Truss the Trust

July 29, 2011

As the financial clock ticks away on this Friday morn, the political platoons playing pitter-pat in DC and losing the hope of US peoples in our current form of government — if you want to call what’s happening now as  government.

Why and how were these assholes elected?

(Illustration found here).

As John ‘The Boner” Boehner’s great and daring debt ceiling plan collapsed late Thursday, the whole process stinks of pure stupid — even upchucking, clueless mush-faced Mitch McConnell blubbering and whinning that “Democrats are playing with fire here. It’s hard to conclude that they’re doing it for any other reason than politics,” he said.
Talk about a double dose of double-standard bullshit — a butt-hole calling the ass an asshole!

From Time magazine’s Joe Klein:

Let us not put too fine a point on it: Thursday’s House vote on Speaker John Boehner’s debt ceiling proposal is a joke.
If it passes the House, Harry Reid has said it is dead on arrival in the Senate.
If it somehow passes the Senate, which it won’t, President Obama will veto it.
It is, therefore, a symbolic act that is wasting precious time.
It follows last week’s Republican theatrics, the passage of the Cut and Demolish Act (or whatever they called it), which also was a waste of time.
These are the actions of a party that has completely lost track of reality — and of a leader, John Boehner, who has lost the support of his party.

Reality pretty-much in a nutshell.

And US peoples are also pretty-much fed up with all this.
After President Obama asked for citizens to call Congress earlier this week, they responded: A spokesman for the office of the chief administrative officer said that at the peak, House offices received a combined 40,000 calls in an hour — twice the typical volume. Some callers got a busy signal, but the number was not significant, spokesman Dan Weiser said.
The entire situation is a shame — and no matter what the outcome this self-created crisis will vibrate the stock market, overseas economies and the average Joe on a US street way on down the financial road of ruin.

This debt limit showcase has been around since 1917 and has had its share of political fights over the years, but nothing like this go-around.
President Dwight Eisenhower was the first to encounter trouble with the ceiling — in July 1953, Ike asked the Republican-controlled Congress to raise the debt limit from $275 billion to $290 billion, but it took a year and the bottom line was lower than Eisenhower asked.
In 1995, a big blow-out let the government shut down, but time moved on.
However, there’s nothing like this particular episode:

Yet in one sense the latest showdown is different from all the others.
The gulf between the White House and Congress is wider than ever — not only because of a huge ideological chasm but also because the nation’s debt is growing so dangerously fast.
It’s now set to top $14.3 trillion.
“I’d say this is the worst debt-ceiling crisis in U.S. history because it is linked to the most serious fiscal crisis since the Civil War, and the debt ceiling is, of course, a 20th-century concoction,” said economist historian Robert Wright of Augustana College in South Dakota.

Trust in government is about shot.
And it’s this economics of trust that keeps the US afloat and operating, though, and this debt ceiling madness doesn’t really help the public gain this trust at all.
A study of trust, however, reveals there’s self-centered greed involved.
From Wired magazine:

Instead, I think the current breakdown in Washington highlights the fragility of a human capability we’ve long taken for granted: trust.
While economists have begun focusing on trust as a crucial factor in economic development — a country without trust can’t build the institutions that make growth possible — trust is also an essential component of effective politics.
Democracies, after all, depend on compromise. And compromise requires trust.

The moral is that trust is ultimately about the expectation of rewards.
We see trust as such a noble trait, but it’s ultimately rooted in a greedy calculation, emanating from our primal dopaminergic circuitry.
In other words, we don’t trust people because they seem nice or virtuous or trustworthy, whatever those adjectives mean.
We trust them because they get us the good stuff, delivering what Montague refers to as the “social juice” of reciprocity.
When we say we trust someone, what we’re really saying is that they’re a reliable source of what we want. I scratch your back, you scratch mine.
And this returns us to the present dysfunction in Washington.
If trust is about the distribution of rewards — about learning to expect bonuses from others — then it’s going to be a lot harder to share those rewards in an age of scarcity and deficits.
For the first time in decades, congresspeople aren’t trading pork barrel projects and tax breaks — they’re negotiating steep budget cuts.
Those cuts might be necessary, but they’re aren’t going to excite the caudate or generate that requisite burst of “social juice.”
The traditional means of developing trust among Congresspeople have disappeared.

And how this effects the future (and the 2012 elections) will have to be seen, but I can tell you, I wouldn’t trust The Boner as far as I could throw him, which ain’t far.
Trust is for puppies.

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