Predictions 2018

Predictions 2018 are upon us. What will happen?

Hello, America, it’s 32F in the ATX, headed to 60F on Saturday.

So, every 2 January the Big Red Car makes his predictions for the year ahead.

Last year, we were pretty damn good.

Predictions 2017

Not perfect, but pretty good.

Politics

Politics is always a fun one. Here goes.

The US Congress passes an infrastructure bill with a small amount of bi-partisan support. It will be a deficit busting, Jabba the Hutt, pork project of gargantuan proportions. It will include something for every state, every industry, and every Republican Congressman running for re-election. It will be an all-you-can-eat buffet with seconds and a take home container of desserts. The Republicans will say, “Deficit? What freakin’ deficit?” Every politician will be a pig at the trough trying to get theirs. It will be huuuuuuuuuuuuuuge!

Burp. Send me an infrastructure bill. I’m still hungry.

Speaking of elections — Republicans pick up a half dozen seats in the Senate.

Republicans lose ten seats in the House — all from states with high SALT and in affluent, property-rich Districts. Otherwise, the Republicans hold serve rather handily.

The Democrats are unable to find a central message, theme, or leader. They have nothing to run on except, “Hey, Trump.”

President Trump is all over the campaign trail supporting Republicans in tough races. He goes all in and drags all of his campaign operative pals with him. All the naysaying Republicans will be begging him to come to their state or their District. It will be big league.

The big issue is “How did the candidates vote on tax reform?” The economy, jobs, taxes — “It’s the economy, stupid.” Imagine the debates wherein the Republican points at his/her opponent and says, “That son-of-a-bitch wants you to pay more taxes. Vote for him/her if you want to pay more taxes.”

The sexual antics of male Congressmen blows up as names and settlement amounts are all publicized. It is so much, it becomes impossible to keep track. Female candidates will do very well.

Big hidden story becomes how much President Trump has shrunk the size of Federal employment through attrition and hiring freeze.

Right after the election Speaker Ryan floats a trial balloon on fixing entitlements. Gets shot down by President Trump who says, “Wait until after 2020, Paulie boy.”

President Trump begins to practice Tweet Discipline. He still tweets, but Gen Kelly puts some Leatherneck discipline on him. Kelly denies it, but it is Kelly. This will creep up on you. At first, the media will miss it and then somebody is going to say, “WTF?”

The brain trust of Pence, Mad Dog, Kelly, McMaster, Pompeo, Tillerson, Coats begins to rock and roll. Trump runs policy through them and we have adults running things.

The House and Senate begin to purge some of the Undocumented Democrats — Flake, McCain, Corker. The others — Murkowski, Collins, Rubio — begin to follow Lindsey Graham’s lead and work with the President. McConnell and Ryan work with each other and the White House. It becomes a great team. Bannon, Priebus, Flynn — not missed.

Donald J Trump begins to act like President Trump six days a week. Melania keeps him in line.

President Trump loses 15 pounds and does a weight loss commercial for Nutrisystem.

Former President Obama takes a back seat and is cautious in his support of any mid-term candidates, remembering it was under his admin that the House and Senate were delivered to the Republicans. He kicks it up a notch on the money-making speaking circuit and the book writing business. He plays a lot of golf and decides politics is too hard for him now.

Foreign Affairs

North Korea will find a way to initiate direct talks with South Korea first. It will be initiated by the Olympics. This will lead to a proxy convo which will work to dispel the tension on the Korean Peninsula.

If North Korea tests a mid-ocean nuclear device, the US will attack North Korea with a “bloody nose” attack taking out all nuclear weapon launch sites, all launchers, all power plants serving launch sites, the command & control, and wait to see North Korea’s response. If they respond militarily, the US will decapitate North Korean leadership and wait to see if North Korea fires artillery at South Korea. If North Korea fires a single round, the US will wipe out every artillery tube within  50 miles of the DMZ with three carrier strike groups, three cruise missile subs, four squadrons of bombers from Guam, and the combined ferocity of American air power in South Korea and Japan. The shit will be over in a week. No nukes will be used.

