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The 20 Biggest Questions of 2023
What to look for in 2023
Predictions are a fool’s business, but pointing out what the biggest questions of 2023 appear likely to be at this early juncture? That seems worth doing. Here’s what you need to be on the lookout for in 2023.
20) Does the FBI have to provide answers? There are an awful lot of questions swirling around our very politicized FBI. What are the details of their efforts to censor users on various social media platforms? Did they run interference for the Biden administration on Hunter Biden’s laptop? What was the extent of their involvement, if any, with the Jan 6. riot at the Capitol? They appear to be specifically targeting Republicans in some cases – can they defend that? The FBI should be asked about all of these issues by Republicans in the House, UNDER OATH with their BUDGET ON THE LINE. Will that happen? Let’s hope so, but at this point, we should believe it when we see it.
19) Will the substation attacks continue? In the last month, there have been unsolved attacks on substations in North Carolina, Oregon, and Washington State that have left considerable numbers of customers without power, sometimes for several days. These substations are typically unguarded, have hard-to-manufacture parts and no one knows who’s behind the attacks. They could be anyone from loons to environmental extremists to domestic terrorists to foreign terrorists testing potential weak spots. Given the light security and glacial speed of producing the parts used in these substations, this could turn into a significant problem if these attacks continue and spread.
18) How low does crypto go in 2023? Bitcoin was created in 2009, so crypto has never weathered the sort of economic storm we’re experiencing now. The collapse of Luna and FTX were big blows to cryptocurrency and some people believe that Binance and Tether could be next. If so, the entire market would likely take another massive hit.
17) What do Democrats do with the Senate? With a small margin and Republicans in the House acting as a check on them, Democrats are unlikely to get much legislation passed. However, it is at least POSSIBLE that Democrats could continue to push to get rid of the legislative filibuster in the Senate. This would be particularly foolish when it’s entirely possible that Republicans could control all branches of government in 2024, but Democrats are not known for being smart and despite the fact that change could be the event that leads to the end of the United States as a Republic, it’s still a policy they seem committed to pursuing. If they were to do so and succeed, God help us all.
16) How much will the cost of groceries go up in 2023? We’re already facing high inflation and one of the places Americans are feeling it most is at the grocery store. The war between Ukraine and Russia, both of which are food exporters, combined with the drought affecting Western states seems likely to drive food prices significantly higher in 2023.
15) Will we find out who sabotaged the Nord Steam Pipeline? The general consensus seems to be that the Nord Stream Pipeline was sabotaged, but there’s no consensus on which nation did it. The idea that Russia sabotaged its own pipeline seems fairly ludicrous, but people hate Putin so much they’ve been offering that up regularly. The most likely suspect would seem to be the United States, especially given that Joe Biden publicly said he’d “bring an end to it” if Russia invaded Ukraine:
Will we find out the truth in 2023? It seems unlikely, but it’s still an intriguing question.
14) How does Twitter fare under Elon Musk? Twitter had lost money for 8 of the 10 years before Elon Musk bought the company and his commitment to free speech has earned him a lot of enemies on the Left. However, according to Musk, the platform is already on track to break even next year:
Can Musk pull that off while continuing to grow the platform? History says betting against long term usually turns out to be foolish.
13) Who wins the grooming war? It feels like the war over grooming children has reached a tipping point in 2022, although it is far from over. Pushing gender confusion, hard-core pornography and drag queens on children seems increasingly likely to become a defining issue between the Left and the Right. Does the Left stick to their guns or concede that grooming children is not okay?
12) What do Republicans do with the House? Republicans have taken back the House, but they have a narrow margin, a number of factions working at cross-purposes with each other, and Democrats control the Senate. That’s a tough spot to be in, but there are still investigations that need to be done and they do have the power of the purse. Can the House GOP deliver anything, or will they live down to the low expectations people have of them?
11) Does China make a move on Taiwan? China intends to bring Taiwan back into the fold by hook or by crook and they may regard the United States and Europe being engaged in economic warfare with Russia as an opportunity. Would we be willing to actually go to war with China over Taiwan at the same time our sanctions on Ukraine are costing us billions and creating energy shortages in Europe? No one seems to think an invasion of Taiwan is imminent, but most observers in the region believe China is preparing for war. Our heavy involvement in the war between Ukraine and Russia could be the opportunity they’ve been waiting to seize.
