KINGSTON, NY 14 August 2012 -- One year ago, in the Summer 2011 Trends Journal, we focused on the 2012 Presidential election. At that time, we analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of both President Obama and the cast of Republican challengers.
Thus, a year before the media was looking closely into Ryan's past and his qualifications for designing a massive budget deficit reduction plan, we had singled him out as THE politician whose views and values best represented a Republican platform that led us to forecast an Obama victory in October.
In that Trends Journal we wrote:
The Republican final solution was to reduce and/or eliminate "entitlements" -- a word that had taken on a pejorative meaning. How dare people who had worked all their lives, acted responsibly and paid their taxes, feel entitled to anything from their government? Health care, elder care ... Republicans were running on a "we don't care" platform. And, if they got their way, any care the people did receive would be less than what they got before and would come from the private sector; the health industry that gives generous campaign contributions (i.e., bribes and payoffs) to politicians for passing legislation that will further enrich them.
Another main Republican plank was the reform of Social Security. Under a complex partial privatization plan crafted by Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan (Roadmap For America's Future), Social Security and Medicare benefits would be cut, cost-of-living increases trimmed, and the retirement age for those under 55 would be "modernized" to eventually reach 70. At the same time, the Social Security agency itself would be significantly downsized to a level of predictable inefficiency.
The end result of their "Roadmap" would be to steer as much tax money as possible away from the public sector and into the private sector. It was passionately held GOP Gospel that corporations operated more efficiently than government bureaucracy.
The third major plank of the Republican platform called to not only keep in place the Bush-initiated and Obama-perpetuated tax policy that gave breaks to the richest, but under the Ryan plan, to further lower the top tax rate from 36 percent to 25 percent. Incredible as it may sound, the GOP genuinely believed that the more the very rich made and the less they paid, the better off everyone else would be.
The Republican platform boiled down to: "What can we do to make the biggest bigger and the richest richer?" Not surprisingly, for the small percentilethat stood to benefit, the Republican platform was attractive.
Just as we wrote "History Before It Happens" before it happened, so now we are forecasting "The Next Four Years: What to Expect, What it will Mean." Among the broad range of socioeconomic and geopolitical trends and forecasts, we will also be shining our penetrating spotlight on The Presidential Reality Show with insights and analyses that you won't find anywhere else.