China will not be helpful as it relates to North Korea, but they will not become involved if the US attacks North Korea as long as the US doesn’t use nuclear weapons.

Once North Korea is solved, China and the US face off on trade. It gets ugly and vindictive.

The fighting in the Ukraine will ratchet up as lethal American aid begins to arrive. The Ukrainians will discharge their duties with skill and aplomb. They will use anti-tank, artillery, and anti-air weapons supplied by the US with great results.

Putin and Trump will circle each other like a couple of Rottweilers. Any notion that these guys like each other will evaporate.

Yeah, hey, Donald, you want to give the Ukraine lethal support? Fine, I’ll take Estonia, you prick.

Putin will test NATO in Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia. This will be the result of the lethal weapon support to the Ukraine.

President Trump provides moral and covert support to Iranian rebels. The Iranian Rebellion becomes a thing.

President Trump decertifies the Iranian deal.

Deal stinks. Screw Iran. Let’s start some crap with the rebels, eh?

ISIS is reduced to 500 men in a tiny bit of land in southeastern Syria.

The Iranians exert considerable influence over Iraq and develop a crescent of power which reaches from Iran through Iraq to Syria and Lebanon. Iranian funding of Hezbollah gives them incredible power in Lebanon’s politics where Hezbollah continues to emerge as a political force.

The Israelis get jumpy about having Iran on their border.

The new Middle East teams are the US-Israel-Saudi Arabia v Iran-Syria-Russia. Iraq is under the thumb of Iran.

The US holds Pakistan’s feet to the fire, terminates almost all financial aid, and puts them on notice about harboring terrorists.

As part of the Pakistan issue, the US cozies up to India — long, long, long overdue. India will emerge as a critical US ally in regard to Pakistan, Afghanistan, and China.

The war in Afghanistan begins to wind down as the US drives toward destroying the Taliban in much the same way it did ISIS.

The US continues to conduct “freedom of navigation” exercises in the South China Sea and the Chinese continue to build and fortify their dozen atoll islands.

Domestic Policy

The Wall gets started as part of the DACA deal and the infrastructure bill. Mexico does not pay for it. President Trump attends the official groundbreaking which is in California.

Immigration continues to march along with a huge decrease in illegal immigration. ICE continues to expel criminals and illegal aliens as ICE staffing increases.

There is a deal made between the Republicans and Democrats on DACA which leads to a deal on immigration. Part of the deal is a general amnesty. Yes, a general amnesty.

Chain migration, immigration lottery, birthright citizenship are dead.

Chicago, Baltimore become more deadly. The killing is primarily black-on-black. The Feds step in and begin to patrol the streets. It works and the murder rates plummet.

There is a huge fight on sanctuary cities. It gets nasty as the Trump administration attempts to obtain sanctuary city legislation as part of immigration reform.

Illinois declares bankruptcy.

Power is restored in Puerto Rico by the end of the summer.

More states legalize recreational marijuana.

The entire state of California is stoned on Friday through Sunday. Nobody notices.

Business

Businesses jump all over an improving economy. The reduction of corp tax rates is a psychological game changer, but the repatriation of overseas profits is a bust.

There is a huge Silicon Valley sexual deviancy scandal wherein it turns out men/boys with power and money behave badly. The surprise is how badly they behave. Ugh. It is rooted in sex, drugs, alcohol, deviancy, men/boys, and willing women. It turns out to be an incredible mess. Read the Vanity Fair article, but take a shower afterward. The venture capital business gets a black eye.

The US pulls out of NAFTA which turns out to be a non-event. Relations with Mexico improve as The Wall is under construction and they didn’t pay for it.

Amongst Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google, Google does the best and continues to own search (haha, sorry) which drives their business. These companies, plus Apple and Microsoft, become the Standard Oils of their time. They become lumbering giants casting a deadly shadow behind them.

Tesla comes back to reality when it cannot figure out how to produce all the cars it has on order. The other car companies, particularly the luxury cars, get into the game and there is no real unique selling advantage to a Tesla as “first mover” advantage is squandered. Tesla stock dives by year end.

