban dwellers, gay folk and their friends/supporters, non-church-goers… just about every group voting mostly (or WAY mostly) against the GOP, you all can’t keep going in this direction and remain a viable second party.

    And, as far as I’m concerned, we need a viable second party. The GOP will have to change their position on homosexuality and immigration policies, at least, if you want to remain viable.

  5. Under “bad” you forgot to mention economic collapse, (might have happened anyway) a much smaller middle class, and ineptness in dealing with the powder keg we call the middle east… to name a few.

  6. No, I’m not saying you should abandon your principles. I’m saying if you want to win elections and change society in directions you think are positive, you’ll have to do a better job of making your case and, in some cases like marriage equity or immigration, you’ll have to choose between hanging on to ideals that will cost you elections or embrace/demand those ideals and be marginalized.

    For example, being one who leans pacifist, I could really push that and demand that PACIFISM MUST BE A NON-NEGOTIABLE PART of my party.

    OR, I could recognize that pacifism is a very minority position and recognize that I’m not going to win folk over to pacifism, at least immediately. Given that and allowing for respect of religious liberty (ie, not everyone shares my view of Christian pacifism), I’ll argue for the next best thing: responsible foreign policy and Just Peacemaking practices and, as a last ditch compromise, Just War practices – but trying to hold folk accountable to truly Just War principles.

    That does not mean that I don’t still think peacemaking/pacifism is the most morally apt life, nor does it mean I’ve abandoned it. I’ve just recognized that it is a minority position and it will not win any elections and, more importantly, that not everyone shares my faith tradition’s views on that topic and respecting their religious liberty.

    Similarly for marriage equity and allowing gay folk to adopt and other similar issues… Your position is increasingly the minority position. You can insist that everyone agree with your minority religious view and insist that it is part of your party’s platform, or you can recognize that you’re in the minority and give up on it as a party platform, leaning towards religious liberty on that issue (ie, YOU won’t choose to marry a guy, but you will leave it to the conscience of others to make that decision for themselves).

    In a diverse society, I don’t think allowing for religious liberty is in any way abandoning my/your/our principles. It is, I think, a very good thing, even if I disagree with others’ conclusions. Our religious liberty is part of what makes us great. Embrace it.

  7. Additionally, I’m saying that you have got to find ways to reach all sectors of society. Right now, the GOP turns away in HUGE numbers the black, hispanic, gay, young, Jewish, Muslim votes, and in pretty large numbers, the women’s vote. You’ve got to figure out a way not to do that or your numbers will dwindle to unelectable amounts.

    The angry old white guy is a declining percentage of the population, you’ve got to find ways to reach out to other groups. IF you want to remain a viable party.

  8. The reason the GOP turns away huge numbers of black and hispanic is because they like being welfare slaves to the Demokratic party. We don’t care about the “gay” vote because they want government to legalize their perverse agenda. We also don’t care about Muslim votes because they want Sharia law and the Demokrats, especially Obama, are selling Israel down the river. The reason the younger people vote Demokrat is because the educational system totally brainwashes them in the liberal agenda, and the conservatives do not have access to the educational system.

    It’s not just “angry old white guys,” you racist; it is also the minority of blacks and hispanics who don’t want to be slaves to the government. The Demokratic party is the party of Satan, by the way, since their whole platform is against God.

    God has given us Obama as punishment for this nation turning its back on Him with their abortion and sexual immorality worldview.

  9. And there’s your reason you’ll keep losing. Until the GOP starts standing up to Glenn’s ugly sort of “reasoning,” you will be perceived as the party of angry old white guys who won’t discuss these matters reasonably or even sanely.

    Brother Glenn, do you think Satan is the reason that the GOP lost?

    John, is it just me, or does Glenn sound delusional and hateful?

    • Oh, so now it is “delusional and hateful” to speak the truth? Oh, that’s right; by Dan Trabue’s definition, any disagreement with the homosexual agenda or his heretical ideas is “delusional and hateful.”

      Yes Satan is the reason the GOP lost, because it is Satan who has led the people in this nation to embrace everything which is unholy. And God gave this nation the President it deserves for turning its back on HIM!

      And people like you are part of the problem as you teach people to embrace what is unholy.

  10. It is hateful and delusional to state, as you just did…

    The reason the GOP turns away huge numbers of black and hispanic is because they like being welfare slaves to the Demokratic party. We don’t care about the “gay” vote because they want government to legalize their perverse agenda.

    Just ask your black and hispanic friends (if you have any), “Does this statement sound hateful and delusional to you?” It is grossly offensive and stupid as hell, Glenn. Do you truly not reconize that? Have you been so blinded by your cultural biases that you can’t recognize uncivil discourse?

    Brother, I suggest you take some time off, pray, breathe, meditate upon God’s Word and this great and glorious creation we find ourselves in. Find God in the good, in the holy, in the love of family and friends. Life, for all of its pitfalls and problems, is good and God is on God’s throne, my man.

