A lot of people like to make predictions on what is going to happen. Too few of us take responsibility for their successes and, yes, their failures. Here is what I forecast on December 23, 2011 followed by what actually happened and my report card:
1. The unemployment rate should drop to close to 8 percent by Election Day, 2012. “WOW! I’m a genius or what...give me an A+.”
2. Sheriff Arpaio will not resign from office. “I got this one right.” Additional charges will be leveled against him by the Justice Department. “Unfortunately, I got this one wrong.” He loses in his attempt to win a fifth consecutive term. His “Reign of Terror and Errors” comes to an end. “I was off by .7 percent of the total vote count...give me an D.”
3. Local real estate prices should increase on average of close to 5 percent during the year. This will be the first real equity growth in nearly five years. “Imagine me being too conservative! How about a 20 percent increase from 2011 through 2012...give me a B for being conservative even though I probably only earned a C. By the way, housing prices grew by about 5 percent nationwide during 2012. Maybe too much Beydler big thinking.”
4. Foreclosures will continue to drop as Short Sales become the new “in thing.” “Wow...more genius at work...give me an A+.”
5. The U.S. Supreme Court will declare sections of Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070 unconstitutional. “I gotta tell ya, I’m feeling good about America and even the 5-4 conservative Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Roberts is beginning to think and vote like a Liberal. Amazing what long-term exposure to both the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights will do to you. Give me a B due to the Court not striking down Senate Bill 1070’s provision allowing cops to ask citizenship I.D. Oh, by the way, Adios Russell Pierce.”
6. Governor Brewer will lose her lawsuit against the Federal Government (again) on Medical Marijuana. Dispensaries will have opened for business. “Damn...do I have ESP or what? Give me an A+.”
7. The Tea Party comes to an abrupt end. Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats regain the U.S. House. The Democrats retain control of the U.S. Senate. “2 out of 3’s not bad. I’ll take a B on this one.”
8. President Barack Obama is re-elected for a second term by defeating the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney. Obama carries Arizona by a narrow margin turning the State “Purple” versus “Red”. “Oh well, I got Obama and the losing GOP candidate right. Probably got carried away on hoping Arizona could actually see the light and follow the left coast to Obama land...give me a B+.”
9. Republican Representative Jeff Flake becomes the next U.S. Senator from Arizona. “What a bummer...give me an A.”
10. The Arizona House of Representatives is taken back by the Democrats albeit by the slimmest of margins. The Senate remains in the hands of the Republicans. “1 out 2 is unacceptable...both are still Republican majorities but at least the House by a narrower margin...give me a C.”
11. The Phoenix Suns fail to make the NBA Playoffs. Steve Nash retires. “The Suns made a nice run for the playoffs and Steve Nash did leave but to the Lakers? Please LA...give me C.”
12. The Arizona Diamondbacks make it to the National League Championship series. “Glad I didn’t buy season tickets. What an under performing bunch...give me and the Diamondbacks an F.”
13. Quarterback John Skelton leads the Arizona Cardinals into the second round of the NFL Playoffs. “Are you kidding me? Win four in a row and tank. Reminds me of Cardinal ghosts from the past...give me a F-.”
Well...on a scale of 0 to 4 with 0 being an F and 4 being an A, my crystal ball vision for 2012 was 2.666 or a C+ or maybe a B- depending upon your point of view as in a half-empty or half-full cup. I’m an eternal optimist so I’ll take a B-.
So what’s going to happen in 2013?
1. The national unemployment rate will drop to below 7 percent by this time next year.
2. Housing prices in the Phoenix metro will once again rise by nearly 20 percent.
3 As a direct result of the above, more Valley residents will emerge from being underwater and discover that they can sell their homes for enough money to actually cover their mortgage(s) or make enough money for a down-payment on another home.
4. By the end of the year, short sales will become an asterisk from the Great Recession.
5. The U.S. Economy will slowly but surely become robust and the good ole days of the Clinton years will once again return to the U.S.A. Once again, the local economy outperforms the nation and the Valley is rolling by year’s end.
6. Comprehensive immigration reform will become a reality and a pathway to citizenship will be offered to all illegals regardless of national origin who are not criminals.
7. Same-sex marriage will be the law of the land as the Supreme Court not only rules in favor of gays, lesbians and transgendered couples but they also apply the “equal protection clause” and overrule those states who have voted for “traditional” marriage ensuring that same sex marraiges are recognized in all 50 states.
8. Professional Phoenix sports teams collectively lay eggs and none make the playoffs except, maybe, the Coyotes if they actually get a chance to play hockey. Coach Whiz is gone replaced by Defensive Coordinator Ray Horton. Arizona lands Dallas quarterback Tony Romo in exchange for wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and quarterback Kevin Kolb.
9. ASU Sun Devil football captures the imagination of Valley sports fans and finally make it to a BCS Bowl Game.
10. Gov. Jan Brewer and Sheriff Joe Arpaio hold a joint press conference announcing that they want to stay in their respective offices for the rest of their natural lives and possibly beyond.
2013 should be an exciting and rewarding year.
• Jon Beydler is the former mayor of Fountain Hills. He lives in south Chandler.