I have to admit, I am not looking forward to 2014. In fact, I have a very bad feeling about 2014.
A local car dealer whom I know well says I’m crazy. He says 2014 will be a banner year. Maybe, but I don’t think so. Politics is perception, and I believe that to be absolutely true. So true, in fact, that perception is the very thing that scares me. The perception that current leadership is capable of staving off what is coming is in free fall. If it totally collapses, it may trigger a wide spread crisis in confidence next year. If that happens, you only need to remember four digits: 1-9-2-9.
When Obama was elected in 2008 it was largely because he masterfully manipulated how he was perceived. Obama convinced vast numbers of people that he was different; he was the one who could turn things around. Despite his business and political resume being thin enough to fit comfortably in your left ear, he generated hope for the future. Even in 2012, when much of the mystery about him and his ideology had become visible, the perception was that he just needed more time and all too many were willing to give it to him.
On the other hand, there was Hillary Clinton.
Lest you forget, Hillary had been all but anointed early in 2008. She was mere steps from picking White House wall colors when the Obama machine hit full song. After that, she never knew what hit her. The Clinton magic disappeared. It was obscured by an entirely new package of smoke and mirrors. I’ve always suspected that the only reason she joined the Obama administration and slept with the enemy, so to speak, was to see the inner workings of what robbed her.
But I digress.
The scary part of 2014 is that a ton of unknowns are hurling toward us like a great mass of meteors. Unfortunately, Obama’s America is now much like a great, rudderless ship on the ocean. Her movement is more influenced by prevailing winds and oceanic currents than the desires of her people. We are so leaderless right now as to potentially be incapable of making the course changes required to dodge the impacts. In mere weeks, for example, we will once again find ourselves facing another debt ceiling debate. Does anyone reading this page think there is a chance in hell of not raising that limit?
Inspiring, isn’t it?
Like it or not, Obama has no credibility. Depending on your remaining affection for the man, he has misled or lied to us on everything from Fast and Furious, to Benghazi, to ObamaCare. He managed to brow-beat Republicans into yet another debt ceiling increase, even as he looked us straight in the eye and mocked us for assuming a debt ceiling increase “necessarily meant an increase in our debt”. Then, between October 1 and the first day of fiscal 2014 (November 14) he proceeded to add another $1 trillion in new debt. Perhaps he assumed we would not notice. Well we did, but it isn’t going to matter. Obama knew he was going into more debt when he said it, he knew we could not stop him, and he was right on both counts. Now he’s going to do it again.
Unfortunately the debt crisis is something far too many people assign no merit to. So long as they can go to the mailbox and find their check everything is copacetic. The other problems America faces, though numerous, have fallen even shorter in terms of substantially piercing the Obama perception. I fear that may change in 2014 because healthcare is the one topic nearly everyone shares an interest in. And if it does it could trigger that create a crisis of confidence I spoke of earlier. If that happens, it will manifests itself in many ways, none good.
A substantial portion of the country has been tone deaf to the damage being done by Obama in areas like gun control, foreign and domestic spying, taxation, regulation, climate control, and nukes in Iran, but healthcare is different. Where far too many have given Obama a pass because they didn’t have skin in the game on these other issues, nearly everyone has skin in the healthcare game. It was easy to look past Obama’s role in the neighbor losing his job or his home or his coverage. It was easy to look the other way when Obama was trying to subvert the 2nd Amendment or crush the coal industry. Those who don’t frequent Facebook or Twitter didn’t care when they learned “Big Brother” was monitoring those technologies. It will become very real, very quickly however, if healthcare coverage skyrockets or disappears altogether in 2014.
If you think fear over high unemployment numbers, massive increases in entitlements, and higher taxes has put the brakes on the economy, just wait till massive healthcare losses hit hometown America. The coast to coast sound of wallets slamming shut will not only be deafening, but contagious. Those of us in the small business market have been saying for months that far too many of us are just barely hanging on. A huge percentage of American small business desperately need a good Christmas holiday period to survive. Panic, brought on by the impending failure of ObamaCare, could be the “perfect storm” in terms of motivating huge segments of the population to close down holiday spending. If that happens, an economic domino effect will set in, and 2014 may become the year in which all those devastating economic meteors enter the atmosphere.
If that happens, you’d better buckle up. There is leadership capable of righting the ship on either side of the aisle.