I made ten predictions at the start of 2017 and only one of them came true.
Obamacare repeal was never signed into law. An infrastructure bill didn’t get 75 votes in the Senate. The Nationals didn’t win the World Series. Ed Gillespie didn’t win in Virginia. President Trump didn’t get all of his appointments through and his approval rating hasn’t cracked 50%.
But I was right about tax reform. That passed with a heavy emphasis on the corporate side.
In reviewing what I wrote in 2017, I was perhaps more optimistic about this President and his Administration than the average pundit.
I typically didn’t take what he tweeted very seriously and I didn’t think that the world would end because of his presence in the White House.
On that, I was correct.
The world seems to be moving along quite nicely. The global economy is picking up steam. ISIS has been largely dispatched. The Winter Olympics is coming to the Korean peninsula.
People talk about how America’s global influence is declining because we have a President named Donald Trump, but I think our influence was declining well before then, as China rose thanks to advantageous trade policies negotiated by Bill Clinton.
Trump, in one short year, has made America the greatest place to locate a business, thanks to changes in the regulatory regime and because of corporate tax reform, so we will see how much American influence will decline.
In the spirit of humility, given my errant predictions of 2017, here are my predictions for 2018.
- The President gets his wall and the Democrats get DACA. It won’t be a big beautiful Game of Thrones Wall, but it will be consistent with the current law and it will be good enough to enhance border security. And the Dreamers get their dream, permanent legal status.
- Alexander-Murray passes the Senate, but dies in the House, as Nancy Pelosi, wrongly sensing political victory in the Fall, refuses to throw a life-line to the GOP to stabilize the health insurance markets. The Trump Administration decides to bail out the exchanges administratively.
- The stock market hits 28,000 by April. The Federal Reserve starts to worry about inflation, as wages increase, thanks to employee bonuses stemming from corporate tax cuts and to the mandated increases in the minimum wage set by different states and localities.
- The President will use the bully pulpit, as he talks about his tax bill, to browbeat companies to move their corporate headquarters back to the United States and to stop dodging American taxes. I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple was one of his top targets.
- The Russia investigation will fizzle out, but Robert Mueller will find something else to investigate, probably having to do with Paul Manafort’s business dealings with the Trump organization.
- Vulnerable Senate Democrats who voted against the tax bill will now vote for the President’s infrastructure bill. The House Freedom Caucus, worried about the deficit, will balk, but Bill Shuster, the talented Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, will find a way to get the votes. The President will sign a bill by the Fourth of July.
- The #MeToo movement will be hijacked by Democratic political operatives and will become a key political theme for the 2018 election, but once it becomes overtly political, it will lose steam as it attempts to target GOP women.
- A Supreme Court Vacancy will dominate the Senate agenda starting after the July 4th The question will be can the President get his pick in before the November elections.
- The collapse of the Iranian regime will be the biggest story of 2018.
- The Democrats’ number one campaign theme, impeach President Trump, will backfire as the American people have little interest in rocking the boat when the economy is firing on all cylinders. The Republicans keep the House, losing 5 seats, and pick up four seats in the Senate.