Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 21, 2016

When laws change, the financial future changes as well

You want to plan financially for the next decade. However, that future can change when the laws change. Who changes the laws? The politicians. This is why there is a hoard of money being thrown at legislators and executives because they want the law changed in a way that financially benefits the donor.

This is why there is much interest in the presidential primaries in the US. The next US president will be someone new as Obama cannot run for a third term. There will be a new administration. There will be new legal changes. The financial future will be very much influenced by the new administration.

Back in 2008 and 2012, I predicted incorrectly to my shame and ridicule. It’s OK. I am just a blogger. No one is paying me for this. But that guy, Nate Silver, I can’t believe why anyone puts stock into what he says. The guy is wrong so often. Look at this from his own column:

Above: Silver: “No way Trump can win the nomination.”

Now the primaries are not over, but it is extremely unlikely that the winner of both New Hampshire and South Carolina fails to win the nomination (for Republican). After Super Tuesday, this will likely all be over.

It’s clear there has been a Bush ‘exorcism’ on the Republocian side. I once said years ago how much hated the Bushes were, and I received surprised emails.  Go back to the 2006 election when the Democrats won the House and Senate. Those areas that gave the Democrats the majority were conservative districts. It is why in 2010 that they shifted so hard the other way so fast. There is a significant group out there that has no political vehicle. They don’t like what the Democrats are doing. The Republicans say they will do what they want and then they won’t. “We have to have the Senate.” So the Republicans got the Senate in 2014 and nothing changed. So now they are sending them Trump.

There’s more to it than that, of course.

Three more points:

One, the Democratic primary seems like it may be largely decided by Super delegates. This does not bode well. I do not think Hillary Clinton will do well in the general election against ANY Republican candidate (aside from Jeb Bush who the Republicans despise). There is also the issue of political cycles with the presidency. In modern times, no party wins more than 3 presidential elections in a row. The more one side wins, the more pressure is pent up to swing the pendulum to the other side. The odds are not in the Democrats side for winning a third presidential election in a row.

Two, Marco Rubio has lost every primary, yet he is spoken of as if he has some sort of momentum. He doesn’t. And if candidates dropping out added to an anti-Trump or anti-Cruz vote, then why did their margins increase despite all the candidates earlier dropping out?

Third, it is baffling why Trump’s business side is not discussed more. The voters certainly notice it. We’re used to hearing business success in internet or computer related companies, so Trump’s success in brick-and-mortar skyscrapers is really penetrating the high income electorate. I remember in the 80s that he was called up to Congress to give his advice on how to make growth and talk about taxes, etc. In 1988, I believe, he was spotlighted at the Republican Convention. The guy is 70 years old!

Since this site is so devoted to business, remember how I’ve said how businessmen have a different type of personality than average people? Now, not all businessmen are alike, but they do share many traits. I’ve mentioned some of these before. They are very nice…. until they are crossed which then they will rain hell on you. They talk like truck drivers. They have tremendous energy. They always think they are right. But most importantly, they have the personality that wants to win (as opposed to be comfortable, to be liked, or to be secure). We’ve never really seen a businessman in such a high profile US race before (the last precedent would be that businessman that ran against FDR). Guys like Romney were more politican (Romney’s father also ran for president). The dynamic of a businessman’s personality being in the race is quite interesting since we haven’t seen it.

Can you imagine if Steve Jobs ran for president? That would make a great political fiction story. Or what about Bill Gates?

Anyway, we are all going to look back years from now and laugh at how spectacularly wrong people were. I think people highly underestimate the issue of immigration (in BOTH the Republican and Democratic races). Immigration is a huge issue in every other country on Earth, why not the US? Immigration was a big issue even during good economic times. Now with bad economic times, the people aren’t going to put up with it. It also dwarfs every other issue including national security. What does national security matter if you cannot or will not define the country and its borders? The 9/11 plane that went down in the Pennsylvania field had one less hijacker because he was caught by immigration control enforcement. I know in the Republican primary, no issue will be above the immigration issue. The budget? Nope. Jobs? Nope. Abortion? Nope. The curious thing is that the immigration issue cuts into both parties. To what extent it manifests on the Democratic side remains to be seen, but it will manifest itself.

One last thing before I bury this subject. After seeing various presidential elections, you can make the case that one side goes positive and the other side goes negative. Negative as in ‘don’t vote for this guy. He is crazy and awful.’ People tend to vote for the positive side. For example, Reagan sunny side optimism versus ‘he is crazy cowboy who wants war’. That didn’t work. ‘It’s the economy stupid’ vs ‘Clinton is terrible guy’. That didn’t work. ‘Hope and change’ vs ‘Obama is terrible guy’. That didn’t work. I don’t think saying ‘Trump is crazy/bad” is going to work against ‘make America great again’.

And actually one more last point, I am astonished at the denial of the GOP. There are votes actually cast. I think Trump’s greatest strength is the GOP denial around him. If Rubio has any shot at winning the nomination, he actually has to win a primary.

Oh well, time for sleep…


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