Streams

Obama Time Capsule 2016

Thursday, November 08, 2012

US President Barack Obama arrive on stage after winning the 2012 US presidential election November 7, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Barack Obama arrives on stage in Chicago, Illinois after winning the 2012 election November 7, 2012. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

On the day after the election in 2008, we asked you to submit your predictions about life in 2012 to our online Obama time capsule. Now, we'll do it again. Make your prediction: What will Obama actually change by the day after the 2016 election? And be sure to visit our follow-up on some of your 2008 predictions here.

Remember, these are for your predictions about the next four years, not wishes, or comments about the past four years. We'll edit out comments that aren't concrete predictions, in order to preserve it for opening in four years.

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Comments [36]

lauren from Red Hook, Brooklyn

Recipients of social services like welfare, food stamps, and subsidized housing will go down to Bush-era percentages or thereabouts. (Welfare grew by 14.7mm individuals in Bush’s two terms, and 14.2mm under Obama in his first term alone. So I guess I’m predicting that about 14mm people will go off welfare and related social services.)

Health Insurance: Less than 11% of the country will be uninsured, as compared with 2011’s nearly 16% rate of uninsured adults. Private health insurance companies will thrive, and their profits will be higher than ever.

Pipeline: Obama will not approve the Keystone XL pipeline plan. The pipeline will not be completed.

Obama will end the trade embargo against Cuba.

He will close Guantanamo, but not till the final months of his second term.

Nov. 13 2012 07:46 PM
Zacqary Adam Green from Long Island

The American people's naïvete about Obama and the Democratic party will at last begin to break down. This will happen predominantly on the Internet, and the traditional media (including NPR) will provide little to no help until the very end, when it's no longer possible to ignore.

By 2016, Obama will not have stopped drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan, and will likely expand to additional countries. We'll probably go to war with Iran for some reason. Our misguided effort to have the biggest, baddest military in the world will not be significantly dampened, as Obama quixotically tries to maintain America's dominance of the world, rather than exploring a geopolitical order based on cooperation and a lack of "superpowers."

Meaningful financial reform will not be implemented. Student debt will continue to be an anchor dragging down the economy, and Obama will not support its forgiveness. Corporate profits will continue to rise, while wages continue to stagnate, and any economic stimulus Obama pushes through will continue to benefit only large corporations and not individuals. Public services will be cut as Obama leads us to follow in the footsteps of European austerity, all due to a severe misunderstanding of what the "national debt" actually is. The patent system will continue to drag down science and technology, and will even be expanded on some fallacious notion of "competing with China;" ironically, this will give China an even bigger advantage over us.

Guantanamo Bay will remain open. The Obama administration will help the entertainment industry impose severe restrictions on Internet freedom with disastrous effects on open access and free speech, all while not actually making a dent in online piracy or benefiting creative professionals. The Justice Department will fight tooth-and-nail to prevent the indefinite detention power of the NDAA from being declared unconstitutional.

In a repeat of Sotomayor, Obama will appoint someone to the Supreme Court who isn't actually all that pro-choice. This new justice will continue the trend of always ruling in favor of the US Chamber of Commerce. Gay rights and women's rights will still be affirmed by the court out of deference to public opinion, which will be no different from what would have happened under a Romney administration.

Knowledge of all these things will spread online. "Pirate" innovation will continue to happen, patents be damned. Social and peer-to-peer movements will begin to provide more meaningful change in people's lives than the government, which will desperately cling to relevance. Third parties and alternative political movements will go mainstream, blindsiding the establishment. The Democrats and the media will sit up and take notice at the last minute, but it will be too late for them. They'll still exist past 2016, but the writing will be on the wall.

On the bright side, at least the Republicans will be irrelevant.

Nov. 13 2012 01:59 PM
terry from nyc

For Obama to be transformative with a capital T he would have to reverse his actions of first term, especially the following: deregulating gun use, extension of the patriotic act, extension of executive power, appointing a gas and oil advocate (Salazar) to head the Department of the Interior (as much if not more drilling than under Bush), regulate the banks (instead of a slap with a wink), pass real health care, not insurance company bail out. It's odd the people keep claiming Obama care as his crowning achievement. It was Romney's plan. Obama was hands off. It is such and unwieldy hodge-podge of a law (thousands of pages) that no one really understands it as a whole. I would wager that it is the one thing Obama has not read all the way through. His promise and his legacy was supposed to be health care reform, not enabling bad health care system. So he would need to reverse his own so called jewel to be given the the capital T.

