Congratulations America, you have now given power in the U.S. House of Representatives back to the very people and political agendas that put us in the historic world of hurt we find ourselves in. Nice going.
Economist Paul Krugeman had an article just before the election that's worth a read if you're interested in knowing what the next two years will be like.
Meanwhile, with the House now controlled by the Republicans, here are some of my political predictions:
The House of Representatives will attempt to impeach Barak Obama...especially if they feel he is a threat to win again in 2012. You think that's crazy? Well, the last time a Democrat was president (Clinton), a Republican controlled House did impeach him. They did it in Clinton's second term, so it wasn't even an attempt to take him out as a contender for the next election - something the Rs would be able to do with Obama now. And, back then, they impeached Clinton on pretty flimsy grounds...that he lied under oath about getting a blowjob from Monica Lewinski. Only a slightly less crazy Republican-controlled Senate decided to not ratify. The Rs will find something about Obama and trump it up as impeachable and then go from there. Again, remember, Republicans like Michele Bachmann from Minnesota have said on the record that if they were in power, they would investigate Democrats for "un-American" activities.
The House will attempt to repeal the healthcare reform law. Mark it down. This will happen. Obama won't sign such a repeal of course even if the Senate goes along with the House, but there is SO MUCH MONEY in healthcare that even some House Democrats and Senators might be convinced to change their votes to get up to a veto-proof majority so they can continue to get campaign funding from big pharma and insurance companies. Such a repeal would be a crippling blow to the economy and the overall quality of life for U.S. citizens. Oh, and if Obama stymies the Rs on this, I refer you back to my first prediction above...impeachment. Perhaps even using the argument that healthcare reform is "unconstitutional" (which of course is bunk) and since Obama took an oath to uphold the Constitution he is therefore, now, impeachable. Remember that lawsuit that some state Attorneys General filed against the reform law? Remember who sits on the Supreme Court and who put them there? It all comes together.
The deficit will not be any better in two years than it is now. If anything it'll be worse. Why do I cite a two year time frame? Well, that's all we've had since Obama was elected in November 2008 (actually he's only been in office since Jan. 2009 - a total of 21 months). So, if the public is angry that Obama couldn't fix the spectacular deficit he inherited from the Bush/Republican government in the 2000s in just 21 months, then they for sure will be equally angry if it's not fixed or on the right track by October of 2012, right? They must think a different Congress can get it done that fast, right? Somehow I think a far more likely scenario will be that magically the"anger" will suddenly be turned into "deficit spending is good for the economy" talk. Putting it another way, it's easy to yell about vague notions like "cutting spending" or "overspending" during a campaign, but if you get power...what are you going to do? What are you going to cut?
This brings us to...
Attempts will be made to change or eliminate Social Security. Citing a combination of factors such as how big a piece of spending this program accounts for, along with scary forecasts for when it will "fail," conservative power will attempt to change or eliminate Social Security in the name of "fixing" it and in the process handing over a windfall in money management to big banks and Wall Street. The positioning for this will again be along the lines of the individual having "ownership" over their future...giving people "freedom to chose" how they save for retirement or an unfortunate setback instead of "the government." Conservatives have been itching to delete Social Security since five minutes past the moment it was signed into law back in the 1930s. With power again, they will try again. Oh, and they feel the exact same way about Medicare and Medicade. We really could be looking at a Congress that eliminates social programs this country has relied on for 80 years. Think of the devastation and poverty such moves would bring upon the American people.
There will be no change in terms of social policy, immigration or "liberty" issues that Tea Partiers crow so much about. Listen up. Once again, I will tell you...conservative politicians USE social issue voters to get elected. The gin up interest and controversy on issues such as abortion, gay rights, immigration, guns, etc. to get conservatives to turn out in droves...and then when they get in office, they certainly do not push through legislation on these matters. No. They instantly go into "serve big business and the rich" mode. The end. Not sure how many times I have to say all this, but it is INVARIABLY true.
Unemployment will stay about the same as it is now - 7 to 10 percent. Why? Well, the big reason is that good, sustainable jobs are created by businesses - not government. And, big numbers of jobs are created by big businesses as they innovate, change and compete. But here's the thing: big business is not doing most of those things. They've "wrung out" costs, outsourced jobs overseas, benefited from major tax windfalls and deregulation (thanks to W and team) and, now, have cut back staff severely during the recession but survived. What motivation do they have to spend money to find "the next big thing" that will usher in huge numbers of new jobs (or, as business sees them, expenses) when they can simply sit back, enjoy tax laws that enable them to keep most of their profit and continue to downsize people and costs? The Republicans are not going to mess with that. If anything, they'll make it even more the case.