Wednesday, December 29, 2004

New Year's predictions

I certainly don't claim to have special intuitions about the future (I almost used the cliche "crystal ball"), nor do I have the sort of inside information that I would need to put real money down on anything. But I do think that:
1) Iraq will go really badly - as much beyond what we now expect as 2004 was relative to expectations a year ago.
2) Social Security will be going badly for Bush, and he will extricate himself with an irresponsible giveaway that offers individual accounts as a free benefit on top of everything else.
3) Though perhaps not until 2006, tax reform will turn into a small package of changes, with no significant revenue-raiser apart from (possibly) repeal of the state and local tax deduction if they can push it through despite the leeriness of blue state Republicans.
4) The Yankees will win another world championship, with at least one major superstar being added after Randy Johnson and Carlos Beltran, and with a payroll that is 2X even the Red Sox and Angels (say, $220 million). By year's end they will be adding more superstars.
5) At least one other major foreign policy disaster for the US will strike. No predictions about terror attacks here as that, literally, hits too close to home for me. (Living near Ground Zero will do that.)
6) The US economy will be doing poorly, but the timing of fiscal meltdown will still be unpredictable.
7) Bush's approval rating will be in the 40-43% range, but the Democrats will still be floundering. (Perhaps I should be ashamed of myself for making such an obvious prediction as the latter.)
8) More Administration scandals even though it is hard to see who would report or investigate them.
Cheer up, all, and pop those champagne corks. I know that I will - as Jim Carrey would say as the Mask, because I gotta.

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