Nov. 12 2012 12:06 PM
Chiara from Ridgewood, Queens

President Obama needs to push forward legislation for federal same sex marriage.

Nov. 12 2012 11:47 AM
Mark from The heights

Populist reform regarding taxes. Capital gains tax increased to 20%, increase of taxes on wealthy (people making 1M per year), lowering corporate taxes for small businesses. A compromise that 75% of the increased revenue will go towards paying down the debt.

Immigration reform that will give rise to the tea party wing of republicans to dominat 2014 elections.

The age to collect full social security benefits is raised to 70.

Obama agrees to some republican ideas about Medicare and Medicaid.

Unemployment lowers with the health care industry expanding exponentially.

There will be a vaccine for HIV and government grants are triumphant.

Hillary Clinton will not run for president and will focus more on the Clinton Global Intiative.

Nov. 08 2012 07:54 PM
TJmetric from Harlem

Obama will win the "war on terrorism". And people will debate his ability to "walk on water".

Nov. 08 2012 04:31 PM
Torben Jensen from Odense, Denmark

I predict that America will eventually and gradually loose it's fear of becoming "communist", and learn that Scandinavians have done SOMETHING right creating the society where the strong shoulders carry the weaker, and thereby making the entire country a better place to be in. So that you will have better health care and some improvements for the poor.

I also predict that a woman will run for president next term.

Nov. 08 2012 03:31 PM
A journalist from Midtown manhattan

2013 - war with Iran and infinite detention for American journalists who neatly fit into the catch-all "terrorist-like activity" from the NDAA

Nov. 08 2012 01:57 PM
Kerry Barger from Armonk, New York

A cap and trade system for businesses to quell green house gas emissions. I mean after a hurricane, nor'easter and a 60+ degree weekend in November, we can only hope.

Nov. 08 2012 01:47 PM
Tom Johnson from Hamilton Heights

1. Obama's solution to racism will be consciously practiced by more people: He does not jump on the racism bandwagon.

2. That Obama will not have a scandal that captures the attention of the populace similar to previous administrations.

3. Obama-Care will have a more positive perception.

Nov. 08 2012 12:56 PM
Vanessa from Brooklyn

I think Obama will show more of his true progressive colors over the next four years, now that he doesn't have a reelection to worry about.

By November 2016, I predict that at least four additional states will have passed legislation to allow same-sex marriage!

There will be more serious political discussion of climate change, since it will rear its head in more and more ways every year. Investments will have been made and jobs created in the clean energy industry: more wind farms, solar farms, more tax breaks and incentives for those who use clean energy.

I also think Puerto Rico will be on its way to becoming a state.

I don't know who the candidates will be for the next election, but I predict that the democrat will win.

Nov. 08 2012 12:35 PM
Jacob Lee from Roanoke, Virginia

In the wake of a second election disaster in 2014, immigration reform will pass and be signed into law, but only after an acrimonious debate within the Republican Party. It will be Ryan/Rubio in 2016 vs not Biden, but probably a Clinton-nobody ticket. toss-up, but only with immigration reforms passage

Nov. 08 2012 12:29 PM
Derek from Middletown, NY

By the end of Obama's term, Iran will have made some form of a tentative agreement with the US over its nuclear program, if not a full-on deal; both parties will spar over how to court the Hispanic vote, with competing legislation aimed at immigration reform; and only one Supreme Court justice will be nominated. Oh, and Bush will still be hiding in Texas.

Nov. 08 2012 12:12 PM
Paul Waters from NYC

VP Biden will resign gracefully when it is revealed that he is (and has been) a progressive and degenerative condition of the brain.

Term Limits will become a major issue as the means to extricate the US Congress from its perpetual gridlock.
A compromise will be reached by consensus, with the Senate limited to two terms of 6 years, and the House retaining its 2-year cycle and unlimited re-election. It SHOULD be the other way around, of course, but the continuing majority of Republicans in the House will squelch this.

Nov. 08 2012 12:04 PM
Rakoto Malagasy from Brooklyn

Obama will go from slightly grey hair to silvery white with no trace of his original hair color.

He will be able to balance the budget but probably only in his very last year in office.

Nov. 08 2012 12:04 PM
Jonella from Lonely, Iggorant Boondox of Sullivan County

I predict that the GOP will learn NOTHING from their stunning defeat in this election - nation-wide - as it's not in their DNA to accept the world AS IT IS - but they will continue to live in their own fact-free world and operate based on their delusions.
I also predict that Elizabeth Warren will run for President in 2020 - and will win! I hope so!...
Hilary Clinton will join an intellectual think-tank as a consultant and then will retire and watch over her grandchildren, something that I believe she longs to do.

