It is dreary and rainy in Washington DC today. Many of the streets in the downtown area are blocked due to the financial brain trust meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The President is running around the country like a banshee screaming, “Pass this bill” and looking for something to tax. No one is listening. Congress cannot agree on passing disaster aid funds and money to keep the government open after September 30.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average has had a bad week. When the Federal Reserve was not being berated by Congressional Republican Leaders, it was inventing a new financial dance called the twist, which was panned, by the markets. Europe, whatever that is these days, is in deep financial turmoil. Now, there are worries about China. To add to all of this, the Australian dollars drastically declined in value yesterday or is it tomorrow over there already. It is enough to make a person curl up with a large box of cheap Italian wine and smoke a Roi-Tan cigar. (I wonder if they still make those Tipperillos anymore?).
I was going to write a thoughtful piece on the Congressional Super Committee and suggest some tax ideas. It would have been chocked full of insight and information on tax reform, tax expenditures and analysis of deficits. But, what the heck? It is too dreary outside as I said. And, I would rather make a list of things to do during my birthday month of October.
However, and there is always a however, I was also looking at US Senate Races coming up next year. It would seem the Democrats will lose control of the Senate and Harry Reid will have to move down the hall. I would say about 6-8 switches are possible, more than enough. Senator Reid would then become an obstructionist in earnest instead of the position being a part-time job.
It is interesting to speculate how Washington would work if Republicans controlled both House and Senate and President Obama is re-elected? Would that be a workable relationship with Obama in a more or less lame duck position? Would it be possible to move the government along or just prolong the gridlock with Obama defending the programs he fostered and trying to hold increased spending levels. Fighting over how much to tax everyone? Would the regulators and agencies be turned loose to get in their licks in which have been tempered in the last few months? Would Obama really care with no electoral consequences on the horizon for his performance?
On the other hand, what if the Republicans won the Presidency and controlled Congress? The election in political terms is a light year away. However, in spite of many advantages for the incumbent, it looks like there is more than a real question to the Presidential outcome in November 2012. There may be less than enthusiasm for some of the Republican candidates now but by election time, even the flawed can look like giants and as I have maintained, the Presidential election will be a national referendum on Obama, his performance and the role of government in the economy
So, what if Mitt or Rick or Michelle or Herman (he has the best name) or someone else is elected? Would it be “Katie bar the door”, “rollback city”, and “go to the mattresses”, or an opportunity to move a thoughtful conservative agenda along? One voters dream is another one’s nightmare, I guess.
The country is indeed in trouble. I suspect the economy is going to be in a quagmire for some time. Neither political party is currently helping the country forward, just merely stopping the other from driving us all off the cliff. Political bickering is fine. It is in a sense a competition of ideas in the political marketplace. However, too much is destructive. So, on this Friday, let’s all speculate on what is to become, and what can be. Match, anyone?