The staff at RightPundits.com would like to first wish all of our readers a very Happy New Year!  Needless to say, with the November elections results, most of us believe 2011 will be happy year, indeed!  A number of our writers would like to share their thoughts and views on what we might be expecting to occur in 2011.  How will events, political, economic, etc., unfold?  Naturally, we encourage you, our dear readers, to likewise participate and leave us your thoughts and predictions in the Comment section.

A white-bearded fortune teller peers into his crystal ball, circa 1960. (Photo by Harold M. Lambert/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Economic Predictions:

Andrew Zarowny: The economy will dominate much of the news in 2011 as it had this year.  By March, the United States government will be broke, again, and require yet another expansion of their line of credit.  This will play a major role in how the markets will gauge the new political and economic landscape.  Spending, taxes and Federal regulations will signal the new business climate.  While some progress may be made in reversing the trends of increasing spending and power of government, we cannot expect it all to change overnight.

America, and the world at large, are still deep in debt and most of the reasons for our current problems still exist.  Most notably are all those ‘toxic assets’ still on the books of our financial institutions.  The two key things to watch in the first few months will be the economic health of Europe and of our own state governments.  A new round of disasters looms from many angles.  If we can get through till June without anybody defaulting or requiring massive bailouts, then 2011 may end up be the turning point toward a genuine economic recovery. Gold will continue to do well, exceeding $1600 an ounce by year’s end.

Arriba: The nation’s struggling economy will remain in the forefront of many policy decisions that are made this year. The House, Senate and President Obama will agree on a number of decisions that potentially affect future spending, while only working at the edges of the current budgetary shortfall.  This will result in a conflict between the new members of Congress, who have made promises to fix the budget, and those who have served for a number of years, who are dependent on excessive government spending for projects in their districts. As the economy grows, gas prices will go up as they did in the last decade. Manufacturing jobs will continue to go to Asia and Central America. Politicians will moan and groan but do nothing.

Warner Todd Huston: The states will finally begin to realize that their pension troubles cannot be ignored anymore. Local taxes will skyrocket (sales taxes, property taxes) as the state legislatures desperately try to make up for the billions dollar deficits they all have in their pension programs. This will eventually lead to pensions being scaled back, retirement ages made later, and benefits cut. Democrats in Washington will begin to float bills to bailout the states because a large part of the bonds sold by the states have been bought by foreign interests. Democrats will say we cannot default on these foreign interests and will claim it a national security issue. Unions will support the bailouts with the biggest effort they’ve ever undertook so that they can continue their profligate ways.
 
Defense/Foreign Policy:

Andrew Zarowny: America will continue to lose stature on the world stage due to the lack of respect world leaders, and the world’s ‘Baddies’, have for the Obama administration. More WikiLeaks may cause additional embarrassment. While the situations in places like North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, and Yemen will continue to give us angst, look for more trouble this year in Africa. Both Somalia, Sudan and some of the West Ivory Coast nations like Nigeria. China and Russia will be flexing their economic muscles, as will India. The potential for a new global reserve currency will favor them, not us.

Arriba: We will continue to reduce troop levels in Iraq; troop levels in Afghanistan will stabilize as it becomes clear that this decade-long nation-building effort is fruitless. Luckily war drums will mount against (Iran, Syria, Yemen, pick your own country) so that the defense budget cannot be reduced, and our military will continue to fight these silly decade-long adventures.

Warner Todd Huston: We will stay in Afghanistan throughout 2011. The Guantanamo Bay, Cuba facility will not be closed as Obama keeps claiming it will. Russia will make another big play for a neighboring state. Continuing trouble between North and South Korea will see a U.S. troop build up there. We could get involved in Mexico’s drug problem more directly, too.

