A View into the Future: Post Script to June-November 2012

Using the previous 4 years experience as guide we may expect:

The national economy will continue to languish with low growth and high unemployment. I do not believe we will enter another recession during the next four years but we will be becalmed. Some states – New Jersey under Christie/Sweeney among them – will continue to apply the brakes on the nations’s economic growth. Neither Obama nor Romney, and certainly not the U.S. Congress, will address the factors in the U.S. tax code which encourage capital export.  Accordingly, regardless of who wins, Wall Street will remain disconnected from Main Street.

Needless to say, the national debt will continue to grow with either one.

Even if president Obama wins in November 2012, we already know his capability for abdicating postulates made while campaigning. We should expect that there will be negative effects on Social Security and Medicare, two social programs which candidate Romney has on his hit list, even if Obama is victorious. Obama will adopt some of Romney’s proposals. Such effects would most likely be cuts in both programs, perhaps somewhat smaller under Obama than those which would be implemented by a hypothetical President Romney.

We should also expect a re-elected President Obama to slightly reduce other social programs that he is now, during the campaign, defending with vigor. Either Obama or Romney will sweeten draconian cuts by phasing them onto the younger generations.

I would also expect that a re-elected President Obama would abandon at least some of his tax positions in support of the lower and middle classes, all for the sake of compromise. Similarly, there will be retreats in issues such as the environment and Wall Street regulatory statutes.

As a rule of thumb, President Obama will cede ground wherever big money is involved. He will hold out better in social issues such as birth control and same sex marriage.

President Romney would be very negative on the social issues mentioned above and similarly or even more accommodating toward big money.

Income gap would grow more under Romney than under Obama although the difference between the two will not be large.

We should expect that either President Obama or Romney will continue making inroads into our civil liberties using terrorism as excuse, even after Al Qaeda is wiped out.

A President Romney would be more likely to get the United States involved in another major foreign war.

With either president, New Jersey should expect very little help from Washington and that is why our own gubernatorial election of 2013 is so important: We will be basically on our own. We can hardly afford irresponsibility, demagoguery, and incompetence any longer.

Advertisements

In Drugs, Cuba Topics, the U.S. Is Isolated at Summit of the Americas

Drug war, including legalization, hot topic at Summit of the Americas – CNN.com.

“Obama voiced his view that legalizing drugs isn’t a valid option in the United States twice on Saturday — first during a meeting of business leaders alongside Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Santos and later during the event’s opening day session.”

I ask: Why? We are not winning the drug war. In fact, we are not winning any war but we kept on getting  in trouble because it is good business – for some; not necessarily for the county. And also because our leaders are not the ones doing the fighting nor are their kids. No wonder Milton Friedman, the economic adviser and ideologist of the Reagan administration, considered ending the military draft his greatest achievement.  The voluntary army makes war less disturbing among the high circles at tea time.

I digressed a bit. Back to the drug issue: With less than 5% of the world population, we have 25% of the prisoners of the world – that is counting all the bad guys such as North Korea, Burma, Cuba, etc. Does the lyric “the land of the free” in our National Anthem still apply?

From a Ron Paul website:

# 1 United States: 2,019,234 prisoners
# 2 China: 1,549,000 prisoners
# 3 Russia: 846,967 prisoners
# 4 India: 313,635 prisoners
# 5 Brazil: 308,304 prisoners
# 6 Thailand: 213,815 prisoners
# 7 Ukraine: 198,386 prisoners

And per capita:

# 1 United States: 715 per 100,000 people
# 2 Russia: 584 per 100,000 people
# 3 Belarus: 554 per 100,000 people
# 4 Palau: 523 per 100,000 people
# 5 Belize: 459 per 100,000 people
# 6 Suriname: 437 per 100,000 people
# 7 Dominica: 420 per 100,000 people

Drug legalization has gained traction in Central America, which is being squeezed between the suppliers to the south and the consumers to the north. Mexico is in a virtual state of civil war, notably in the northern region near the U.S. border. The cartels get their arms from across the Rio Grande. Even peaceful Costa Rica is beginning to feel the effect of the drug traffic and its president recently called for the legalization of pot.

