A year ago, I made some predictions for what would happen in 2009. How’d I do?
1. The United States Federal deficit for calendar year 2009 will exceed $1.5 trillion. Check.
2. A human being will be cloned. Not Yet (that we know of).
3. There will be serious attempts at coups in two of the following: Morocco, Bolivia, Colombia, Ethiopia, or Pakistan. Fortunately, No.
4. GDP for the United States will decline for at least three of the four quarters in CY 2009. In fact, US GDP declined from 2008q4 to 2009q2, rose from 2009q2 to 2009q3, but 2009q4 data is not yet available. Incomplete.
5. California will endure a shutdown of all non-essential state government functions, and then increase state taxes. As it turned out, taxes went up, but the state government didn’t shut down to only essential functions. Instead, we got furloughs. So, this gets Half Credit.
6. Neither the United States nor Israel will participate in an overt military attack against Iran. As I predicted, this didn’t happen. Which is good.
7. Britney Spears will “find Jesus” and make a spectacle of displaying her newfound piety. I keep on waiting for this but no, Not Yet.
8. At least once in 2009, it will take two U.S. dollars to buy one Euro. Nope, I was too pessimistic here. It got up to $1.51 for a while but never quite reached $2.00.
9. “Watchmen will gross over $1 billion, including its timed-for-Christmas DVD release.” Not even close. “However, a movie called Public Enemies will get tons of hype but lose money in theatrical release, as its cast of hot young stars fails to excite audiences about crime in the 1930’s.” Public Enemies did indeed lose money in its theatrical release, although just barely. Guess there aren’t as many geeky fanboys as I’d thought. Half Credit.
10. UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown will survive a no-confidence vote. He’s been in political hot water all year, including an inchoate challenge to his leadership from within his own party, but emerged from that with enough of the Labour Party rallied under his banner to avoid a realistic call for a no-confidence vote. That’s not enough for even half credit, so I’m grading myself “wrong” on this one.
11. The Detroit Lions will use their #1 overall draft pick to select Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford rather than the strong, fast DLB that they really need. They took Matt Stafford instead – a hot college QB, but not the exact one I predicted and certainly not the shore-up to their defensive unit that they needed (and still need) so badly. Half Credit.
12. General Motors will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Check.
13. The United States will abandon plans to re-invigorate its space program with supra-orbital manned missions. It wasn’t portrayed this way, but that is the result. Check.
14. Over vitriolic but ineffectual Republican opposition, Congress will pass a “carbon tax.” Congress got hamstrung on health care reform instead, so this gets a “not so much.” Give them another year.
15. Barack Obama will name at least one Justice to the Supreme Court of the United States. Check.
16. The average U.S. price for a gallon of 87-octane unleaded gasoline in CY 2009 will be under $2.50 a gallon. This one’s right on the margin. For the first half of 2009, it was below $2.50, and for the second half of 2009, it was over $2.50. Let’s call it Half Credit.
So, that’s more right than wrong. Next — predictions for 2010.