So what does a Republican-dominated Congress and Supreme Court have in store for us?
One thing I think is highly likely: a slowdown in the recovery, or even a deepening of the depression. A period of deflation and an explosion of the national debt both seem possible.
This is likely to be an outcome of three Republican initiatives.
- Ending the health insurance tax credits in the 26 states that have not established their own health insurance exchanges. This would raise the health insurance prices of the approximately 10 million people enrolled via healthcare.gov beyond the ability of most to pay. This, in turn, will cascade through the insurance industry, likely bankrupting insurance companies and affecting policies outside of the 26 Republican-dominated states.
- Cutting taxes on the very wealthy.
- Expanding military spending through borrowing.
At the personal level, further cuts in programs for people in economic distress are likely. The overall impact of this, and a slowing of the recovery, is likely also to affect the morale of the public. Some people will be further radicalized, and support further cuts. It seems likely, however, that much of the public will develop a hopeless hatred of the Republicans, which will be exploitable in a variety of ways, though it may ultimately lead to a successful opposition.
One of the most reliable markers of Republican politicians is their misogyny. Astonishingly for conservatives who claim to value women, children, and families, they are forever making excuses for rapists. This will manifest as more Congressional anti-abortion and even anti-contraception activism. A weakening, though probably not repeal, of the Violence Against Women Act seems possible.
Impeachment of Obama on false charges. Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi!
It’s a pretty ugly list, though some of it many not come to pass. Obama’s veto will have some effect. At the same time, this list is not comprehensive; there are more horrors I do not know about. I think the country is going to be miserable by 2016, and I am not at all sure the Republicans will lose power at that time.