President Obama’s best reason to oppose legalization (of anything) is that we have prohibited those substances for such a long time that is almost a tradition now. The man who promised “Change you can Believe in” has brought very little of it. And his likely opponent, Romney, is not any better; possibly worse.

If elected governor  in 2013, I intend to propose the decriminalization of marijuana sale and use in New Jersey – with the exception of the established radius around schools. However, under federal law, it will still be a crime. The N.J. Police will not chase you but the US DEA will if my proposal is adopted. I also intend to pardon a number of non-violent drug prisoners, notably those arrested because of possession of pot, now in N.J. jails.

I don’t think New Jersey is ready for more than that at the moment.

As for admitting Cuba back in the OAS and the entire US policy toward Cuba, I will just say this: It has become another traditional policy that does not take us anywhere but we have no imagination or courage to change it. The US embargo was a big problem for us in the opposition inside. We had no supply lines because of it. We were abandoned. Castro, on the other hand, has used it for propaganda purposes with great success for 52 years.

Christie N.J. Budget Proposal: I’ll Have One of What He’s Having

Gov. Chris Christie budget speech full text | NJ.com.

This a proposed budget; not the final budget. An over-optimistic proposal is not a capital sin but the main problem is that if this become the budget and the revenue does not meet the glossy expectations, of course the governor will rather sacrifice something else  than his pet-tax-cut experiment – not for any economical reason but for purely political and propagandistic purposes. And here are two further points:

First: The question if the governor is throwing this in to influence the VP selection in the event that Romney becomes the republican candidate in 2012. That would be the most unconscionable act but nothing surprises me. And anyway, I still believe it would be a futile sacrifice of New Jersey’s interests: I think that Romney – if he wins the nomination at all – most likely will choose a more conservative VP from the South or Midwest. A Northeastern ticket may not do very well in November considering that the bulk of the republican base is not in the Northeast.

Second: Every imponderable is against the prospect of a fast recovery: High consumer leverage, possible conflict with Iran, possible U.S. intervention in Syria (Obama may turn more hawkish if he sees re-election in doubt), China’s economy slowing down, political gridlock in Washington, more problems with the EU crisis  (Greece is not out of the woods and Portugal is beginning to show signs of distress again), New Jersey’s highest unemployment in the Northeast, wage stagnation, and the list goes on – all on the negative side.

The Straits of America – Nouriel Roubini – Project Syndicate.

I frankly can’t imagine how the administration arrived at this rosy forecast. As in “When Harry Met Sally”
I’ll have one of what he’s having.

Then, for the sake of argument, we must arrive at the best scenario – that everything goes well – and thus face the question: What does this tax cut accomplish – from the economic point of view? My answer is: Nothing, and the same goes for the democratic alternative. Both proposals are political; not economical measures. They are too small, would be applied in lieu of drastic structural reforms, and as they have been proposed are spread out – because the fat State of New Jersey is unable to do any better – so the input of cash in the economy is diluted to insignificance.

But we will see what comes out as final product at the end of June. By then, the French presidential election will be over and we may have a socialist government in France which may close the chapter of euro rescue. Or all hell may have broken lose in the Persian Gulf. And even if neither happens, we should be addressing our outstanding obligations before they compound beyond reach.

King George III Never Had the Power that President Obama Has Today

Or that Romney or Gingrich will have if one of them gets elected. KG3 could not start war without parliament declaring war, nor could he imprison his own subjects indefinitely without charge or trial.

Please support repealing section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act 2012 – the Indefinite Imprisonment of Americans Without Charge  clause. The repeal is embodied in H.R. 3785.

Romney to hecklers: “Corporations are people”

http://video.nytimes.com/video/2011/08/11/us/politics/100000000994927/romney-heckled.html

I certainly disagree with that statement: Corporations are not people and even though it is true that corporations pass costs onto consumers, corporation are being allowed to influence the political process like never before. That is simply dangerous for our republic. This is the travesty promoted by U.S. Supreme Court “Citizens United VS FEC.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The republican line-up is so poor for 2012 that it is more than likely than I will vote for Obama’s reelection although I disapprove of him tremendously. What sad choices we have.