A few predictions for 2012

Published 6:36 pm Tuesday, December 27, 2011

One of the staples of newspaper columns in the last week of the year has been the one that offers predictions for the upcoming year. They are not to be taken seriously for no one can foretell the future with anything other than “accidental” accuracy.

However, I have had experience with a Magic 8-Ball made by Mattel. For all of you who might not be familiar with the Magic 8-Ball, let me explain that its powers are mystical and irrefutable. It resembles the 8-Ball that you might see on a billiards table, but has a flat portion that enables it to sit still as it discerns the future. Inside is a floating set of twenty answers that will amaze and astonish!

I have taken a look into my Magic 8-Ball and, with gifts greater than even Carnac, I am ready, willing, and able to predict a few situations that apply to 2012. Prepare to be astounded.

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I have posed to the Magic 8-Ball the question: Will the Democrats and Republicans find solidarity in 2012? Magic 8-Ball says, “Reply hazy, try again.” I’ll rephrase the question.

Will Harry Reid and John Boehner become lifelong and close friends?

Magic 8-Ball says, “Don’t count on it.”

One of the country’s greatest problems in 2011 was that we spent too much money, while taking in too little. It’s called deficit spending and this past year was simply another in a long line of such years. My question to Magic 8-Ball is, “Will we balance the budget in 2012?”

Magic 8-Ball asks, “What planet are you from?” The question was so absurd, I will try again with a different tact. “Will China continue to give us money and, then, simply forgive the debt?”

Magic 8-Ball says, “Are you kidding?” Let me move on to another subject.

A most important election is coming up in 2012. Many say that it is a watershed moment for the country. We are at a crossroads and the very future of the country is at stake. I will make it simple for the ball. “When we get to the crossroads, do we take the left or the right?”

Magic 8-Ball says, “Yes, most definitely.” What does that mean? Okay, let me ask, “Who will be the Republican nominee to run against Barack Obama?”

Magic 8-Ball says, “Concentrate and ask again.” Well, let’s see. There’s Mitt and Newt, Ron and Rick, Michele and another Rick, Jon and used-to-be Herman. I’m concentrating on one name. Is this one the winner?

Magic 8-Ball says, “Ask again later.” Must be a difficult question for the swami so I will ask if it even matters. “Will Barack Obama be re-elected?”

Magic 8-Ball says, “Who knows?” I guess that’s better than “It is decidedly so.”

Enough politics. Let’s move onto the economy. It was fairly shaky in most of 2011, but there was a feeling during the last few weeks that a corner had been turned. Unemployment seemed to be dropping and retail sales for the holidays were up. I think I will ask, “Are happy days here again?”

Magic 8-Ball is turned upside down and shook all around. Finally an answer, “I have my doubts. Employment is temporary because of Christmas season hiring. In addition, the money spent was all put on credit cards. As soon as the dust settles, bills must be paid. My reply is no.”

Here is a good one. The Occupy Wall Street movement entered the scene in September and was expected to be a flash-in-the-pan movement. Yet, it persisted and even gained strength. In the cold of winter, it has retreated, but will it return with warmer weather?

Magic 8-Ball predicts, “Probably, they don’t have jobs to go to.” Speaking of jobs, are they going to return with gusto in 2012?

Magic 8-Ball says, “No, not as long as we continue to pay people not to work.”

Here are a few quick hitters for Magic 8-Ball. First, will the gnats return to South Georgia?

“Yes.” Magic 8-Ball was not needed for that answer.

Will the payroll tax be extended for longer than the two months that were decided in late December?

Magic 8-Ball says, “Count on it, but this time it will be for only 3 days.”

Will there be any negative ads involved in the 2012 Presidential Election?

Magic 8-Ball responds again, “What planet are you from?”

Will Iran be a thorn in the side of the United States in 2012?

Magic 8-Ball asks, “Does a wild bear go to the bathroom in the woods?”

Will Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity let anyone finish an answer this year?

Magic 8-Ball answers, “Don’t bet on it.”

Finally, Mr. Magic 8-Ball, will I continue to enjoy writing this column in 2012?

Magic 8-Ball says, “Signs point to Yes!”