Jeff sent in his comments last week and I am just now getting around to posting them. I want to thank Jeff for taking the time to send me his input.
I will be posting Andrew kaduk and Tim Zank's comments tomorrow.
I will at some point combine them all into one neatly written post so you can see all of our predictions...
Jeff Pruitt thinks:
I don’t think the Fairness Doctrine is fair and I don’t think it has enough support on a party level to be reintroduced. Media is changing rapidly and although traditional media consolidation is a problem in my opinion, the Fairness Doctrine would only apply to radio. I think the FCC already has plans in place to promote more low power FM radio and it has bipartisan support from liberals to evangelical republicans.
There will most certainly be hearings on a number of issues as there should be. I just don’t see impeachment getting any real traction unless the investigations lead to something so devastating that they have no choice. I do not think this will happen.
I think the Democrats will support President Bush’s comprehensive immigration reform. I’m not sure what will happen to the millions of illegal aliens already here. The big sticking point I see is a guest-worker program. I don’t support this and I don’t believe a majority of Democrats do either – look to Germany and its permanent underclass of Turkish guest workers if you want to see what a failure this could become.
There will be a major shift in our Iraq policy. That war ends in 2008 because no future president will want anything to do w/ it. In the meantime the question is – can the place be salvaged in the next two years? I think the answer is no and I would expect to see the Baker commission release a plan that will ultimately be acceptable to the Democrats. It will include bringing Iran and Syria into diplomatic talks, moving our troops into more friendly areas (Kurdistan) and advisory roles. It will also put more pressure on the local Iraqi government to deal w/ Al Sadr and the militias.
5. John Bolton is toast. He’s a terrible diplomat and he doesn’t believe in the effectiveness of the UN in the first place. I believe the voters most certainly wanted change in our foreign policy – this includes Bolton. If the President wanted to show a sign of bipartisanship then he could ask Dick Holbrooke to take the post. Holbrooke is just as fierce as Bolton but his is well-respected around the world – even by the President.
First off, running huge deficits is the same as raising taxes – it’s just deferred. I believe the Democrats will roll back some of the Bush tax cuts but not the ones that affect the middle class. I think they will keep the child tax credit (maybe increase it), raise the AMT level, and eliminate taxes on the poorest earners. My guess is that most people/families earning under $200k will not be affected and some will see their taxes decrease.
I am pro-estate tax as is the majority of the Democratic party. Estate tax repeal is dead. They will not raise the threshold for this tax and they might not let it roll back to 0% in 2010. However, they might just sit on this one (i.e. not let it come to the floor for debate) until after the 2008 elections.
They will most certainly raise the minimum wage and it will probably be the first piece of legislation passed.
I think the debt will be significantly reduced from where it is today but probably not eliminated in 2 years.
I’m hopeful that progress can be made in this area but I’m not willing to go out on that limb. I think the solutions are politically messy for everyone involved and that will continue to be the biggest stumbling block.
I think Social Security reform can happen if the President ends the ridiculous idea of private accounts which even HE admits does absolutely nothing for the solvency problem. I think this one’s in the president’s court. I think he will eventually see this as a possible positive light on his legacy and a deal will be struck. How far this deal goes to solving the problem is another question.
I’m not sure what will happen here either. I think they will put together some piecemeal things they may or may not help – small business pooling will be one of them. However, they cannot get anything major past this President and I think they know that. I just want the debate started again and I think they will most certainly accomplish that.
They will do this immediately – probably right after the minimum wage hike.
They will keep this promise
I don’t understand the arbitrary value selected – one half. Why shouldn’t student loan interest rates float like all other loans? The Republicans set them arbitrarily high as a payback to their private student loan contractors and now the Democrats are doing the opposite. I had student loans and I was very appreciative of that opportunity. I think they should go back to how they were before the Republicans screwed them up.
I think they WILL do this and they will also pass a bill allowing the reimportation of prescription drugs. These are both good ideas and it will lower prices on some drugs
I believe they will now have the votes to override the president’s veto on this and it’s a great idea – some things are too important not to have unified federal effort for.
They WILL reinstate the rule that forces pay-as-you-go budgeting.
They will definitely end the oil companies’ subsidies or they will strike a deal to keep them but be used specifically for new energy research. I’m not sure which is more likely – probably the latter.
They will do things to decrease our foreign oil dependence but we won’t be there in two years. More wind energy investment, clean coal, and raising of CAFÉ standards will all probably happen. I think the party could really leverage the president’s desire to drill in ANWAR in exchange for something big – I would not be against that.
I believe they will end most of the parliamentary tricks that have been used by the Republicans although unfortunately there will still be a few. Also, Harry Reid has already agreed to allow the press into the conference committees between the House and Senate – something the republicans refused to do. I would expect many small things like this.
Jefferson will lose his election bid. He will get zero support from the party establishment although they won’t actively campaign against him (they should).