Wednesday, January 05, 2011

We're Going to Need Some Bigger Predictions

Dante fairly accurately nailed 2010. Right down to Sarah Palin's overexposure. Despite a whiff on Harry Reid and the GOP in the House, that's a pretty strong list of predictions.

My record was somewhat worse. At least I was right about the Saints and Falcons in the Playoffs.

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4 comments:

Dante said...

I count 10 of 15 for me and 2 of 5 on your sports-related predictions. My biggest failings were pessimism about Republicans taking at least one chamber of Congress and my utter disbelief that Arlen Specter would go quietly into that good night. Here's some 2011 stuff:

1. Economy rebounds big. To make this measurable, I'm going to say GDP up by at least 6% over where it was at end of year 2010.

2. Despite the boost in GDP, unemployment never dips below 8%.

3. Republican candidates come out of the woodwork. Every Republican from Mitt Romney to Bo Derek tries to get as much facetime as possible talking about how they intend to run for President.

4. Obama's approval rating hangs around 60% by the end of the year. The economy will fuel the rise in approval.

5. The Year of Republican Posturing. The House is going to pass all kinds of legislation that has zero shot in the Senate, much less a Presidential signature.

6. Obama the compromiser. I think the tax deal is the tip of an iceberg. Obama got a political win at the expense of some of the further-left-leaning members of Congress. He needs the far left less now that he's the established candidate with no control over the House so look for him to cut as many deals as he can with Republicans. Obama's biggest strength is his ability to get legislation passed.

7. Supreme Court will rule that the federal government does have the right to compel insurance coverage. Social Security will be mentioned extensively in the majority opinion.

8. No serious contender will talk about running against Obama in 2012. We'll use Dennis Kucinich as a baseline for "serious." If you're not more influential than Kucinich, then you don't count as serious.

9. Rand Paul is not his daddy. He'll make at least one big compromise his father balks at.

10. Approval rating for Congress rebounds significantly now that they can all talk big and block each other from actually implementing anything too controversial. 40% by end of year.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

1. Nope. We have yet to address the external and internal factors artificially holding down our economy. Even as everyone proposes solutions that are unlikely to work.

2. Yep. Please see above response.

3. They will all be fighting to become the anti-Palin, but now that she's gotten in a tussle with Krauthammer & George Will, it isn't so farfetched.

4. His approval/disapproval numbers are still nearly identical. Since I don't think the economy is going to improve much, I'll say he stays there.

5. Another year of Posturing? I thought they'd been doing this since 1994, with similar results even when they controlled the Senate and the Presidency.

6. Yep.

7. Wow.

8. +1

9. On what issue? I can't see too many that will fit this year.

10. Congress' approval rating has been in the tank for years and years. It will continue to stay there, never coming back above 25%.

Dante said...

"1. Nope. We have yet to address the external and internal factors artificially holding down our economy. Even as everyone proposes solutions that are unlikely to work."

Economies naturally expand and contract. The government can augment the process but not stop or start it. I think people will want a rebound bad enough that it'll really happen, even if it this boom does come at the expense of a bust later.

"5. Another year of Posturing? I thought they'd been doing this since 1994, with similar results even when they controlled the Senate and the Presidency."

In 1994, Republicans in Congress did exactly the same thing. They passed things they knew had no shot at getting signed by Clinton. It was when Republicans got control of Congress and the Presidency that they forgot why they were there and stopped even bothering to posture.

Starting after the 2006 elections, House Republicans became a minority and did a pretty good job of it. Now that they control the House again, they'll waste the role fighting legislative windmills.

"10. Congress' approval rating has been in the tank for years and years. It will continue to stay there, never coming back above 25%."

The historical periods where approval went above 40% were most of Reagan's second term and from about 1998 until 2005. I don't think it's a coincidence that in those years were also some of our better years as far as GDP growth. But that ties back into the economy.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Economies naturally expand and contract. The government can augment the process but not stop or start it. I think people will want a rebound bad enough that it'll really happen, even if it this boom does come at the expense of a bust later.

I can see where you're coming from on this, and I agree. But I'm not talking about the government fixing any foundational economic problems, I'm talking about the economy's foundational problems that it seems unwilling to address.

But you're right about any boom under current circumstances leading to another bust.