With the Iowa caucuses looming, my visit home was replete with the underlying theme of politics. This particularly came up when I had lunch with Jon, a headstrong Democrat and old friend from high school.
I told Jon that while I think all politicians are slime balls, I support any Republican. No, it's not because I count myself among the GOP, but because the Democrats control both the House and the Senate. Someone needs to watch them (as no one watched the Republican-controlled government from 2000-2006). Jon disagreed. As a Hillary supporter, he thought she would set all things right. Besides, the GOP is evil and the worst Democrat is better than the best Republican. (I might be over-simplifying a bit, but not by much.) I thought a Democratic president (assuming the same party in Congress) would cause spending and deficit to rise. Jon agreed on spending but claimed the deficit would fall. More social spending would be corrected by lowering war spending and, most of all, a higher capital gains tax.
After a few discussions we decided to have a bet. With $20 riding, if a Democrat--any Democrat--is elected president and if both chambers of Congress will stay Democratic until 2012, then I predict that at the end of the next president's first term, the government deficit will increase. Jon figures it'll decrease.
According to the U.S. National Debt Clock, today's debt stands at $9,126,556,172,755.16 ($9.1 trillion). I really hope I'm wrong.