Three Options In Post-Election America

The country has to make a decision about which way it wants to go when voters go to the polls in November. Three options appear possible given the closeness of the race.

1. Romney wins. He recommends drastically cutting agencies and services, including elimination of the Department of Education and major cuts in student loan programs. the Affordable Care Act is repealed or simply defunded. Social Security is privatized allowing banks (program administrators) to collect significant fees. Medicare and Medicaid are returned to the states. Many discretionary programs will likely be defunded.

Revenue is increased by tax reform legislation in the first year. This will allow increased collection of funds to pay down the debt, but most of the new money will come from low and middle income families who will be given a heavier tax burden.  Some of the new money will go toward increases in military and civilian police budgets. It is not out of the question that military and civilian police will be asked to control civil unrest in the short term.

2. Obama wins and maintains control of the Senate, but falls short in the House. We return to what we have now. Republicans and the Tea Party majority in the House continues in a blocking action, as now. Slow growth continues, while many who are out of work or working only part time will be forced into alternative survival strategies, banding together in some cases growing or raising much or their own food. Under these conditions significant deflation will continue and a weaker economy is possible as is a lost generation.

3. Obama wins but the GOP and Tea Party stranglehold on the House is broken. As this seems like an unlikely possibility presently, another option comes through an increased anger or attitude in the electorate bringing pressure to bear on and increased cooperation from the Congress. Jobs programs may be approved or cost-shared through combined revenue programs with the states. The tax code will also be simplified and provide overall increased revenue, but with an overall sense of shared sacrifice.

In reality, it is difficult from the present vantage point to predict all possible outcomes, and likely however the election falls we will nearly all of us be unhappy to some degree about the manner in which we fight through what we have to do over the next four years. One can only hope we are not presented in 2016 with such a set of outcomes as now seem before us.


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