The United States becomes an incredible energy machine, not only independent, but dominant. LNG becomes a strategic weapon freeing eastern Europe from the Russian Bear’s influence.

Cryptocurrency continues to face enormous volatility but trends down by year end. The SEC and other countries — South Korea, China — begin to corral the bad actors. The tax treatment is firmed up and it makes bitcoin into a piece of property, not a currency. The bubble breaks, but not until year end.

Still no killer app for the blockchain though it is being worked by the smartest people in the world. The basic premise that the world “needs” the blockchain is finally seen to be the Emperor and he is a fat, white, naked guy.

Economy

US GDP growth (currently 3.3%) accelerates and leaps over 4% like the low hurdles. Begins to court 5% with flowers and candy. By year end, nobody can remember GDP growth below 3%. There is no single big driver. It is the cumulative impact of a lot of things starting with the President’s bully pulpit.

The tax bill bears tasty fruit. Repatriation of foreign profits is a bust.

Job growth in the US accelerates and real wage growth begins. By year end, employers in certain industries are competing viciously for workers the old fashioned way — money.

Median family income makes solid upward move.

The Labor Force Participation Rate continues its upward movement.

Welfare and food stamps rolls continue to contract.

NYSE hits 27,500 by 31 December 2018. It is a straight run.

Investigations

The Mueller investigation will not be finished by year end, but it will be pretty damn clear there is no collusion case to be made.

The Mueller investigation will rotate from collusion to obstruction of justice to financial skullduggery to which fork folks used with shellfish. Those who wore white after Labor Day will come in for a lot of scrutiny.

The new FBI Director Wray will conduct a Night of the Long Knives restructuring. All the household names will be gone — many by retirement.

It will turn out that the FBI is a fine organization filled to overflowing with dedicated men and women, but that Comey, McCabe, Baker, Strzok, Page were coloring outside the lines. Director Wray will try to get them out the door with no wounds.

The DOJ will receive a similar makeover and Rosenstein, Ohr will be gone, maybe not by year end. Rosenstein will not go until the end of the Mueller investigation.

It will turn out that the Russian Dossier was used to obtain a FISA warrant. This will mean a political campaign purchased a bit of opposition research, camouflaged it as an intel work product, gave it to the FBI, tried to troll it to the media, gave it to John McCain, and it was bought hook-line-sinker. The Obama admin, through its FBI and DOJ, will have investigated an opposing party’s presidential campaign based on oppo research from its party’s candidate. The Obama admin weaponized the FBI and the DOJ to harm its political enemies. This will turn out to be some explosive stuff. Nobody will be punished. Nobody.

The FBI and the Mueller investigations will be outed as outrageous leakers, no surprise given the admissions of the FBI’s Director Comey. What FBI Director leaks to the NYT through a Columbia law prof? Uhh, that would be James Comey.

There will be no Uranium One investigation, but the conduct of the Hillary Clinton interrogation will be outed as an incredible blunder and against a half century of policy and precedent. HRC will skate free for everything. Not a glove on her.

It will turn out we have had evidence of UFOs and extraterrestrial life for decades. Decades.

Society

The #metoo phenomenon will be huge. It will be incredible to find out how badly men in power behaved. It will, however, change nothing. The pendulum will swing so far, the bad acting men will try to attain victim status.

There will be a wholesale migration of wealthy to states which have low or no state taxes.

We will make no real progress on race relations as the usual industrial strength race baiters will continue to do what they do best.

Chicago and Baltimore will emerge as examples of unspeakable violence visited upon their own citizens.

We will make no real progress on gender bias. It will be incredible to learn how many men continue to be tone deaf on the subject.

Terror

ISIS will be reduced to an idea and not a very powerful one.

The world will continue to suffer lone wolf and cellular terror episodes until sterner measures are taken.

The funding of Hamas, Hezbollah by Iran will be obvious and apparent. There will be consequences.

Enhanced vetting will identify and stop a significant amount of terrorists trying to come to the US.

Europe will, collectively, do an about face on its immigration policies and re-institute its national borders as a barrier to the widespread transport of terror.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi will be killed in a drone strike.

Those who are involved in terror funding will begin to disappear worldwide.

