It strikes me that the U.S. is headed for bad times and not just in the short run. I may be taking a pessimistic angle, but even with good breaks we are headed for a minimum of five or six very bad years on a number of fronts, both domesticly and internationally. The next president is going to come out smelling bad. There is no way around it that I can see even if he does everything right.
So my question is, is the guy who wins going to end up looking so bad that the loser will have been the winner? Will the winner’s party be placed in the meat grinder so badly that it will guarantee the eventual dominance of the other party for a decade or two following the single term of the winner of this election?
The cynic in me almost wishes McCain would win, so the dumb-ass Americans who vote for him and Moosebimbo would experience firsthand him leading us on a sleigh ride to hell with his continuation of Bush’s failed polices.
However, Obama will be in the unenviable position of having to step up to the plate and try to clean up 8 years of Bush bullshit as fast as possible - no easy task, especially considering the financial crapcrisis Dubya has left us as his farewell gift.
Still, Obama could get us out of Iraq, fix the financial crisis, help housing prices rise, reduce unemployment, finally get health care affordable and increase alternative energy usage - but the Republicans would slam him in four years because he didn’t wear an American flag pin on his lapel on Arbor Day.
A lot of the greatest Presidents were President during our greatest times of crises. FDR took over during the Great Depression, and he got elected President four times! So if Obama can manage these issues well, he won’t neccesarily be thrown out after his first term.
You do realize getting our troops out of Iraq will have an enormous economic advantage for the US. Instead of spending billions of dollars a month [10 bill a month roughly] that money will be redistributed to other areas.
Well, it kind of applies, considering what has happened to Bush’s image, even among his own party and supporters, since then <cue sound of toilet flushing> If Kerry had won in '04 we might be in a mess very similar to the one we’re in and be staring down the barrel of another Republican president. I just have a feeling he wouldn’t have gotten us out of Iraq and his healthcare plan would’ve been a disaster and the Republicans would’ve held on to congress in '06.
I told one of my friends who was paranoid about McCain winning awhile back - whoever steps into this mess is probably going to be a 1-term president. It’s going to take so much to curb this ship’s momentum and turn it around that anyone’s best efforts are still going to look like not enough. If a McCain wins now, he’ll be out in '12 and give Obama or Hillary or whoever the chance to have a solid 8 year run.
No one can say if this is 100% accurate or not but it’s one optimistic way of looking at things if you’re worried about a McCain victory.
Another optimistic way of looking at things is that the current administration has been doing things so wrong, that either one of the candidates could do just a little bit right and have a huge positive impact. Kind of like how a morbidly obese couch potato can just stop drinking soda and go for a walk every day and lose a ton of weight. If he had been doing things right to begin with, those things wouldn’t be a big deal, but since he was doing things so wrong, a little bit of right has a huge impact.
All these legal machinations that Bush and especially Cheney have crafted to increase the power of the president, I wonder if the next president will hold on to them and use them as needed, say to confront some of the domestic crises you mention, or if he’ll (she’ll) make an effort to return them to where they originally stood pre-Bush, more in balance with the other two branches.
Well, that’s a little harsh. My wife and I were 24 when we bought our house and we were told that’s just the way things are done now and it wasn’t going to change. We actually had a little money to put down and thank god now that we didn’t, because we’ve needed it for emergency funds and to help get by since I’ve been laid off from TWO fucking good jobs because of this mess.
I am pretty sure a 30-yr-fixed mortgage has always been available… with 20% down. My wife and I rented for 8 years, then put about 35% down on our apartment (not in the US). We have an ARM as that is all that is available locally, but in the US I wold always go with a 30 yr fixed. I don’t expect my home to appreciate much beyond the rate of inflation.
Well, we didn’t get a negative amortization or “pay option” arm, but we did borrow 80% on a traditional 5-year arm. We bought in 2006 and it didn’t even occur to us that the house wouldn’t be worth more in 2011. I worked for a major lender and we were getting internal memos left and right saying the “crash” would be a “soft landing” and insteading of going down, the market would “go up slower” :rolleyes:. These were PhD Economist types writing this stuff so I figured they knew what they were talking about. Chalk it up to being young and inexperienced. I’m grateful we learned this lesson in our 20s instead of our 40s or 50s, or god forbid our 60s. It won’t happen again.
An honest, possibly ignorant question/clarification here: We’re not really spending money we have, but spending money that we’re borrowing from somewhere else. If this is deficit spending, that money won’t really be redistributed at all, but have to be ‘paid back’ for an indeterminate period of time in the future. As I understand it, it will then be probably much longer than a presidential term before that money is actually available for any distribution, except to our debtors. Of course, even if we do get it paid off in relatively short order, it’s just as likely that some other expensive crisis will rear its ugly head in the meantime.
The situation reminds me a little of when Carter took office. Inflation and a stagnant economy had been around since the Nixon administration, but then the Iran revolution and the energy crisis came along, the economy really cratered, and Carter took all the blame. (And yet it was Carter who appointed Paul Volker to the Fed. Volker’s policies reined in inflation, and Reagan took the credit.)
So yeah, I have some concern that Obama might wind up getting pilloried like Carter, not because of any failing on his part but because of all the crap that could be coming down the pike on his watch.
As I said earlier, Hoover acted as a buffer for three plus years and popular sentiment was strongly for Roosevelt. Yes, there were a handful of diehards that were holding out for Hoover, but a vast majority were for ABH (Anybody but Hoover). I am not just talking about the financial situation. The next president we have is going into a country that is split. Just look at the political map. The polarization is incredible. No matter who the next president is, he will see generally everything get worse for at least a handful of years before it gets better. Assuming it gets better. That is the current momentum. In addition, the losing side of this election will not let things come easily to the new president either.