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Archive for January, 2011

 

  1. Universal health care will be a fact. Citizens of any state will be able to buy a plan from any state with differing, lower mandated costs and coverage. “National” bare bones plans will be available for the young and healthy, with cost of living multipliers for each locality.
  1. Health care will no longer be provided by employers. Therefore employees’ plans will be portable.
  1. Gay marriage will be legal in all states.
  1. Defined benefit plans for public employees will be replaced with defined contribution (401K) plans, at least for all new employees. Older workers will be offered “buyouts” to convert their plans to the new regime.
  1. The retirement age for receiving Social Security benefits will be adjusted to somewhere above 70.
  1. Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac will be completely privatized. The mortgage interest deduction will be eliminated. New mortgages will have significant prepayment penalties so that they are not one way options. As a result, home purchases will require at least 20% down payments. The sum of all residential real estate values relative to GDP will decrease by at least 20% from 2011. This does not mean that real estate will fall in notional value, because GDP growth may be higher over the period. But it does mean that relatively speaking, residential real estate will not be a good asset class in which to invest.
  1. The US tax code will be completely revamped to be a flat rate (probably about 20%) above poverty levels, with almost no deductions. The deductions that will remain will be for retirement savings (401Ks), medical insurance, and state & local taxes.
  1. Government expenditures will total about 20% of GDP, to match up with revenue.
  1. Agricultural price subsidies will be completely eliminated.
  1.  The Davis-Bacon Act requiring government contractors to pay local prevailing (union) wages will be repealed.