    Get some help. For your sake. For your family’s sake. You’re going to have a heart attack.

    May you find peace In Christ,

    Dan

    • Dan,
      Again, it is not delusional and hateful to state facts. Have you ever investigated why the majority of blacks and hispanics vote Demokrat? Because they see them as Santa Claus. For crying out loud, many talked about getting their free cell phones, etc. They vote Demokrat because they like the idea of the government nanny, which is nothing but slavery to the government. That is 100% fact!

      And it is also 100% fact that the “gay” vote is all about an agenda to push sexual perversion – homosexual behavior is sexual perversion. That is not hateful or delusional – it is 100% fact. You are in denial because you are a promoter of Satan and his agenda.

      You are the one who needs to repent of your ungodly teachings and start worshipping the true God of the Bible before you find yourself eternally in hell.

  11. Facts? Okay, cite the study that demonstrates factually that black folk are greedy and stupid and cite the notes from the Gay Meeting where they published their Official Agenda to Dissiminate Perversion.

    Lord have mercy, you are such a creep. I rebuke your racist, unholy lies in the name of Jesus Christ.

    Get some help.

    • Dan you are abjectly stupid and intentionally misrepresent what people say just so you can make fun of them. You do it all the time.

      What I stated was the majority of blacks and hispanics who vote for Demokrats are the ones who want a nanny government. Many of them have also stated they vote for Obama for no reason other than he is black – talk about racist! And the man is half white but they only care about skin color!!

      Now quit misrepresenting what I say. You are the perfect for for what the Bible calls a fool.

    • Oh, and the “gay” agenda is out there and has been for decades. If you are ignorant of it, that is your problem. But I think you know all about it and agree with it, and typical of homosexualists you deny there is such an agenda.

  12. So, only the vast majority of “the blacks” are stupid and greedy, that’s what you’re going with?

    And so, you have no actual facts to base your eating-pudding-with-your-fingers crazy ideas upon?

    As I thought.

    John, you come across as much more rational than Glenn. I’m suggesting to the more rational GOP-types that you need to denounce the fringe-dwellers and say clearly, “THIS does not represent our ideals” if you want to even begin to reach out to gay folk and people not lily white or angry old male.

    This sort of racism and bat-poop-crazy ugliness is going to kill the GOP.

    • Dan,

      Why do you continue to misquote and misrepresent me. Read again. I did not say “the vast majority of blacks,” rather I said “the vast majority of blacks and hispanics who vote Demokrat” or “for Obama.” This is based on the numerous polls and interviews with the people themselves and the reasons they gave. The reasons were either because Obama was black or because they got stuff from the government. End of story.

      Marshall, OUTSTANDING response!

  13. Dan,

    The idea, that the left does NOT perpetuate in any of their actual behaviors and comments, is to represent all America, to serve all America. The GOP, or at least the conservative wing of the party, thinks in terms of what’s best for all America. We do not think in terms of “reaching out” to any group that the Dems cut up into little factions that they exploit to pretend they are doing more than the right-wing to benefit. Hispanic vote? Let’s give amnesty to all who came here illegally while referring to the right-wing as haters when they are really supporting the rule of law. Women vote? Let’s grant all manner of financial support for contraceptives and abortion while referring to the right-wing as misogynists when they are really defending the God-given and Constitutionally protecting right to life of the unborn, as well as defending the people of good moral character from having their pockets picked so women can abdicate their responsibilities for engaging in sexual behavior. “Gay” rights? Let’s give homosexuals and lesbians the “right” to redefine marriage to include their disordered attraction for each other and pretend its no different than real marriage and call the right-wing bigots for defending the actual meaning of the word, the purpose of traditional state sanctioning and support of it, as well as God’s clearly revealed intention for creating man and woman.

    If the right-wing goes down because we refuse to bow down to these willful and purposeful lies and distortions of our positions, so be it. We prefer to stand for truth, and facts, and reality. Honorable people don’t roll over for the whims of world-centered frauds and what is right, good and better for the nation is not a matter of sentiments of the morally bankrupt, no matter how many more of them are added to
    their current numbers. You’ll have quite a good company of friends on your way to hell in a handbag, both figuratively and literally. You won’t have us joining you.

  14. 93% of African American citizens – business owners, workers, elderly, veterans, ministers of God, church-goers, family members, fathers, mothers, grandparents, doctors, lawyers, unemployed, factory workers… – 93% of African Americans voted for Obama. So, you are not saying the “vast majority of all” black folk. You’re saying the vast majority of 93% of black folk. What’s that, 90%? 85%?

    Are you saying that 85% of black folk are lazy, niggardly and too stupid and immoral to vote responsibly? And you don’t see how crazy-as-a-loon, offensive and racist that sounds? Well, that’s on you. Don’t expect the rest of us God-fearing, hard-working family-loving citizens to go along with that sort of outrageously false and demeaning claim.

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