As 2011 ended, I was optimistic about the future. Our business was going to boom, Obama was going to lose to Mitt Romney in a landslide election, I’d get to spend another year with my WWII vet grandfather, my football teams — Colorado Buffaloes and Pittsburgh Steelers — were going to do well, taxes would be cut and the economy would begin to surge. However, history would write a different chapter than I expected.
Our digital marketing business was down about 8-percent in revenue from last year. The silver lining? Luckily, we had a lot of company expenditures last year that we didn’t this year, so our profit margin wasn’t impacted too dramatically. Plus, we hired a part time employee to help.
Mitt Romney lost to Obama in the 2012 election. It left millions of Americans utterly dumbfounded. Obamacare won’t go so easily now. Taxes will go up. Our firearms are at risk. Government cover ups such as Fast & Furious and Benghazi will continue to go unchallenged. The silver lining? Although Obama won the election, he lost 5.5 million voters between 2008 and 2012. In addition, Republicans maintained the House in Congress and actually expanded their Governorship lead over Democrats.
On November 16, 2012 my grandfather, William Glynn Billingsley, died at home at the ripe old age of 94. He was a farmer, a WWII vet, and an investor. Up until about 8 years ago, I didn’t even know he existed (it’s long story). Since meeting, we had a unique relationship that was strengthened, in part, by the power of the Internet as he was proficient in Instant Messaging, Skype and he even had a Facebook Page. The silver lining? On December 8, 2012 my son, Thomas Douglas Ross, was born after 6 years of trying. What life takes away, it also gives.
I had high hopes that my favorite black and gold football teams, the Colorado Buffaloes and Pittsburgh Steelers. They were going to improve on their seasons from 2011; however, they just did terrible.
CU suffered one of its worst football seasons in 123-year history. To put it in perspective, one headline read, “Colorado football should be euthanized.” The Buffs allowed, on average, 46-points per game in 2012… the worst among all Division I Football Bowl Subdivision schools. In fact, they had eight straight losses which included the three-game car wreck… a 70-14 trouncing by Oregon, a 48-0 shutout by Stanford and a 38-3 loss to Washington. It hurts me to say this about my Alma Mater, but a bad team actually got worse.
The Steelers have a different level of failure than the Buffs. Excellence is demanded and mediocrity is considered failure. After going 8-8 this year, they will not go to the playoffs. This is the first time since 2009 that they will be watching the post-season from the comfort of their homes and not the sidelines.
Not only did my two favorite teams do poorly in 2012, but so did my wife’s Dallas Cowboys. They missed the playoffs with a loss to RGIII’s Washington Redskins in the last game of the regular season. Our sports programs couldn’t cut a break anywhere. The silver lining? Well, CU replaced head coach Jon Embree with Mike MacIntyre, San Jose State’s coach. In two years time he turned around a 1-12 football team into a program with 11 victories — its most since 1940 and unmatched in the school’s 63 years of playing at college football’s highest level — as well as a bowl victory and season ranking of 24th in both polls, and also in the BCS standings.
And the silver lining for the Steelers? Well, there is a pattern to missing the playoffs with the world’s greatest football program (yes, they have won more Super Bowls, won more AFC Championship Games, played in and hosted more conference championship games than any other AFC or NFC team — take that Dallas Cowboys!)… they tend to miss the playoffs every three years and bounce back with at least a 10-win season and playoff berth. This has happened every three years since 2000. And this coming year they should have a decent draft pick selection.
And the last big disappointment of 2012 is Obama’s failure to do what all U.S. Presidents in the past have done — negotiate a budget deal with Congress. Reagan did it with Tip O’Neill. Clinton did it with Newt Gingrich. Even Bush did it with Pelosi and Reid. And now here we sit on the precipice of the greatest tax hike in the history of mankind on top of Obamacare’s already greatest tax hike of mankind in a struggling economy, and Obama runs off to Hawaii and returns to play several rounds of golf suggesting John Boehner wields some sort of power so strong he can’t be negotiated. Obama is so stubborn in demanding tax hikes that will run the federal government for fewer than 8 days and creating yet another trillion dollar deficit (for the record, there are no substantive talks coming from Democrats about any cuts or entitlement reform — it’s only about raising taxes) that he makes Harry Reid seem reasonable… And Reid has not fulfilled his Constitutionally mandated obligation of passing a budget in over 1,300 days! It’s sad that this particular group of Democrats play with Americans pocketbooks with such reckless abandon. The silver lining? Well, Congress will most likely do what they always do… strike an 11th hour deal to figure out tax hikes/cuts at a later date (and not tackle entitlements — the real problem creating the trillions in debt). It’s not really a silver lining at all. Regardless of what happens, the economy will continue to struggle and Obama will run up another trillion dollar deficit… and probably another 4 trillion by the time he leaves office.
Dare I say? Happy New Year!
#HappyNewYear @Obama @Steelers #FiscalCliff