Policy makers and pundits have begun to seriously dread the next installment of political brinksmanship scheduled for the end of the year. A confluence of crucial deadlines will coalesce in the post-election Lame Duck Congress that will allow this notoriously partisan, gridlocked legislature to exercise its last gasp of power before 2013. At the turning of the year, the national debt ceiling will once again need to be raised; the Bush tax cuts will expire if not amended or extended; and the draconian cuts in spending agreed upon in the last debt ceiling debacle will go into effect.
Using the filibuster in the Senate and their uncompromising and radical right-wing majority in the House, Republicans are likely to once again attempt to extort significant concessions from Democrats at this critical time. Most economists agree, however, that across-the-board tax hikes (total repeal of the Bush tax cuts) or huge spending cuts to lower the national debt would cripple our weak recovery. Either policy would suck far too much money out of our fragile economy, possibly pushing us over a fiscal cliff into a recession. Unfortunately, a well-crafted bipartisan plan to address these issues and move constructively past the impending deadlines is hard to imagine in today’s dysfunctional Congress. Hence, the flashing red light.
As predicted repeatedly on this site, late November through December 2012 is likely to be a highly dramatic and contentious period. The progressed US Sun will be moving into a square with natal Uranus (8Gemini55) as of September 2012, waxing for a year, and strongly triggered by Pluto (8Capricorn55), Jupiter (8Gemini55), and Saturn (8Scorpio55) during what promises to be a very volatile five weeks. There may be a strong mood of push back and rebellion (Uranus) in the country and probably a great deal of grass roots agitation. It is probable that much of this will center on the crucial economic issues being debated before Congress, but it is also quite possible that there may be a fierce confrontation over some of the election results or that some other totally unforeseen issue may erupt during that time.
Within this framework, the most difficult period for President Obama will be from December 11 through December 20, when transiting Saturn will cross his natal Neptune (8Scorpio36), suggesting compromises that he does not wish to make but is forced to consider due to the political reality (Saturn) of the situation. On a more positive note, the first 11 days of January 2013 look extremely strong and positive for the president, suggesting to me that the Democrats may continue to hold the Senate and could alter the filibuster rule at that time.
In other news, there is increasing fear that Greece will default on its loans and refuse the latest bailout agreement and the demands for austerity that are included in it. Concern is rampant that this could set off new troubles in Portugal and Ireland which are also highly indebted and rely on foreign loans.
The chart for Greece suggests that the most difficult period will be from early May through the first few days of August 2012. The Saturn station is square to Greece’s Sun (22Capricorn45) and sesquiquadrate Greece’s Venus (8Pisces56) during this time frame. The same Saturn station will adversely impact the chart for Papoulias’ presidency (3/12/05): Node 22Aries59 and Mars 23Capricorn59. Saturn transits always are best handled when discipline, caution, and the capacity to delay gratification are employed. Any kind of recklessness, rashness, or impatience will be counterproductive and lead to great upset and loss. Although these planets suggest an extremely stressful time for Greece and the European Union in late spring and early summer, it seems likely the worst will be over by mid-August.