–How President Obama should deal with filibusters:

Mitchell’s laws: Reduced money growth never stimulates economic growth. To survive long term, a monetarily non-sovereign government must have a positive balance of payments. Austerity = poverty and leads to civil disorder. Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
It seems we have come to the point where every time a President and his party want to accomplish something, the other party (not wanting the President to receive credit for anything good coming to America) decides to filibuster — and to hell with the nation. So much for patriotism.

I feel sure our founding fathers did not want one Senator to be more powerful than the President of the United States, and one party repeatedly to obstruct the work of Congress, though seemingly the Senate party chiefs favor that outcome.

Here’s what the New York Times says:

NY TIMES EDITORIAL: Filibustering Nominees Must End
Published: January 28, 2012

The system for reviewing presidential appointments is broken. The process has been hijacked by cynical partisanship and cheap tricks.

This is not a new problem, but it has gotten intolerably worse and is now threatening to paralyze government, as Republicans use the filibuster to try to kill off agencies they do not like. The number of unfilled judicial seats is nearing a historic high.

It is time to end the ability of a single senator, or group of senators, to block the confirmation process by threatening a filibuster, which can be overcome only by the vote of 60 senators. We agree with President Obama’s call in the State of the Union address for the Senate to change its rules and require votes on judicial and executive nominees within 90 days.

This is a major change of position for us, and we came to it reluctantly. The filibuster has sometimes been the only way to deny life terms on the federal bench to extremist or unqualified judges. But the paralysis has become so dire that we see no other solution.

Today, 18 judicial nominees wait for Senate votes even though they were approved by the Judiciary Committee, 16 unanimously. It can take a year for a nominee to receive a vote, an extraordinary hardship — since many cannot work while they wait — that threatens to reduce the pool of highly qualified candidates.

Goodwin Liu, a liberal law professor nominated last year to an appellate bench, was filibustered even though he was entirely in the legal mainstream, supported by conservatives including Kenneth Starr and Clint Bolick. His offense: He once dared to criticize Justice Samuel Alito Jr. as being too conservative.

It is not just judicial appointments that are frozen. When Congress created a vitally needed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as part of the financial reform law, Republicans in the Senate decided to block confirmation of a chief so the agency could not exercise its full regulatory powers.

Senators also use filibusters to block nonpolitical positions, like the administrator of the General Services Administration — to demand passage of a pet project, out of pique or, most troubling, as part of the Republicans’ electoral strategy to block anything Mr. Obama wants.

The nation votes for a president, who needs to be able to appoint top officials and judges. The Senate needs to decide whether to give its consent or not. Voters could then watch and reach their own judgments. And with fewer vacancies, government and the judiciary could do the nation’s work.

I like to advise President Obama about his speeches, though there is no evidence he is aware of my existence, much less my advice. But, for better or worse, here is the “filibuster” speech I suggest for President Obama:

Let them filibuster. Let them filibuster a day, a week, a month. Let them filibuster until the November elections at which time you voters will let these fools know what you think of obstructionist Senators, who don’t give a damn about governing or what’s best for America, but care only about political gamesmanship and personal power politics.

Your Senators were sent here by you, and paid to accomplish something, to help protect you and build America. You didn’t send them here to sit on their butts and collect pay, perks and pensions, while one party member reads from the telephone book.

So, I’m just going to propose what I believe is best for America, and let the bastards filibuster. Each day I’ll remind you who’s stopping America’s business, and what their motive is. Then, when they get home, they can answer to you.”

That might work. What do you think? Meanwhile, I award three Benedict Arnolds to all those Senators who have filibustered, and will filibuster, not to protect America, but to advance a selfish political agenda.

Unpatriotic flagUnpatriotic flagUnpatriotic flag

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia. Two key equations in economics:
Federal Deficits – Net Imports = Net Private Savings
Gross Domestic Product = Federal Spending + Private Investment and Consumption + Net exports


9 thoughts on “–How President Obama should deal with filibusters:

  1. I borrowed these words, with a few changes, from the film JFK: The filibuster has reduced the president to a transient official. His job, his assignment is to speak as often as possible of his desire to raise taxes on the one percent, while he acts as a business agent in congress for wall street and its benefactors.

    In the actual film, it goes: “The assassination reduced the president to a transient official. His job, his assignment is to speak as often as possible of this nation’s desire for peace, while he acts as a business agent in congress for the military and their hardware manufacturers.”


  2. I’m with you, Rodger, but it won’t work. The country’s too polarized and this would only contribute to the polarization. Additionally, I think Obama would have some image problems with this, further impeding his ability to get things done.

    Obama went into the Oval Office thinking about how governing ought to be instead of how it is. It showed a lack of leadership experience. With the recess appointments and executive statements, he’s starting to get it. Sad but true.

    I’m convinced Bush changed the way D.C. worked. Before, most people went in with relatively good intentions. Bush went in with a heavy hand and now it’s standard operating procedure.

    If I were Obama, I’d consider (or would’ve considered) doing what I could to get Rahm Emmanuel back (or keep him). Obama’s biggest policy/political victories were when he was Chief of Staff. He’s abrasive, but he got stuff done.


  3. Pete,

    This “counterfeit” claim has been around probably for longer than you have been alive. I won’t get into a long debate on this other than to say:

    1. HIs statement that “(money) is fundamentally a claim on the real productive value of the economy” is completely false. U.S. money is a claim on the U.S. government’s full faith and credit, which is infinite. The number of dollars has no relationship to the “real productive value of the economy,” whatever that means.

    2. All paper money is a proxy for dollars.

    3. The Fed prints no money. The Treasury prints dollar bills, which are proxies for money. Though the Fed prints no money, it creates dollars in much the same way as your neighborhood bank creates dollars: By lending.

    4. You also create dollars, if ever you lend money.

    The whole article is a mish-mosh of incorrect terminology leading to fallacious conclusions.

    Rodger Malcolm Mitchell


    1. No, money is a claim on the real productive value of the economy. Money isn’t worth something because the government says it is, but rather because people will accept it as payment for goods and services. Money that can’t buy anything is worthless.

      Money is like shares of stock. A company can issue as many shares of stock as it wants, but if it issues shares faster than its earnings grow from investing the resulting capital, the value of existing shares, which are claims on the company’s profits, are diluted by the new shares. So too is it with the money supply. The government can issue as much money as it wants, but if the money supply grows faster than the economy’s output of goods and services, the value of the existing dollars is diluted.


      1. That’s the obsolete “too-many-dollars-chasing-too-few-goods” belief. It’s obsolete, because in this world market, if goods and services are not available or too expensive in your country, you buy them in another country.

        Excuse me now, while I go eat some blueberries from Chile with cheese from France.


  4. “You cannot counterfeit actual surplus value generated by productive assets, you can only counterfeit proxy claims on future surplus. That is the U.S. economy in a nutshell: we are counterfeiting claims on our future surplus, even as we squander vast sums on horrifically obvious mal-investments and wasteful, cost-ineffective consumption.”



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