Happy New Year — 2015!!
We are living in very interesting times. Technology and science are producing products that improve our lives at an amazing rate.
Human knowledge doubles every 13 months. Using that theory we should be twice as smart next December as we are today. Other than Congress of course.
What to Expect in 2015
The biggest area to watch in 2015 will be seeing what the Supreme Court decides to do with the lawsuits regarding the state exchanges and healthcare. That ruling expected sometime in June.
It will also be interesting to watch what the Republican held Congress will throw at the President.
Obama has been pretty adamant about not being shy when it comes to utilizing the power of veto. I look for that animosity to continue.
Will Oil Prices Stay Low?
Currently I see no indication for oil prices to rise at least within the first six months of the year. I believe that Saudi Arabia is out to get Putin and put him in an energy shortage box.
Enjoy it while you can because there is little profit in $50 oil and the vast majority of those who drill for oil are small business wildcat drillers, not major oil companies.
Healthcare and Taxes
The Obamacare penalties are increasing in the coming year. If you don’t have a government approved plan either at your employment, or individually, you are facing a sizeable fine.
The annual fee for not having a government approved health insurance plan in 2015 is $325 per adult and $162.50 per child (up to $975 for a family) or 2% of your taxable income, whichever is greater. You’ll pay 1/12 of the total fee, per household member, for each month they go without coverage.
Again this could change depending on the ruling from the Supreme Court in June.
The Numbers Look Good But…
Unemployment is low yet the US workforce participation is the lowest it’s been since the 1970s.
The Federal Reserve is holding the line on interest rates that make home loans less profitable for banks and other lenders.
The stock market is setting new records but a sizable amount of those profits are being made in emerging overseas markets that do not create many jobs here.
Some Final Thoughts
I really don’t want to rain on anyone’s New Years Parade but I don’t see a whole lot of positive change ahead in 2015 over what we just went through.
Congress and the president will continue their capitalism versus socialism conflict. And the American voter will be the loser.
The racism controversy will most likely heat up during the summer.
Gas prices are one of the few positives I see on the 2015 horizon. I hope there are more positives than negatives as we enter the New Year. It’s been awhile since we’ve had a really good year. Maybe 2015 will be the start of several good ones.