The most important thing is NOT who you vote FOR, it is that you VOTE for the person YOU believe is the best candidate. And it doesn’t bother me if you put the little black dot on the ballot next to a candidate that I didn’t vote for. All that really matters is that you KNOW the issues and voted your choice in confidence.
Now, NO MORE POLITICS. All the 24-hour news channels are busy with live broadcasts, man-on-the-street coverage, expert opinion blahblahblahblahblahblah. I have to admit that this election is exciting and constantly in my thoughts, but I will be glad when it is over. The effects of this election will not change my life or yours in one week, the next two months, probably not much over the next year. It will take time for any winning candidate to organize their cabinet, get proposals drawn up, and get sworn in. By the time the new Prez gets the new rug in the White House this whole thing will be behind us.
Here is what happened in the past 60 days leading up to this election:
- Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson proposed a “bail out” package of $700,000,000.00 to solve the economic slowdown. A 3-page proposal turned into a phone book of pork with other proposals, but was passed by the House and Senate at the end of September 2008. Americans LARGELY opposed this bill, but politicians voted the stupid thing in anyway. Watch to see how much this bill either effects the stock market or stuck to the original cost of the proposal. (PS – who is the Treasury Secretary today?)
- The market moved more than 500 points (up or down) at least 5 times from September 29 – November 4. Watch to see how many large point swings happen.
- The DOW closed at 9,625 after gaining 305 points on November 4th, 2008. Watch to see if there is any significant gain or a loss.
- The Fed dropped the interest rate to 1%. Watch to see if it is raised (can it get any lower?)
- Interest rates are being advertised as follows: 15yr fixed mortgage 6.04% (30yr fixed 6.41%), 6-month CD 3.03%, 1-year CD 3.55%, Money-market savings 3.00%. Watch to see if these change much.
- We have ignored 10 “out of area” calls a day over the past week. We know they have to be political propaganda calls because anything else would be identified by caller-ID or would be illegal (we are on the no-call list). How many calls do you receive? Watch to see how quiet your house gets.
- A new bill is being proposed by Congress that I really like. It’s called H.R. 7223, and it proposes to suspend the capital gains tax (a tax you pay on money you earn on interest and the gain on property sold) and suspend mark-to-market accounting requirements (a rule that created much of the problems for AIG, Lehman Brothers, and Merrill-Lynch), and a couple other things. Watch to see where this bill is in the approval process.
What will the economy look like on January 30th, 2009? I am setting a reminder on my Yahoo calendar to post an update on the status of the economy. I urge you to come back and revisit this post in 2-3 months and reflect on these issues. If this works out, I may do an update in one year. What will have changed after a new President has 12 months under his belt? No crystal ball here.