There certainly has been a reversal of fortune since last year. My predictions were that the world would be in a much worse financial soup than they are now. Europe and a potential Israeli attack on Iran still looms, but the Peoples Republic of China has to be given a lot of credit for managing its economy as well as it has given the many factors that could cause destabilization. And even in the EU the brilliant technocratic mind has mustered enough snake oil and baby steps towards integration to fool the world stock markets so far.
In the electoral sphere , Barack Obama looked like a cooked goose last year when he did his Neville Chamberlain impersonation for the GOP on the stupid budget face off. But now, it doesn't hurt his chances that Mitt Romney has tuirned out to be such a Dagwood Bumstead. The latest polls have Obama nationally ahead by only the narrowest of margins nationally, but all of this is before the public has been called about Bumstead's pick of Eddie Munster. Oops! I mean Paul Ryan and his calls for the elimination of Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, and I assume unemployment benefits, and his schemes for privatizing Social Security.
Somehow I do not think that any of Paul Ryan's Ayn Rand ideology will fly with the voters. And so the election looks like a badly managed circus wrestling routine with a predetermined outcome. A two less likely pair to inhabit the White House I have never seen since the last TV wrestling road show in 2008. But as in any case, the fix is already in. What we are experiencing now is nothing more than a gayly staged pageant brought to us by our media masters and members of the ruling class.
ROMNEY/RYAN = LOSERS. OBAMA = WINNER
TV stations and networks should have an extra billion dollars or so to play around with. The people who watch TV of course, are the designated losers.
TV STATIONS = WINNERS. TV WATCHERS = LOSERS
It will be very interesting to see what happens to the pinheads in the Tea Party. With all of their energy being placed to removing a black man from the White House after four years, there will certainly be a huge round of disappointment. I expect that in any event the whackjobs in Congress will diminish after the next election, if only because there was such a lopsided gain for the TPers in 2010. I believe that one of the reason for the particular virulence of the rabid right wing is the realization that they are fighting a rear guard action against a demographic tide of minority voters that will eventually overwhelm the white racist majority in places like Arizona and elsewhere. By the next census for sure, Arizona should be a comfortably Democratic states along with much of the South.
While I expect that such elements will never disappear from the American political scene, they will be substantially weakened after this election. For one thing, the Romney-Ryan defeat of 2012 will cause some re-evaluation within the Republican Party -- particularly as it comes to grip with Taxmaggedon and the mandated deficit reductions imposed on themselves. All of this may be a bit messy in GOPland for a while.
TEA PARTY = LOSERS. MODERATE REPUBLICANS = WINNERS?
Despite Obama's pledge to do away with the 35% tax bracket (going all the way up in 2013 to that frightfully socialistic level of 38%) -- somehow I see the 1% continue to survive in their self-created environment in Washington, DC. Exotic derivatives have increased by $200 trillion dollars worldwide since the Crash of 2008 to an estimated $800 trillion now. This is four times the value of the entire world. When the crash occurred, the financial sector made up 40% of the economy. Now it makes up 50% of the national economy. And the value of loot squirreled away by the mega-rich personally is a teeny $21 trillion in the bank vaults.
This sum, unlike the larger derivatives, has no claim on job creation whatsoever other than for the security guards and TV cameras watching the vaults. And to give you an idea of how big that $21 trillion in idle cash is -- that is equal to the entire economy of the USA and Japan COMBINED!
Until such time as Europe explodes threatening to take down the entire world economy, the rich will be quite comfy. And no LIBOR scandal will sully their pretty little heads. While it's clear that the world's financial position is totally unsustainable, until there is a total collapse from the overconcentration of capital (as there inevitably will be) -- there will be business as usual.
1%= WINNERS FOR NOW, BUT WHO KNOWS LATER?
Depending on how many liberal Democrats take the place of Tea Partiers in Congress, there is some hope that some minor tweaking of the system can be accomplished in the next session of Congress. I've already talked about the fact that the Bush tax cuts on upper income people will expire next year, not matter what. We may see some other areas like green energy and drought relief that get tweaked. And let's not forget pork. Transportation stimulus is always popular with the local folks, so there will be more economic stimulus probably there after the GOP's long delaying tactics.
But remember. All change in Washington, DC is incremental at best and glacial as usual. Maybe if and when the entire world economic system is facing the real barrel of the gun there will be a new New Deal. But not now.
I'm only going to talk about the domestic scene. In foreign policy land, neither the EU nor Israel look like winners no matter what they do. One can only hope there is no catastrophe (or double catastrophe).