Politics and Domestic Issues:

Andrew Zarowny:  The first few months, if not weeks, of 2011 will be crucial in shaping what we might expect for the year.  The new Republican-controlled Congress takes their seats on January 5th.  We will quickly learn just how much the new members, and old, will function.  While a complete repeal of Obama-Care, the new healthcare act, seems unlikely this year, the new Congress can do much to derail it through the budgetary process.  Other aspects of the Obama agenda will also draw fire.  Already we are seeing calls to reign-in the EPA and other regulatory agencies forming up.

As for presidential candidates tossing their hats in the ring this year, I’m certain that most of the usual suspects will make a play. Romney, Huckabee, Pawlenty and Gingrich are sure to run. My gut tells me that Sarah Palin will run as well, if for no other reason than to set the stage for a serious campaign in 2016. We may even see some interesting Independent campaigns, such as Donald Trump and Mike Bloomberg. If the economy rebounds enough and the GOP favors Romney or Huckabee, plan on four more years of Obama.
 
Arriba: There is a rule of thumb: Legislators aren’t electorally punished for voting for measures that fail or voting against measures that pass. Boehner and Cantor will move a number of these measures this year, knowing that they will languish in the Senate. So, legislation will pass to either repeal or greatly modify Obama Car, etc. and then rest in peace in the Senate.

I think we’ll see a continuation of the denigration of Sarah, to try to keep her from entering the race. Then, a number of the likely suspects will announce and try to get her Tea Party support, no matter how incongruous. I predict that Sarah won’t enter the contest and that polls will show Huckabee leading in Iowa, while Mitt leads in NH.
 
Warner Todd Huston: The Tea Party will rise up again early in the 112th Congress as many Republican Representatives and Senators begin to drift back to the left after their great victory in 2010. In fact, it’ll get so loud that many “news” organizations will claim that the GOP is “on the verge of self-destruction.” Likely the news of the GOP’s demise will be greatly exaggerated, but it will be messy regardless. There will be a larger backlash against unions, too.

2012 Campaign for President: Mitt Romney will likely become the front runner (not that I like that idea, mind you). I think Sarah Palin won’t even run… but that’s just me.

 
Sports:

Andrew Zarowny: The Detroit Lions will not win the Superbowl this year (nor probably any year in my lifetime). The Detroit Red Wings, however, will win the only sports trophy worth winning, the Stanley Cup! Let’s Go Red Wings!

Arriba: I predict that New England will defeat Chicago in the Superbowl; the Phillies will defeat the Red Sox in the World Series.
 
Warner Todd Huston: There will be sports. Lots of money will be wasted on it and sports reporters will treat each sports incident as if it were a really important story, just like always. Otherwise it will all be as inconsequential to real news and just as pointless to real life as always.

Entertainment:

Andrew Zarowny: Sarah Palin may not win the presidency, but she will win some sort of an award for her cable-TV show. Probably for a category involving killing the most animals on TV. Too bad she didn’t do us all a favor and ‘accidentally’ kill Kate Gosselin, too! AMC’s ‘Mad Men’ will continue it’s reign. Lady Gaga will dominate the music industry and a Miley Cyrus sex video will cause quite the stir but only after she gets arrested for DUI.

Arriba: I predict that I’ll see at least one movie this year. I’ll be annoyed that everyone else in the theatre talks on the cell phone and to each other, and I’ll walk out halfway through the film, promising to try again in 2012.

Warner Todd Huston: Movies will continue to lose customers at the theater as home entertainment systems gobble up box office cash but DVD sales and movie downloads will grow. Cable will also continue to see a loss of market share. 3D TVs will not sell as the industry hoped.

*****

So there are the predictions for 2011 by some of the writers at RightPundits.com. Tell us what you think? Leave a comment about your opinion, if you agree or disagree with any of our writers, or tell us some predictions of your own. Either way, have a safe and prosperous New Year!

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 01: Fireworks go off at the strike of midnight in Times Square January 01, 2011 in New York City. This year a 11,875-pound Waterford crystal ball descended a 141-foot tall flagpole to mark the beginning of 2011. (Photo by Brian Harkin/Getty Images)