A Fearless Prognosticator and His Track Record
I made 16 specific predictions for 2012 in early January. I said then, "You can score me next January." It's only November 7 as I write, but I think we have enough information right now to see how well I've done.
1. "Romney will win the Republican nomination." Check.
2. "Obama will win the general election." Check.
3. "Romney's loss will be blamed on his choice of vice president." Check. Note that I made this prediction well before anyone even knew who would be picked. And as stated here:
Romney's selection of Paul Ryan ... in terms of its demographic and geographic effect, the choice was a net zero. It did not help Romney in Wisconsin, where Ryan had never even run statewide. And by choosing Ryan, Romney passed over the more qualified Rob Portman[.]
4. "Joe Biden will continue to be the Vice President[.]" Check. (Although I still wonder if that will last.)
5. "Republicans will retain the House 236-220." Check, mostly. Actually, the latest count was 233-193. Not sure my original arithmetic added up.
6. "The Senate will end up tied at 50-50, with the deciding vote going to Biden." Virtual check. I did predict, correctly, that Democrats would keep control, but the actual count was 53-45.
7. "The Supreme Court will uphold the individual mandate of ObamaCare." Check, double-check, and checkmate. With the added pleasure that it was John Roberts who turned coat.
8. "The unemployment rate by the end of the year will be 8.6%." TBD. The year isn't over yet. The October rate was a statistically non-credible 7.9%. The average for the year through October was 8.1%.
9. "Real GDP growth for the year will be 1.9%." TBD. The year isn't over yet, but for the first three quarters, the annual rate was 1.7%.
10. "The Dow will close 2012 at 13,000." TBD. As I write, it stands at 12,933.
11. "The debt ceiling will be raised another $1.2 trillion, with neither fuss nor muss." Check. (You probably forgot about this one, or mixed it up with all the other times we hit the debt ceiling. By the way, we're about to hit it again, before the end of 2012.)
12. "Obama will not approve the Keystone pipeline[.]" Check. As you might recall, the Republicans made Obama promise to make a decision on Keystone as part of their budget deal. Obama kept his promise and made that decision -- against it.
13. "The deficit for FY 2012 will be $1.3 trillion." Check, mostly. The actual deficit was $1.1 trillion. So I was correct in that it would exceed $1 trillion.
14. "At the end of the year, no one will know for sure whether Iran has the bomb, although some analysts will believe that it does." TBD. It's not the end of the year yet, but no indications yet that anything will change.
15. "Israel will not conduct a military raid on Iran, or any other country." TBD. It's not the end of the year, but nothing yet.
16. "The number of troops left in Afghanistan at the end of the year will be 80,000, and on track to be totally out in 2014." Check, mostly. We are certainly on track to be out in 2014. Not only did President Obama promise that, but so did his opponent, Mitt Romney. The latest update via ISAF/NATO is 90,000 U.S. troops.
Here is how I score myself, out of 16 predictions:
- Eight were spot-on.
- Five are TBD, but on track to be met at the end of the year.
- Three were correct in the essential prediction, but somewhat off in exact numbers.
- I said Republicans would win 236 House seats. They won 233.
- I said Democrats would win 50 Senate seats. They won 53.
- I said the FY12 deficit would be $1.3T. It was $1.1T.
- I made zero wrong predictions -- so far at least.
- "Gays in the military."
- "... what we will likely get from the all-Democrat federal government will be full-blooded socialized medicine from price controls on drug companies to insurance mandates and a Medicare-like bureaucracy imposed throughout the system, with no simplification of or reductions in Medicare and Medicaid."
- "Voting rules will be weakened so that vote fraud will be widespread but undetected."
- "The border will become a meaningless line on a map, since border enforcement will be weakened..."
- "Obama and the Democrats will pass a massive stimulus bill."
- "The current recession will end later this year , although its end might not be declared until some time in 2010. President Obama will be seen as the man who fixed the problem started by President Bush."
- "Obama will keep his promise about pulling US troops out of Iraq."
- "Benjamin Netanyahu will be elected Prime Minister of Israel."
- "Osama bin Laden will be killed or captured, with credit going to US troops. President Obama will be hailed as doing what President Bush could not get done in eight years."
- "A host of leftist legislation will become law, but most of it will be made to look like moderate steps. Instead of the government outright owning the means of production, banking and communication, it will regulate them with rules incomprehensible to the layman."
- "Barack Obama will be re-elected in 2012... " (Stated in February 2009.)
If I made any errors, they were due to not being cynical or pessimistic enough. But I give myself a solid B+.
If you're wondering what I'm predicting right now, it's rather dark. I'll give you a hint by quoting Ronald Reagan (yet again).
We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on Earth, or we will sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.