So, dear reader, there you have it. No chicken excrement little list of predictions. Bold, specific, huge predictions.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Be good to yourself cause 2018 is going to be YOUR year. I can feel it.

 

 

  • Adam Sher

    My favorite line, “The House and Senate begin to purge some of the Undocumented Democrats.” Great tie-in with immigration language.

  • JamesHRH

    Repatriation of overseas $ a bust?

    Military action in NK this year? Agree on the how, the if and when?

    Great stuff as always.

    • JLM

      .
      @jamesHRH — world class road tripper,

      The more I study who has money “trapped” overseas, the more I find it irrelevant. These big corporations (Apple as an example) have the ability to borrow against these balances and use the debt domestically. Always have.

      It is a “one time” thing and already there is nothing but crickets.

      NK is going to give the world a spectacular Olympics head fake. The new President of S Korea is new to the job and thinks he can negotiate a deal with Kim.

      This comes tumbling down by mid-year and the NKs test an atmospheric nuke which sets the world ablaze.

      The US military thinks they have a non-nuke “bloody nose” strategy which they think can work.

      China is never, ever going to help the situation. It is a roller derby as far as they are concerned. If we open a can of “regime change” the Chinese will be putting their man up to run the show. They see that as a big win.

      Hope it doesn’t happen.

      BRC
      http://www.themusingsofthebigredcar.com

      • JamesHRH

        I would take a Chinese backed regime in NK. Sooner rather than later.

        • JLM

          .
          We currently have a Chinese backed regime in North Korea.

          I get what you are saying.

          NK would become part of China in the fashion in which East Germany was a part of the USSR Warsaw Pact back in the day.

          BRC
          http://www.themusingsofthebigredcar.com

          • JamesHRH

            Yes, get what you are saying too.

            It would basically reduce the strategic importance of the peninsula if the Chinese had near de facto control of the north.

  • rainmaker

    Really interesting. Some questions / comments:

    Why will Republicans gain Senate seats but lose Congress seats? Is this an urban vs rural thing?

    Wouldn’t big infrastructure spending cause the national debt to explode? Unless you think it’s Keynesian and the spending will eventually pay for itself?

    Why are you so confident North Korea will be easily crushed without nukes being fired on either side?

    Agreed that cosying up to India is long overdue, and great to see Pakistan (which has a long track record of military and secret service collaboration with terrorists) has been rightly put on notice by the President (I was in India last week, country is booming and has a lot of Trump fans!)

    Reinstituting national borders in continental Europe will be difficult as most countries haven’t had any for a few decades since the Schengen agreement came in, also there’s a greater drive for EU member co-operation post-Brexit. I think it would take multiple 9/11’s in a single year in Europe to change the border situation.

    Looking forward to your responses on the above!

    • JLM

      .
      Senators run statewide. Thus, the marker of Pres Trump having won a state by 20% is a strong indication as to how a statewide race might play out.

      Representatives run in a District. Through the years, Congressional Districts have been gerrymandered to ensure a high certainty of there being won by the party in power.

      In the tax bill, the SALT (state and local taxes) deduction was dramatically constrained. This will hit persons who own a very expensive house.

      The vulnerable Republican Congressmen (representatives) will those who won by a small majority in a state HRC won and who has a lot of expensive homes in this/her District.

      Expensive homes is a proxy for Republicans living there, using a very broad brush.

      Hence, the Republicans will do fine in contested Senate elections in states in which Pres Trump carried them and poorly in Congressional Districts (House of Reps) in which there are expensive homes in which HRC took the state or District.

      This will be found in New York, Illinois, California at a minimum.

      The infrastructure bill will be a HUGE addition to the deficit and, thereby, the National Debt. The Republicans will just ignore the reality of it because they are gross, avaricious slobs as much as the Democrats.

      Sure, there will be a lot of pontificating about it being paid for by growth. Maybe it actually will, but don’t kid yourself. This is Jabba the Hutt with a big appetite. It will be a gross, slobbering orgy.

      The Brits have always tempered US involvement in India. The entrepreneurial bridge between India and the US is huge.

