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Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

Thoughts On The Election...

U.S., Wisconsin, Political

The initial shock at the election results hit last night before going to bed, and that shock was still present when I awakened to attend my Bible study this morning.  It is now about 10:15AM and I think I can write a reasonable blog posting.  Obviously, I admitted the folly of my earlier belief that the Romney/Ryan ticket had the possibility of winning and of winning by what would pass for a landslide.  The actual results had the victors polling at Democrat +5 so their turnout was sufficient to power President Obama’s team to their second term.

Thoughts in no particular order:

President Obama will have to find a way to drive compromise if he expects to be better at governing, vs. using Executive Orders, in his second term.  The Senate is still Democrat and the House is still Republican and both leaders have already signaled that they do not intend to line up for a compromise.  That search for compromise should start today since there is little time to avoid the ‘fiscal cliff’; there is no breathing room for the incumbent such as there is for a newly elected candidate.

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The now ‘infamous’ (after vilification in the campaign) Bush tax cuts will probably expire given the rancor in Congress.  That will be a setback for virtually every taxpaying citizen and not just “those earning at least $1 Million”.  And that will affect the economy adversely; all the while the President is trying to get the economy really growing again.

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It will be interesting to see who leaves the Administration and who comes into the Administration as the usual change-over in at least a few seats occurs.  Hillary Clinton is probably gone.  David Axelrod might find a new spot since the campaign is done.

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Some liberals are already alarmed by the relatively conciliatory remarks made by the President when they wanted red meat.  The President will probably find himself in a different world in this second term.  He’ll be working at his legacy program(s) while his party may be hoping for and working to create unrest that could lead to new programs and new Executive Orders.

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There will be two or three new Supreme Court Justices appointed during this next four years in all likelihood.  They will not be conservatives and they will be on the bench for many years.  These are the lasting legacies of a two-term President with an aging court.

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Rep. Paul Ryan will be at the center of the mainstream media’s attention for his next two years (or four years if re-elected again) since he has inherited a mantle of leadership beyond that he had carved out already.  He’ll continue to be a force in Congress.

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The Romneys were and are a class act.

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PPACA (a/k/a ObamaCare) is alive and well and will have ramifications on us all that have yet to be made public on any bigger scale.  Among the things we’ll see is the compression of rate structures to three levels from a fairly common use of five levels.  The five levels typically are used by age groups.  Compressing those to three groups will increase the costs for at least all in the bottom layer (now the least expensive) and probably many if not most of those in the new second layer.

Many smaller employers will find themselves going through a review to determine if they can afford to continue to provide coverage.  They might well find that fines, which do not apply to employers with fewer than thirty employees, will be considerably less expensive than providing coverage.  The employees in those situations would then go to state-run ‘exchanges’ and find their insurance there.  Wisconsin will now have to move quickly to develop an exchange which has to be operational by the start of 2014.

A significant percentage of physicians fifty and older are indicating they will have to go through a soul-searching to determine if it makes sense for them to continue in practice or if they should just shutter their windows and lock their doors.  No matter the numbers who decide to quit, there will be an increasing shortage of physicians across the country and too few graduating to make a significant dent in that shortage for at least several years.

Those who are now using Medicare Advantage plans instead of regular Medicare will see changes made and those changes might get to the point where Medicare Advantage plans are simply no longer available.

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We probably have seen the last political effort from Tommy Thompson...although I thought that quite some time ago, too.

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Senator Tammy Baldwin will soon join the U.S. Senate; I hope that she will be a thoughtful member of that group who will actually consider all sides of each issue versus running in lockstep with Senate leadership.

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I’ll probably do a blog showing the voter demographics since they are quite interesting for both Democrats and Republicans.  For now though I’m going to go lick my wounds and hide my red face for having missed with my prognostication on the outcome to this degree.

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