Nov. 08 2012 12:04 PM
Frank from Lindenhurst, NY

At the beginning of his second term, President Obama will focus on finally addressing tax code reform because its potential for bipartisan support. It will be as huge an effort and as politically contentious as health care reform but like the latter, will result eventually in compromise legislation. A minority of moderate republicans will cross the aisle and support the compromise. This success will improve the tenor of his relationship with congress and secure his administration's ability to address the other goals of his first campaign, for example, immigration reform.

Nov. 08 2012 12:03 PM

The 2013 Democratic Senate majority will pass filibuster reform changing the rules on cloture to make the abuse of the filibuster very politically costly to the abusing party.

The 2014 elections will result in Democrats taking back the House and increasing their majority in the Senate...this assumes that the Tea Party types will continue to dominate the Republican party in the media and via the hard core billionaire ideologues.

The last two years of the Obama presidency will place him in the same league as FDR in terms of a transformational presidency.

All those predictions are predicated on a coming together of the progressive movement in an intelligently pragmatic strategic manner. What hat means in plain English is that progressives actually BECOME the establishment of the Democratic party.

When he American people are offered a REAL choice between two clearly opposing ideas...large majorities will choose common human decency over policies motivated by greed.

These predictions are all well within the range of the possible...IF we are willing and able to pay the price required for their manifestation. Good stuff never "just happens". It's the other stuff that does that, eh?

Nov. 08 2012 12:03 PM
Michael from NYC

Health care law will be in full effect and people will start to embrace it. The rate of healthcare growth will start to slow.
Relationship with Israel will be rocky. Iran will not have nuclear weapons.
Unemployment will be down.
Deficit will have shrunk.
Taxes will be up for the upper class and the same for the middle class.
The repulicans split into moderates and hard right conservatives. Jon Huntsman makes a comeback (hope so anyway).

Nov. 08 2012 12:02 PM
Casey Ruble from Clinton, NJ

I predict that the Republicans will figure out how to capture a much greater proportion of the Latino vote.

Nov. 08 2012 12:01 PM
Brenda from Newark, NJ

Oh, I also forgot to mention that I think President Obama will sign into law (or whatever it is he needs to do)that Puerto Rico is a STATE or the United States.

Nov. 08 2012 12:01 PM
Ralph from Brooklyn

There will be less racists but those remaining racists will be more intense. I see elements of the patriot act being used against them as they will engage in domestic terrorism against minorities and members of the Obama coalition. We may see more Oaklahoma cities etc. You may see the right start to lobby against the patriot act.

Nov. 08 2012 12:01 PM
Robert from NYC

Ok, Hilary on the Court is fine, I'd rather she be deciding on judicial, constitutional matter than legislating and making policy. ALWAYS REMEMBER, WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON DEREGULATED THE BANKS AND SO HERE WE ARE TODAY IN THIS FINANCIAL HOLE, THIS DEPRESSION.

Nov. 08 2012 12:01 PM
Arne from 06883

Hillary Clinton will not run for president -- she will have accepted Obama's nomination to the Supreme Court instead.

Nov. 08 2012 12:01 PM
Fishmael from NYC

I predict that the inevitable demographic forces will continue to shrink the Republican's pool of voters, and, as a shrinking water-hole causes the animals around it to manifest more and more crazy and desperate behavior, we will see increasingly bizarre and even dangerous behavior by the ever-more-right-moving lunatic fringe of the Republican base. There is unfortunately real potential for violent incidents.

I hope that this prediction does not come true, but fear it will.

Nov. 08 2012 12:00 PM
Casey Ruble from Clinton, NJ

My prediction is that the Republicans will figure out how to capture a much greater proportion of the Latino vote.

Nov. 08 2012 11:59 AM
safarisue from NYC

I'm worried about Obama's life. White Rich people hate him white hillbillies and evangelicals hate him. They don't want a black man (even though Obama is not truly black) in office. They are furious at his election. Hope he'll be safe

Nov. 08 2012 11:59 AM
Tim from Nj

Carbon tax or cap and trade implemented

Nov. 08 2012 11:58 AM
Stephen from Manhattan

DOMA will either be repealed or overturned by the Supreme Court IF — and only IF — Obama makes two more court appointments.