10) What will the fallout of Roe vs. Wade be? Although Roe vs. Wade was overturned this year, the issue will continue to play out in states across the country next year. Will the Republican Party overreach in terms of limiting access to abortion? Will the Democrats’ desire to abort as many babies as possible backfire? It’s too early to say for sure, but what we can say is that local political parties have the opportunity to act on this issue in a way that they haven’t previously in decades and there will be political ramifications to their choices.
9) What happens with COVID? It certainly FEELS LIKE the worst of COVID has passed. Even the most COVID-sensitive parts of the country have generally ceased wearing masks or taking a lot of precautions. However, even as COVID has slipped into the background, there are still 20,000-30,000 people per day being hospitalized across the United States, and many more getting ill. Could some new strain get everyone taking COVID seriously again or does the coronavirus become even LESS of a factor this year?
8) Is Joe Biden going to face a real primary? This seemed entirely possible going into the 2022 election, but it also seems considerably less likely after the GOP’s underwhelming performance in 2022. Still, Biden is a senile, deeply unpopular president in his eighties, and it is still entirely possible he may be challenged or alternately, step aside because of health reasons. If that happens, who gets in the race? Kamala Harris? Gavin Newsome? Bernie Sanders? Elizabeth Warren? Pete Buttigieg? Gretchen Whitmer? Hillary Clinton?
7) How effective and/or dangerous are the COVID vaccines? As more people question the vaccines, new research is being done and old research findings trickle out, both the effectiveness and side effects of the COVID vaccines are being increasingly called into question. Do we have any major revelations this year, will the boosters finally be proven effective, or will we continue to muddle along, with most people not entirely sure what to think about the vaccines?
6) Does DeSantis run for president? Trump is the heavy favorite to be the GOP nominee in 2024 UNLESS DeSantis gets in. Of course, even if he does, that just means the battle for the nomination starts in earnest.
5) Do we face a worldwide recession? The FED may have been one of the worst actors when it came to printing money during COVID, but other central banks across the world made a similar mistake. That has led to high inflation almost across the board and Europe is also having a lot of difficulties getting enough fuel because of the sanctions on Russia. Energy shortages and exploding inflation are a terrible combination, but an awful lot of countries are dealing with exactly that problem. Add in a tanking economy in the United States and a worldwide recession in 2023 seems not just possible, but likely.
4) Will Donald Trump be indicted? There are multiple investigations into Donald Trump right now. At the federal level, his actions on Jan 6. are being investigated as well as the classified documents that were taken to Mar-a -Lago. Special prosecutor Jack Smith is looking into those issues. However, there is an investigation into whether Trump interfered with the 2020 election in Georgia and two different investigations into the Trump organization in New York. An indictment of a former president in any of these cases would be unprecedented and it would certainly look like (and probably be) partisan politics pursued by other means. In all of these cases, at least from the outside looking in, the chances of convicting Trump look to be quite iffy while the ramifications of an indictment would likely be very high. How this question plays out could have lasting historical implications.
3) Will the Fed keep hiking interest rates? Inflation is still running hot and previously the thinking has been that the Fed needed to raise rates higher than inflation to slow it down. There are genuine questions about whether that can even happen with the size of the debt our government has to service and how reliant our economy has gotten on cheap money. So, how high and how fast does the FED go? Time will tell.
2) What happens in the Ukraine/Russia war? Does it end? If so, does Russia or Ukraine win, or does it just end in a tenuous ceasefire with both sides simply holding in place? If it drags on indefinitely, which is probably the most likely outcome, does Putin face a coup? He’s also rumored to be in ill health. If Putin passes, does his successor retreat, or ratchet up the war to show his strength? If that doesn’t happen, do the Western powers force Ukraine to negotiate after getting tired of pouring billions into an increasingly unpopular and expensive war that helps increase energy bills at home? At this point, there is tremendous uncertainty about how everything will play out.
1) How bad does the economy get in 2023? Inflation is still running extremely hot; the stock market is tanking and we’re starting to see sizable layoffs. Meanwhile, the Fed is still hiking rates in an effort to slow down the economy and we’re seeing warnings that could be a mistake:
So, how bad does it get? Well, a “soft landing” for the economy looks extremely unlikely, but the only thing worse than the Fed crashing the economy could be the Fed crashing the economy AND still having high inflation. Time will tell how ugly this is going to get, but the odds are not in our favor.