It is possible. The polling numbers show the path. The avalanche of money that is cascading down on the electorate in support of the Romney/Ryan ticket and an uninformed and often foolish electorate show the way.
As horrible as it is to think of this, the wise are doing just that.
So let’s presume, Romney wins narrowly; the House stays GOP but with a smaller majority; and the Senate remains Democrat by the same narrow margin.
1) Wall Street will demonstrate its approval with a surge.
2) There will be more hiring as corporations open up the profit vaults (with nearly $3 trillion in sequestered funds) to expand their labor bases and increase production.
Both will be in anticipation of tax breaks, the repeal of Obamacare, deregulation of the financial sector and the environment, the release of public resources to private profit, and massive government spending in defense and other earmark pork. Further nearly all of the jobs will be “cost effective” i.e. lacking in benefits, at minimal pay and unsecured.
1) The buying of elections will become a permanent part of the political landscape.
2) Push the Ryan budget, which has been designed to be passed using budget reconciliation that will require only a simple majority in the Senate. Since its purpose is to finance huge tax cuts it will need to cut deeply into almost every federal program except for Defense, Social Security, Medicare and Debt Maintenance. What gets cut- everything from veterans’ programs to medical and scientific research, highways, education, nearly all programs for low-income families, national parks, border patrols, protection of food safety and the water supply, law enforcement, and the like.
3) Engineer deep tax cuts in personal, corporate, inheritance, capital gains taxes. What Romney is counting on is a boom in the GDP that will pay for them. Very few economists think this is likely given that the cuts will likely increase the tax burden on the middle class and the tendency of the upper class to limit its reinvestment in the economy.
4) Repeal ObamaCare and replace it with a plan that, while light on details, would be centered around health savings accounts and insurance deregulation (counting on the free market to bring things under control, very unlikely).
5) Voucherize Medicare. Seniors would at first get a voucher sufficient to cover the cost of a private insurance plan comparable to Medicare. But the value of that voucher would only increase by the rate of overall economic growth plus 0.5 percent. The problem is that healthcare costs grow a lot faster.
6) Turn Medicaid into a block-grant program, cap its funding – cutting $800 billion from the program over the next decade — and then send it to the states to administer. The first problem is that states – presumably red states – would be free to make it harder to qualify, and the second is that the program wouldn’t have the funding flexibility to enroll more people during economic downturns. He would likely do the same for S-CHIP, the kidcare system.
7) Raise the age of qualification and means tests Social Security.
Push for the privatization of the Social Security Fund, at least in part.
8) Nominate Supreme Court Justices who will enshrine Citizens United, demonize unions, and take on Roe V. Wade.
9) Return to a more aggressive foreign policy that will be shaped by neocons who got us into two wars in the last decade.
10) Further de-emphasize climate change and alternate energy.
Scared yet? Worried yet? I am.