The spending was obscene. The campaign was an astounding 18 months of drum beats and cable noise over an electoral map where most states are not competitive for both parties. The Center for Responsible Politics estimates this election cost $6 billion. The current population in the United States is 314,722,316. That's $19 per every man, woman and child residing in the United States.
After all is said and done by the popular vote the country split down the middle with President Obama picking up about 3.5 million more than Romney. We offer some select results.
Elizabeth Warren has won a Massachusetts Senate seat. She has promised to reinstate Glass-Steagall, the dismantled law which separates commercial banking from investment banking and securities holdings. She has also promised to work for breaking up the big banks. Ending too big to fail is still needed, so we have an excellent warrior on financial reform and consumer protections.
Colorado just legalized pot, so did the state of Washington. Massachusetts just approved Medical Marijuana. Arkansas on the other hand, rejected Medical marijuana and Montana placed extreme restrictions on Medical pot. Oregon, the liberal hippie land of farmers didn't. They rejected legalization of marijuana which is surprising. Oregon already has Medical marijuana.
The cash crop potential of pot is huge and the non-buzz giving Hemp also is a massive cash crop since it grows where other crops can't and has many uses, including industrial ones.
Michigan Unions Lose
Michigan has proposal 2, a ballot measure to put in the state constitution the right to collective bargain. It failed.
The Republicans picked up some seats, so expect the only legislation to pass are ones desired by corporate America and special interest groups.
Women increased their percentages in the Senate to 20%. Wow, it's 2012 and we're at 20% representation for over 50% of the population. Women voted for Obama by 55% to Romney's 43%.
Identity politics won, which is frightening. On the other hand, neither party has policies to really help the U.S. middle class. Hispanics voted for Obama by 75% women and 63% men. Blacks came out and voted over 90% Obama. Whites voted for Obama by 39%.
Gay people won in that some states passed same sex marriage, quite a different result from just 8 years ago.
Wall Street Won
Stocks have made out like bandits under Obama, unlike workers. Marketwatch outlines the Wall Street love affair with an Obama second term.
The administration and the Federal Reserve run by his appointed chairman, Ben Bernanke, have systematically stuffed big banks’ pockets with cash in an unending rescue effort, slashed interest rates to the lowest levels of the past 300 years, diverted senior citizens’ savings to revive the moribund residential construction industry and showered drug makers and insurers with fresh sources of revenue from his health care overhaul.
Little wonder then that Wall Street cannot bear the idea of parting ways with the Obama administration, and thus in the past two months has thrown a tantrum to protest the surprising advancement of challenger Mitt Romney in the polls.
What to Expect
We have the fiscal cliff coming upon us and already it is expected for President Obama to cut social security benefits and Medicare under the guise of a compromise. In other words, expect draconian austerity measures forced on the American people under the excuse to deal with the deficit, fiscal cliff and bi-partisanship.
Zerohedge gives no compromise a 55% chance, which means a recession guaranteed as well as the stock market doesn't have a recession priced in currently. Naked Capitalism has a good overview on the politics on the agenda to cut social safety nets.
One of the most important reasons that more Americans support the Democratic Party than the Republican Party is that the Democratic Party is viewed as the Party that created and guards the safety net. The elements of the safety net are the crown jewels of Democratic Party policy successes.
Only a Democrat can make it politically safe for Republicans who hate the safety net to unravel it (a process that would occur over a number of years) by legitimizing the claim that the safety net must be cut. Obama may not intend to unravel the safety net. He may have been convinced by Wall Street that it is necessary to begin to unravel the safety net in order to save it. But the result would be to declare open season on the safety net by legitimizing the false Republican memes that the safety net is unsustainable and harms the nation.
Expect comprehensive immigration reform. The monolithic Latino vote for Obama is being spun that we must given citizenship to those here illegally. Comprehensive immigration reform,means bad news for the U.S. worker for corporations want massive amounts of foreign guest worker Visas and increased labor supply generally. All else being static, increased immigration represses wages, enables worker displacement and worker substitution. Economics, labor markets and needs be damned, we have a one issue pony, drummed up by various special interest groups, parroted by the media.
Jobs, infrastructure, reforming trade are off the table. Expect more bad trade deals, in particular the TPP, more offshore outsourcing, more Corporate welfare, even higher executive pay and further wage erosion. We can also look forward to the same weak labor market with more and more Americans slipping into poverty. Expect health care costs to rise and employers limiting hours to part-time to avoid having to provide health insurance.
Not a pretty picture, but that's what happens when both parties are controlled by corporate and special interests and elections spend $6 billion dollars, track and profile you, continually campaign where the real problems of the nation be damned.