Please pardon our dust – we’re hard at work on a new and improved Arnold’s Ramblings, to be revealed soon!

 
Text Box: Arnold's Ramblings

Is Congress Focused on the Issues that Matter Most to Americans?, Economic Forecasting

By Administrator ~ May 21st, 2015

Hi,

 

Now that there is a new Congress with Republicans in control, this is a good opportunity to check in and see if swapping majority parties has led to more focus on the issues most important to the American people instead of pet projects or hot-button issues, most of which are not priorities for voters.

 

Between May 6th and 10th, Gallup did a poll to determine the top issues Americans are concerned about. They are:

 

Dissatisfaction with Government  -                  at 14%, down from 19% in April

Economy in General -                                      up 1% to 12%

Unemployment/Jobs -                                     unchanged at 10%

Race Relations -                                               up 2% to 8%

Immigration/Illegal aliens -                              down 2% to 6%

Ethical/Moral/Family decline -                           up 1% to 6%

Healthcare -                                                     down 1% to 5%

Terrorism -                                                       up 3% to 5%

Gap Between Rich and Poor -                           moved from 3% to 4%

National Security -                                            up 2% to 4%

Education -                                                      down from 5% to 4%

 

So what does this mean? First, Congress has a long way to go in focusing on issues most important to Americans. Clearly we are very dissatisfied with our government (it's the top issue!), though not as dissatisfied as we were previously. Congress may not have direct control over the economy or unemployment, but they can pass legislation that would indirectly help, especially in reducing regulation and making it easier to start businesses, which would directly increase job creation. Additionally, the top three issues have been near the top in virtually every Gallup survey I've discussed here previously, yet little has changed.

 

A closer look at the other issues on the list indicate they are there either because of recent events (Race Relations and Gap Between Rich and Poor) or ongoing concerns (Immigration, Ethical/Moral/Family Decline, Terrorism, National Security and Education). Family decline is very interesting - it seems to me this is an under-appreciated issue. Social commentators have discussed this repeatedly as a root \problem Americans face today, and the appearance here seems to suggest many of us are also concerned with it, even if some left-wing talking heads dismiss it. Congress obviously cannot legislate family values, but certainly can do more to encourage strong familial units. Terrorism and National Security both rising, and this is an area where Congress has direct influence. With the Patriot Act up for adjustment and/or renewal, this is a prime opportunity for the Republicans to differentiate from their Democrat predecessors.

 

Education is another interesting opportunity for Republicans. People are concerned about Common Core, and overall issues with our nation's primary schools (I've discussed Zero Tolerance problems here previously) provide an opportunity for Congress, although much of primary education is handled on a local level. Higher education is a different matter. Our colleges and universities have become ideology factories instead of places to learn a profession. Congress can and should investigate this obvious side-tracking of the education system, which is a complete disservice to students.

 

So how are the Republicans doing, based on this survey? Not great. But there are lots of opportunities here, and if Congressional leadership uses this poll and others like it in crafting policy agendas, they might find their approval ratings rising.

 

Michael

 

And now, arnold has economic forecasting:

The DJIA is again in all time high territory and still could reach 20000 or somewhat less before year end.

Gold has had a small move up, and still looks to be going to maybe $1500 or so.

The dollar is still strong and getting stronger.

Oil is struggling at $60 and still could go as high as $66 to $72 before going below $40.

Interest rates for the 10 year Treasury is in the low 2%s and still could rise further.

Real estate pricing appears to be peaked or peaking in every market that I watch.

The economy continues to look weak and weaker.

 

Arnold

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: Arnold’s Ramblings Inc. and/or its writers, representatives, employees, shareholders, executives and affiliates may have a financial interest in any security recommended to readers or otherwise mentioned. Nobody associated with this website or Arnold’s Ramblings Inc. is a registered investment advisor. Everyone should review investment materials in detail and with due dilligence when possible, and should consult proper counsel prior to investing. All information and advice presented by Arnold’s Ramblings Inc. is believed to be accurate and reliable when posted, but cannot be guaranteed.

 

Copyright 2002 - 2015 Arnold's Ramblings Inc., All Rights Reserved // New Ramblings will be posted here as issued while we build the new site