President Obama is back in the White House from two weeks in his home state of Hawaii. While there he had time to ponder the most important issues facing the country in his last year as president: stagnant wages, stagnant stock market, high unemployment rate for minorities, higher costs of health care, soaring national debt, Islamic terrorism in America, Russian aggression, Chinese cyber-attacks, Islamic terrorism in the Middle East, and the sad state of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Well, after all that pondering he announced that the biggest issue is… gun control. Yes, gun control. He is meeting with his Attorney General immediately to figure out how to reduce the number of guns owned by law abiding citizens. He won’t present it that way, but criminals and terrorists pay no more attention to laws than bootleggers did during Prohibition.
Meanwhile, the economy appears headed for another lackadaisical year. Unemployment is down to five percent (that’s great), but we have more people working part time and more people not working at all than ever (that’s not great). Since the ones working in the private sector have to support everybody else that’s a heavy burden.
The higher costs for Obamacare are crimping plans for business expansion. The lower prices for crude oil and natural gas are a huge benefit, unless you’re in the oil and gas business. Food prices are stable but income for the farmer is way down. The Federal Reserve is raising interest rates, but the interest old folks earn on savings accounts is unchanged. The EPA continues to expand control over farmland despite opposition in Congress.
In the 2016 Presidential race the Republicans still have about a dozen candidates and the Democrats have three. As expected Hillary Clinton is leading the Democrat race while most “experts” are shocked that Donald Trump is leading the Republican race. Both races could change in the next couple of months depending on early primary and caucus results for the Republicans and on possible FBI indictments for the Democrats. Even the current conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia could play a role.
It promises to be an exciting year in politics even if it’s a dreadful year for the Lakers.
Historic quotes by Will Rogers:
“Well, New Year is here… I bet there is not a single person that knows any more about what (this year) has in store for us than a billy goat. Ten million people have gone without work for three years just listening to ‘big men’ solve their problems.” DT #2000, Jan. 1, 1933
“We’ll show the world we are prosperous if we have to go broke to do it.” DT #413, Nov. 18, 1927