As economic analysts focus ever more sharply on all aspects of the 2014 economy, and whether the net effect of the subsequent pluses and minuses make the coming year one to look forward optimistically, the good news will largely be provided by the sensational outburst of energy growth, the hopeful upward climb of more people at work, and consumer sentiment improvement leading to a boost in discretionary expenditures. Unfortunately, the Washington, D.C. power structure, which can either facilitate or mitigate the intensity of economic growth, or the lack thereof, is dominated by the White House and the Senate, controlled by a leadership and majorities that can short-circuit any initiatives the House of Representatives deigns to initiate and approve.
The nation’s current power structure, directed by President Barack Obama is committed to the following initiatives, which will prove detrimental to the underlying U.S. economic strength. These appear to supersede the most promising opportunities ever developed in America since the post World War II economic surge that thrust the U.S. into indisputable gross domestic product world leadership. The President’s stumbling blocks include:
1) A “climate control” legacy that promises to sound the death knell of coal, even the thermal type needed to convert iron ore into steel. Reliable sources indicate that such anti-coal fervor will eventually lead to a shutdown of coal mines, in addition to first making coal untouchable by either current or future electric utility plant operations. The demise of coal mines will kill the exports of coal, which have hit a peak. The justification for this move will be “miners’ safety.” But the real objective is an Administration attempt to make America’s abundant coal supplies unavailable to China, India, and much of the rest of Southeast Asia, all of which require coal as a primary element in constructing an industrial infrastructure. The excuse will be “coal’s unacceptable addition to the emanation of CO² and greenhouse gases.
2) A national enforcement of “Obamacare” insurance exchanges, increasingly recruiting the post- baby boomers and millennial generation. Also included will be those who have still held 40-hour-a-week jobs, to sign off with the government-appointed commissions, who decide the relevance of insurance support, rather than the family doctor.
3) Medicare will be gutted, to the tune of an estimated $700 billion over the next decade. This will primarily be attained by severely limiting the financial support estimated to return to hospitals and doctors, who take care of the patients. This will cause the turning away of prospective clients by an accelerating number of doctors and hospitals, concentrating on more privately insureds. The latter will substantially increase insurance premiums and supplemental payments for the amount not covered by Medicare.
4) The U.S. Government will attempt to enforce distorted financial subsidies to renewable energy, while make it more difficult to generate shale development. This will also refrain all pubic lands, and several states, governed by Democrats, as potentials for further fracking. Even existing fracking activities may come under restrictions, geared to slow down its expansion. This will force the further push into ethanol, solar, wind, geothermal, and agricultural plant-oriented options, while further demonizing fossil fuels.
If this governmental anti-economic growth plays out as expected next year, the splendid economic opportunity potential that beckons 2014 as America’s greatest “leap forward” ever will at best hold or slightly increase levels previously achieved in the anemic post-recession period uninspiring environment.
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