Sunday, December 9, 2012

My Predictions for 2013

Someone once said, "An economist is someone who can explain to you tomorrow why the predictions he made yesterday did not come true."  I don't know who that someone was, but he/she was a genius.
Having a job where you get paid to tell people what they can expect to see happen to their economic lives and then get paid to tell them why that did not happen is a really good gig.
So, let's get to work on the crystal ball for the next year.  And since economists work in many areas other than money, lets not limit the predictions to mere monetary matters, o.k.?
Here goes...
1.  The "Fiscal Cliff" - that combination of "we hate rich people, and we want to balance the budget on their backs even though there are not enough of them to tax to balance the budget of Mongolia" and cuts in government spending that, according to the Democrats will force poor children to roast rats at the bus stop every morning for breakfast, will be narrowly avoided as Democrats hammer weakened, and weak-kneed Republicans into submission.  Expect higher tax rates only on the evil rich (soon to trickle down to use middle-income folk in the form of less growth and fewer jobs) and no change in entitlement spending other than the announcement of a bi-partisan commission on how to reduce the number of people on food stamps from 46.1 million to 46.09 million by the year 2027.
2.  The Houston Texans will not win the Super Bowl.  This is because they will lose to the New England Patriots who will lose to the Denver Broncos who will face the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl.  This is the game where Peyton Manning matches his little brother with his second Super Bowl title and regains the right to push his brother's face into a bowl of mashed potatoes while at the next family gathering.
3.  Also during the month of February, during which America has a month-long celebration of the contributions of African-Americans, expect the unemployment rate for African-Americans, which is higher than when Mr. Obama took office, to remain high. 
4.  In March, the National Hockey League lockout will come to an end, just in time for the NHL to have a 15 game season - much like my 12-year old son has each year.  Yet, to create fairness, every team in the NHL will be allowed to play in the playoffs which will begin in April and end in 2015.
5.  In April expect the Boston Red Sox to announce "Jack Chambless Day" honoring me for being the first to predict that the manager they hired last year, Bobby Valentine, would turn out to be the worst decision made in Boston since the British ran away from George Washington in 1776.
6.  On April 15th the IRS will announce that "mysteriously" tax revenue from the hated, evil, how do we even let them live amongst us? rich, have fallen, not risen.  The same day expect banks in the Cayman Islands and Switzerland to be having a party with all of the profit from the "mysterious" money arriving from Americans who are under the warped, selfish perspective that, like, you know, "It is my money."

6. part b.  In April or May the United States of America will "celebrate" the 100th anniversary of BOTH the creation of income taxes (see the 16th amendment) and the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank.  Given our current leadership, I am sure there will be parades in every city, paid for by money printed by the Fed to be paid back in the future by my children in the form of higher income taxes. 
7.  In May Hostess will announce that the last 1,000 packages of Twinkies will be auctioned off on eBay or sold to Michael Moore, whichever amount of money is greater.
8.  In May, the government will announce that henceforth Memorial Day will now be known as, "It is too bad you wasted your life fighting for a bunch of lazy, welfare-addicted losers who do not even know what D-Day or Bunker Hill was all about Day"
9.  In June as temperatures in Arizona rise about 96 degrees expect a new major announcement on global warming and how rising temperatures in Arizona, in June, proves that we must invest even more billions into companies like Solyndra and also tax gasoline at $5 per ounce in order to make sure that polar bears - who would like to eat us if they could - have 6.38% more ice by the year 2051.
10.  In July, on the fourth, I will once again not celebrate "National Hypocrites Day"  My children will not wave flags or pop firecrackers.  Instead we will sit in a dark room and stare catatonically straight ahead wondering if Thomas Jefferson could have ever known how much ink he wasted.
11.  That night my wife, over my protests, will allow my kids to burn some sparklers on the deck.  The kids will leave their trash on the deck and I will deduct from their bi-weekly earnings my cleanup costs.
12.  In August, I will ask my wife, if hell could be worse than Florida.
12.  She will say, "Yes, now go finish mowing the yard and I will check on you to make sure you are not lying face down in the grass every three hours or so."
13.  Also in August, millions of parents will send their kids back into their local government schools, proving that child abuse is indeed a worse problem than global warming or Justin Beaver or Beeby or whatever his name is.
14.  In September, as the new budget for the new fiscal year is about to be fought over, and our new recession is in its third of fourth month, caused by a crash in investments by businesses and massive layoffs all over the country, Mr. Obama will announce that we have not done enough to get "our fair share" from rich people who are selfishly laying people off just because they have less money, and therfore we will now push for an expansion of the eminent domain laws where anyone who has a house more than 4,201 square feet in size will be forced to allow the first 17 food stamp recipients who arrive at their door to live in their house rent free for the next two years or until global temperatures have fallen by one degree.
15.  In September I will come out of my seven months of sports pergatory and will once again be watching football.  I will foolishly believe that the Miami Dolphins have a chance.  By week two of the NFL season I will realize that, once again, I am closer to death than the Dolphins are to winning a Super Bowl.
16.  In October the Boston Red Sox will defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games to win the World Series.  The Yankees will announce, that after losing 113 games, they are firing everyone in their front office and are suing Alex Rodriquez for impersonating a baseball player.
17.  Also in October, my Oklahoma Sooners will once again destroy the Texas Longhorns, proving yet again that the slogan, "Don't Mess with Texas" is a really funny joke.
18.  On Halloween the biggest selling costume will be that of a hobo carrying an empty tuna can.  That is because the economy is going to be so bad by then that many people will look like hobos with empty tuna cans.
19.  In November, on the first Tuesday, millions of Americans will look in ther mirror and say, "I am really, really stupid.  I am really, really stupid...."
20.  On Thanksgiving, road-killed buzzards (which don't cost money) will surpass turkeys as the number one dish served by the millions of really stupid Americans who voted for know who... last November under the grand, greed-driven illusion that you know who would create jobs by taxing the people who really create jobs.
21.  Black Friday will feature massive sales on cardboard houses, do-it-yourself cannibalism kits and riot guns.
22.  Santa Claus will announce that due to the methane-gas put out by his reindeer, the new EPA regulations designed to fix global warming have ended his traditional delivery methods.  Instead, he will drive around in a Prius with an Al Gore bumper sticker on the back.
And finally.....
Life will go on.....

