For years there have been promises of changing the tone in Washington. That promise has been kept, but not in the intended way. With President Obama presiding over a Democratic Congress, the mood has gone from nasty to nastier. But if you imagine what the next two years will be like if Republicans take control of the House, as is expected, with Obama as president and a closely divided Senate between them, one word comes to mind: gridlock.
To those currently groaning, it should be noted that after what this country just went through, gridlock can be a good thing. These very vocal and bloody checks and balances will stop massive stimulus bills and monstrous bailouts. We aren't likely to see another redesign of another portion of our economy with such deep divisions. That alone is welcome news.
As frustrating as it can be, gridlock also gives business owners and the markets certainty — something that they have desperately needed. The fear of the unknown has essentially crippled the business community and deterred risk taking — an integral component for entrepreneurs to foster growth. If next month's election produces a traffic jam, the private sector can at least have the certainty that no radical action will occur. History shows that more gains can then be expected for stock prices.
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