Nuclear Option and Trust

by divorced one like Bush
Updated comment at end

So, now that the Democratic Party has the majority and the White House, why am I not hearing about the use of the Nuclear Option? I mean, it occurred to me that if there was a way to end the partisan old ways, the Nuclear Option is it. It sure worked well for the Bush administration. You need 60 votes? Bring in the non-executive executive senate menber: Biden. Oh, you think there needs to be a tie to be broken before our hatchet man can be used? Well I have news for you. Being that everything comes down to breaking the 60 vote line to get anything done, by precedent of calling for a record number of filibusters the Republicans have set the new definition of a tie: 59/41. Biden makes it 60/41.

This gets me to the trust issue and I’m going to toot my own horn here for those who think human capital is bunk regarding getting us out of this mess. (Did I mention the flower shop was off 13% for Christmas and 45% for January? Yeah, I got skin in this game.)

Seems on the same day I posted my message to the Republicans and the Blue Dogs, a man officially of the economic science posted on the same subject (via C & L via Naked Capitalism).
Willem Buiter.

Here is what I said:

The greatest harm that is coming from the republican’s drive to instill their minority will on the many out of selfish want, is to further the demise of the people’s trust. For the blue dogs it is their ignorance of their economic ideology that creates the mistrust. The republicans/blue dogs, and those helping them by lending their “professionalism”, think they are only effecting a political strategy. In truth, they are destroying the very basis for the wealth they desire. Their entire campaign for decades to discredit, to instill mistrust in the primary institution we have, the US (We the People) government, has been the primary cause to our economic decline. To increase the level of distrust is to decrease the available “intangible capital” which is 77% of our wealth generating power.

Here is Willem Buiter:

As part of this widespread erosion of social capital, both citizens and markets lost faith in the ability of governments to commit themselves to any future course of action that was not validated, at each future point in time, as the most opportunistic course of action at that future point in time – what macroeconomists call time-consistent policies and game theorists call ’subgame-perfect’ strategies.

This morality tale has important consequences for a government’s ability to conduct effective countercyclical policy. For a fiscal stimulus (current tax cut or public spending increase) to boost demand, it is necessary that the markets and the public at large believe that sooner or later, measures will be taken to reverse the tax cut or spending increase in present value terms. If markets and the public at large no longer believe that the authorities will assure fiscal sustainability by raising future taxes or cutting future public expenditure by the necessary amounts, they will conclude that the government plans either to permanently monetize the increased amounts of public debt resulting from the fiscal stimulus, or that it will default on its debt obligations.

Mr. Buiter is prescribing a different solution to the lack of trust than what I’m going to suggest. He thinks more money to the banks is needed to promote lending. Well, isn’t that kind of giving to those you know you can not trust, not to mention just adding to the debt that he notes no one seems to want to consider? He did state the following as part of his “morality tale”:

During the decade leading up to the crisis, current account deficits increased steadily and became unsustainable. Strong domestic investment (much of it in unproductive residential construction) outstripped domestic saving. Government budget discipline dissipated; fiscal policy became pro-cyclical. Financial regulation and supervision was weak to non-existent, encouraging credit and asset price booms and bubbles.

Hope was the word. Trust is the need. I’ve seen and lived what the Republicans and Blue Dogs can do. I’m willing to take a chance for the benefit of building future trust, thus building with the 77% of our power, thus nurturing hope, and let Obama send in Biden to the Senate. Hell, maybe it’s time they come up with the unitary vice executive theory and take it for a spin in the Senate! In-other-words, my solution is for Obama et al to just take god damn control and do what they want, then we’ll have something to compare to along with “Republican brand” bipartisanship. We can decide come November 2012 how the brands compare. (Catch that “bringing business to governance” lingo of how to speak civics?)

We survived the last 4 years, we know where we’ll be if we keep going as we are (no thanks to our free press), so I say let the Dem’s pull a republican move: redefine what a tie is, have the Obama’s legal council write up the unitary vice executive theory and send in Biden to the Senate.

I trust that it will not be worse than what we have now. And that, “my friends” is using our fullest economic power.
Almost forgot: Can we please broaden the discussion now?

Update: Two commentors noted that the tie break may not work as I suggested. RonE notes there is no need for the 60, just change the rules to a simple majority. TStockmann notes that we would not get all the Dem’s to go along. I assumed the Dems would act tribal if they had someone to lead them, that is what is needed when you are fighting another tribe You can’t beat the other tribe by acting all independent thinking virtuous as to the ideal bipartisanship.

But here is where my plan works. We’re going to have the unitary vice executive who is president of the Senate just as soon as Obama has his attorney write it up. Or, maybe Biden should just have his attorney write it up ala Cheney. Then, he goes in and changes the rules (because he’s the Unitary Vice Executive President) to a simple majority, we’re golden.

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