Nov. 08 2012 11:58 AM
esbj from westchester

I predict we will be in another never-ending war. Unemployment will be spiraling towards 20+%. Israel will have nuked Iran after Obama kills a quarter million Iranians with sanctions (to no avail) which will provoke some terrorism and another misguided invasion. The Obama administration will have gone way over the fiscal cliff and will 'reform' education loans to let Americans be in constant states of retraining, but never getting anywhere.

Nov. 08 2012 11:58 AM
George from Astoria

By 2016 there will be more climate related catastrophic events and Obama will be the leader that will help lead America out of this idea of climate change denial. He will create an environment where we will actually proactively start the process to fight and try to turn back the affects of climate change.
He will enact tighter regualtions on all practices that promote climate change and will change zoning regulations so houses are build accirding to the new realities of geography and climate.
For example there is no reason to build a wooden house with a basement on the jersey shore. You build with concrete and raise the house above storm surge reach.

Nov. 08 2012 11:56 AM
antonio from bayside

I think Elizabeth Warren and Hilary Clinton will be the first all woman presidential ticket!!!
But who will be on top? Ack! 2008 all over again!

Nov. 08 2012 11:56 AM
Dude from Queens

Dude from Queens
It's been 4 years since President Obama's reelection. The country is well on its way to improving its competitiveness. The revenue raised from financial transaction tax, carbon tax, luxury consumption tax, elimination of many corporate welfare loopholes and a public option in healthcare helped reduce the deficit along with reform of income tax rates. The revenue generated from this had started us on the road to having the most modern electric national smart grid, tax credits for homeowners to make there homes more fuel efficient. The country is well on its way to towards building out a high speed rail system for both passengers and freight that will connect the country more extensively than the interstate highway system. Furthermore massive public transportation projects have been initiated in the 20 most densely populated regions in the USA to help connect high speed rail passengers to local transport and reduce the use of gasoline. One of those are an expansion of new yorks N train to laguardia airport, and a LIRR connection and expansion of the E and 1 train to Cover most ofbthe borough pf Staten Isl. Also gov christie reversed earlier decision and agreed to support more train tunnels between NJ and NY. Work has begun on building new modular nuclear power plants that are replacing the coal fired power plants and aging nuclear plants. Things are also going well after President Obamas executive order mandating that all federal vechile purchases must be cars that run on natural gas. This cleaner burning fuel has helped create many jobs in the country. The investments broadband have brought about an education revolution in our schools as well as the building of more schools to reduce class size. Furthermore his reinvention of the post office has further closed the remaining digital divide.

Nov. 08 2012 11:56 AM
Brenda from Newark, NJ

Except for closing Guantanamo, completing immigration reform, and actually being able to implement financial regulations reform (b/c of lobbyists), President Obama has done a good job in my view. So, in the next 3 yrs or so, I would expect these 3 topics to be addressed. I think there will be a push to reform education in some way, increased research in alternative power, and in my wish list is incarceration reform and marriage equality across the nation. Yeah, I know, it will be difficult, but these are the real issues of our time, not whether we should repeal Roe v Wade.

Nov. 08 2012 11:54 AM
Matt L

2016 Prediction: A landslide win for Nate Silver, as his early prediction of his own success cements his status as the #45.

Nov. 08 2012 11:53 AM
Dude from Queens

It's been 4 years since President Obama's reelection. The country is well on its way to improving its competitiveness. The revenue raised from financial transaction tax, carbon tax, luxury consumption tax, elimination of many corporate welfare loopholes and a public option in healthcare helped reduce the deficit along with reform of income tax rates. The revenue generated from this had started us on the road to having the most modern electric national smart grid, tax credits for homeowners to make there homes more fuel efficient. The country is well on its way to towards building out a high speed rail system for both passengers and freight that will connect the country more extensively than the interstate highway system. Furthermore massive public transportation projects have been initiated in the 20 most densely populated regions in the USA to help connect high speed rail passengers to local transport and reduce the use of gasoline. One of those are an expansion of new yorks N train to laguardia airport, and a LIRR connection and expansion of the E and 1 train to Cover most ofbthe borough pf Staten Isl. Also gov christie reversed earlier decision and agreed to support more train tunnels between NJ and NY. Work has begun on building new modular nuclear power plants that are replacing the coal fired power plants and aging nuclear plants. Things are also going well after President Obamas executive order mandating that all federal vechile purchases must be cars that run on natural gas. This cleaner burning fuel has helped create many jobs in the country. The investments broadband have brought about an education revolution in our schools as well as the building of more schools to reduce class size. Furthermore his reinvention of the post office has further closed the remaining digital divide.

Nov. 08 2012 11:43 AM

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