Steve Wiegand

On the Lighter Side: Looking forward to a dandy new year

Published: Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 3E
Last Modified: Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012 - 8:45 am

OK, to begin with, to all you ancient Mayans out there: In Your Face!

The world didn't end in 2012, even if I didn't get a SawStop 3-horsepower professional cabinet saw with 52-inch professional T-Glide fence system "engineered to fit the unique demands of the avid hobbyist in a home setting" for Christmas, and instead got support socks that are "engineered to fit the unique demands of the sedentary senior citizen in a semi-catatonic setting."

Still, 2013 promises to be the best year that America, California, Sacramento and my feet have had, at least since the last year we didn't have a bitterly divisive national election, stampede off a fiscal cliff, find ourselves surrounded by terrorist threats and risk losing our economic supremacy in the world to Brazil. Say, since 1775.

Why is my outlook so optimistic, my expectations so exuberant and my anticipation so anticipatory? Let's break it down:

• The Federal government. Now that we Americans, in our electoral wisdom, have decided to give President Barack Obama one more chance, whether he deserves it or not, while leaving the House of Representatives in the clutches of his archenemies, the Republicans, the political atmosphere in Washington can't help being better than it was in 2012. You remember. When Obama was in the White House and the GOP controlled the House. I predict both sides will take advantage of their mandates by coming together to craft solid and sensible solutions for the major problems America faces in 2013. Such as the federal government.

• The state of the state. If things are looking rosy on the banks of the Potomac, they're glowing in Technicolor along the banks of the Sacramento. We just voted to raise taxes. The legislative analyst says the state budgetary coffers will soon be overflowing. Gavin Newsome is still lieutenant governor. And the Democrats have supermajorities in both legislative houses. All of those are key ingredients in the recipe for a California Renaissance. Things will be so good here the rest of the country will begin to refer to California as "West Texas." By the end of 2013, our schools will have risen in excellence to a spot somewhere between those of West Virginia and Guatemala. The Porta Potties for laborers working on the High Speed Rail Transit Center in Turlock will be in place, at a cost of less than $85.4 million. Many state parks will be open for more than six hours a week – albeit without Porta Potties. And the State Bar of California announced last month that 4,834 people had passed the test to become new lawyers. Just when we were running out.

• The city of the city. Mayor Kevin Johnson has a bunch of friends on the new-and-improved City Council. Plus, he has a new strategy to make Sacramento a better place to live, by staying out of town as much as possible. During his visits here, he will renew his efforts to get a new sports and entertainment arena built, possibly in Virginia Beach.

And overshadowing all else in 2013 will be the amazing recovery of the nation's economy. Sure, we may still go off the aforementioned fiscal cliff. But I for one believe that at the bottom of that cliff we will find a beautiful meadow of recovery. Through this meadow will flow a gurgling stream of higher employment. The meadow will be blossoming with renewed consumer confidence, growing industrial production and soaring markets. At the picnic tables of opportunity, we will feast on corporate debentures and gorge on real estate investment trusts. Over on the park benches of financial security we will repose while watching our IRAs and 401(k)s cavort and gambol, even as they grow by leaps and bounds before our very eyes.

And some of us might get a new cabinet saw.

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