One of my favorite things is checking up on people’s predictions of the future. Even better is when someone else does the checking up for me.
Which brings us to this interesting article in ThinkProgress, containing four predictions made before the 2012 election of the dire things that would happen if Obama was reelected.
The price of gas. Mike Lee (R-UT), on the Senate floor no less, predicted that (if Obama was reelected) gas would hit $6.05 per gallon by the start of 2015, and keep rising after that. Likewise, Newt Gingrich predicted that if Obama was reelected he would push gas to $10 a gallon. Even funnier, Gingrich claimed that he could hold the price of gas to $2.50 (and printed that price on his presidential campaign signs). That would be 50 cents higher than the current average price of gas in the US.
You can almost laugh that one off, because in reality the president doesn’t have much control over the price of gas. But what about unemployment? Mitt Romney predicted that if Obama was reelected, we would see “chromic high unemployment” for the next four years. At the time, unemployment was at 8.1%. Romney pledged he could bring it down to 6% by the start of 2017. And now, a year earlier, unemployment stands at 5%.
Rush Limbaugh predicted loudly that “the country’s economy is going to collapse if Obama is re-elected. There’s no if about this. And it’s gonna be ugly. It’s gonna be gut wrenching, but it will happen.” He even went into detail, saying that first California would declare bankruptcy and Obama would force red states like Texas to “bail them out”. Of course, California now has a $4 billion budget surplus and it is the reddest states that are the most in the red (financially speaking). And as for the US, other than a problem with wage stagnation caused by the GOP, the economy is doing fine.
Finally, after the election was over and Obama won, many people predicted that the stock market would crash. Including this guy:
He wasn’t alone. Forbes magazine’s “Intelligent Investing” column claimed the “market selloff after Obama’s re-election [was] no accident” and “stocks are dropping with no bottom in sight” because of policies the Obama administration would persue in his second term. Likewise, Bloomberg TV claimed that the stock market would drop at least 20% because of Obama’s reelection, and joked that investors seeking to protect their assets should “buy themselves a machine gun.” Meanwhile, back in the world of reality, the stock market is up 27% since Obama was reelected.