Anyone who thinks they know exactly what is going to happen in the next twelve months is just kidding themselves. The following is an attempt to provide you with my opinion as to what may be significant issues, but I know that events and circumstances will change priorities on a moments notice.
As the newly elected Congress begins work this week I believe the most important challenge they face is the mounting debt confronting the nation. Along with this problem is the vital need to create jobs, because without work we will continue to have a shortfall in the revenue flowing into the government treasury. We should not permit a high percentage (estimated 40%) of our fellow citizens to pay zero in federal taxes.
The various branches of the Tea Party will continue to have a huge impact upon our legislators at the local, regional and federal levels. The people, especially those who reside in “fly-over country” are aroused and they are making their voices heard. Unfortunately the influence of the many liberals residing along the east and west coasts have a political agenda that conflicts with the deep feelings of the electorate in the center of the country. Just how this dispute impacts our government this year will be very important to achieving any real resolution to our problems.
I look for big debates within the states over re-apportionment that will likely favor Republicans in many states, because majorities were gained by them in several large state legislatures. The continuing shift of our population to southern states will also redirect political influences along the way.
Simmering is the highly emotional debate on immigration, which ultimately must be addressed because all of our states have been burdened with unnecessary and unsustainable expenses. I do not believe there can be a solution acceptable to the voters until our borders are secured.
To repeat I believe that the economy, jobs, and debt will be the big issues. We must make significant head-way in solving these problems or we will see a dramatic negative impact on the stock market, interest rates and inflation. Something must be accomplished in curbing the predicted escalation of health care costs by the basically unread, unknown Obamacare legislation.
Hovering in the background are the growing massive financial obligations from unfunded or under-funded pension plans across the nation. For far too long local and federal officials have looked the other way on this subject, because they kept playing for the union vote. Some hard decisions will have to be made quickly.
There are less than two years until the next, and very important, General Election and still there is no clear leader emerging to carry the Republican banner. I do not think Sarah Palin can win, and I do not believe she is qualified, but she sure knows how to raise money. Don’t count Barack Obama out, because he has plenty of money and a well oiled machine behind him. I think he can be beaten, but it will take some poorly handled world events and a well organized campaign by his opponent.
Your Commander continues to wonder just how long the American people will continue to support our efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq where we continue to prop-up corrupt governments. How long can we continue to finance troops in many foreign posts (see 12/27/10 post “Massive Military Budget Waste”), and funnel billions to foreign governments and the anti-American United Nations?
2011 will be a very challenging year for our leaders and our fellow citizens. America clearly requires further CHANGE, but it’s obviously not the CHANGE Obama told us we could believe in.