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

This Christmas I am thankful for Ronald Reagan

This is a very busy time of the year for me.  Not because of last minute shopping (see two blogs ago) but because I have an eBay store that keeps me hopping.
This month I managed to buy some new ice hockey helmets on the cheap and have been re-selling them in my store.
Within the last week I have sold one to someone in Russia, one to a fellow in Belarus and one to a hockey player in....wait for it...Kazakhstan.  Kazakhstan!  I mean, do they even have ice rinks there?  I know they have ice, but....come on, man..
Amazing.  I also failed to mention the two pairs of ice skates I sold to a lady in Mongolia.
All of this got me to thinking about a whole lot more than the miracle of using a phone with an eBay App somewhere in Belarus to order a helmet from a stranger, while paying through satellites hovering the Earth that safely transfer money from his bank to mine.  That is mind-numbing in and of itself.
No, what I have been thinking about is how great it is that someone in the former Soviet Union is allowed to do business with me at all and that I go to bed every night wondering if someone in Moscow will send me money in the middle of the night rather than wondering if someone in Moscow will send a nuclear missle down my chimney.
For this, I am truly grateful to our 40th President, Ronald Reagan.
For you youngsters out there, let me tell you something important.  When I was a college kid there was a very real threat that my life was going to be snuffed out by World War III.  When I saw the original movie Red Dawn, you could hear a pin drop when it ended.  Every teenage boy in the theater that night left wondering if this was our fate.
The story of how Reagan bankrupted the Soviet Union and sped up the rate at which the "Evil Empire" would die is one that is well known.  His vision for a world free of the fear of nuclear war led him to make bold overtures to the Russians, who eventually caved in, gave up on communism and began the process of moving towards an economy where people could afford really nice hockey helmets.
It is also nice to go to bed at night knowing that if President Obama gets his way before January 1, 2013 the top marginal income tax rate will be 39.6%.  In 1981, when Reagan was sworn in, the top rate was 70%.  That's right.  If you worked hard, served your fellow human beings effectively and made a ton of money, you kept 30 cents on the dollar.  By the time I left for college the top rate was 50%.  When I graduated in 1988 the top rate was only 28%.
Tonight, as I go to bed, I know that if I keep working hard, thanks to Reagan, I will not pay 70, or 50% of my money to the IRS.  He so fundamentally changed our view of taxes that Mr. Obama is fighting just to get it back to just under 40%.  If he said he wanted 50 or 70 people would storm the gates of the White House.  I would have to sell them hockey helmets as protection from the army.
So, here I sign off, in a world that has Russians doing business with me and my government leaving most of my money alone.
Thank you, President Reagan.  Thank you, indeed...