      Pakistan is a fellow traveler of the Taliban. The idea the Paks didn’t know a 6’5″ Arab hiding in their midst was Osama is absurd. It takes the US a long time to get what it means to be a Pashtun — a tribal affiliation which does not respect the implications of national borders.

      As to Europe, they have already begun to put national police on trains. They are already re-instituting random checkpoints at national highways. They are putting police permanently in airports. They have always been pretty tough at ports.

      This is not about re-issuing national passports. This is about boots on the ground practicality.

      There will be different policies on immigration amongst states.

      BRC
      http://www.themusingsofthebigredcar.com

    • JamesHRH

      Europeans are starting to see that a large number of ummmgrants are not becoming Europeans. They are forming islands of their prior culture, including its massive poverty and naturally occurring radicalization, inside their host country. Lots of immigrants assimilate and succeed, don’t get me wrong. But, the ones that don’t, a significant minority, are equivalent to willingly importing the enemy. It’s a riot cause issue that is starting to be exposed.

      • sigmaalgebra

        You expected something else? The African and Arab immigrants don’t speak, read, or write English, German, French, Italian or much of any language, aren’t educated, are not able to participate in a democracy, have no 21st century work qualifications, come with some serious physical and psychological medical problems, need welfare, believe it is their right to rape women, etc.

        But, Europe will learn.

  • Illinois will not declare bankruptcy. They passed a tax increase with 15 snowflake Republicans helping the Democrats to override a governor veto. Of course things are fine now right? What I really want is a transaction tax to be passed. Then you can kiss everyone goodbye

    • JLM

      .
      It is ungentlemanly to contradict the Big Red Car’s predictions on the first day. Now, the Big Red Car will have to go get a warm wax job to assuage his cupcake and snowflake feelings.

      Illinois cannot just keep increasing taxes. People are going to move out.

      Happy New Year. Hope you are warm.

      BRC
      http://www.themusingsofthebigredcar.colm

      • Your Twitter one went out the window already…

        • JLM

          .
          Haha, I didn’t say he would STOP tweeting and I didn’t say it would be immediate.

          Give the old boy a little time.

          How long has it been since he told us he was rich? See?

          Have faith.

          BRC
          http://www.themusingsofhebigredcar.com

          • sigmaalgebra

            He tells us he is rich each time Melania steps out in public! Her clothing bills are $25,000+ a week?

            Maybe: Maybe she gets the clothes at a big discount because each time she wears something, right away it sells out at Nieman-Marcus! Then, out of the White House, she will auction off the clothes for big bucks?

        • sigmaalgebra

          I agree: I doubt he will much change what he does with Twitter. Why? His use of Twitter works really well for him!!!

    • JustanotherCabDriver

      On vacation this ski week in Tahoe so forced to thumbtype on a phone over a beer. So, a couple questions regarding Illinois even being able to declare bankruptcy in the end. Ohio declared bankruptcy in the 1800’s but that was before the U.S. had a unified currency. As desirable to decades of failed Illinois politians to a Fed Bankruptcy Judddge just take a meat axe to Illinois liabilities aka 140 Billion in unfunded pension liabilities promised by said politicos, is it even legal or possible for Illinois to declare bankruptcy?!
      And 2). Did the Chinese buy Chicago and it’s corruption politians for 140 $Billion while I was on Vacation and just solve this problem ?

      • JLM

        .
        Anybody can go bankrupt, but to obtain the protection of a Fed Bankruptcy Court, you have to have a statute — which Illinois does not have — and a plan of reorganization in which the numbers work and can be ratified by the creditors.

        You hit the nail on the head — Illinois has enormous unfunded pension liabilities. The only solution is to cut them back with a chainsaw. There is nothing positive about bankruptcy.

        Illinois and Chicago are headed for a disaster.

        The smart money is leaving the state and has been for a few years.

        JLM
        http://www.themusingsofthebigredcar.com

  • JLM

    .
    What will happen in 2018? Here it is.

    http://themusingsofthebigredcar.com/predictions-2018/

    Happy New Year, y’all!

    BRC
    http://www.themusingsofthebigredcar.com