Tag Archives: Mick Mulvaney

More chaos and confusion in the Trump administration

You’ve heard it said that the Trump administration “thrives” on chaos, that it cannot execute simple transitions without all hell breaking loose.

Consider the latest stumble-bum example from Donald John Trump’s presidential team.

Richard Corddray resigned as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; President Barack Obama appointed him to lead the agency created in 2010 in the wake of the 2008-09 financial crisis. The law allows Corddray to appoint his successor, which he did when he named deputy director Leandra English to lead the agency.

Oh, no. You can’t do that, said Donald John “Smart Person” Trump, who then named Budget Director Mick Mulvaney as the interim head of he CFPB. Trump then instructed the agency to ignore any directives coming from English and act only on those coming from Mulvaney.

Hey, there’s a bit more. English has filed a lawsuit preventing Mulvaney from taking over.

The CFPB has been a Republican bogeyman ever since it was founded. The GOP contends it puts too many restrictions on banks.

From my standpoint — and acknowledging my own bias — this has the smell of yet another attempt to overturn an Obama-era agency reform. If the former president did it, the agency is a “disaster,” according to Trump, who attaches that term to any agency or program created by his predecessor that he wants to gut.

CFPB targets banks’ practices

Trump tweeted this: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, has been a total disaster as run by the previous Administrations pick. Financial Institutions have been devastated and unable to properly serve the public. We will bring it back to life!

My actual point, though, is that we are witnessing yet another clumsy, cumbersome cluster-fudge that illustrates once again — as if we need any reminders — that the Trump administration cannot do a single thing without making a total hash out of it.

Remember the term ‘co-equal branch’

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney has laid down a marker to the U.S. Senate.

Lawmakers shouldn’t vote on anything else, he said, until they vote once again on a Republican-authored bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

There you have it. One branch of government is seeking to dictate to another branch how it does its job.

Hold on here, Mr. Budget Director.

Mulvaney ought to know better. He served in Congress before Donald John Trump tapped him as budget director. He used to fight on behalf of congressional prerogative, which is spelled out quite explicitly in that document called the United States Constitution.

The Constitution, furthermore, does not give the executive branch a single bit of authority over how the legislative branch conducts its business.

The term of art for more than two centuries has been that all three government branches are “co-equal.” That means they all have equal amounts of power. One branch cannot bully another branch.

“In the White House’s view, they can’t move on in the Senate,” Mulvaney said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “You can’t promise folks you’re going to do something for seven years, and then not do it.”

Got it, Mick. Do not, though, try to push senators around by laying out their legislative priorities for them. That’s their job. It’s in the Constitution. Really … it is!

They want to let ACA ‘explode’ before stepping in?

Donald J. Trump couldn’t have been clearer immediately after the Republican “alternative” to the Affordable Care Act went down in flames.

The president said he intends to let the ACA “explode” before doing anything else. That’s it. The president is ready to watch millions of Americans lose their health insurance the instant the existing health insurance plan disintegrates.

Budget Director Mick Mulvaney echoed the president’s view this morning in an appearance on “Meet the Press.” Let it blow apart, he said. Then we’ll get busy with an alternative.

What a crock!

First of all, many of us doubt the Trump team’s belief that the ACA is doomed to fail. Millions of Americans keep signing up for health insurance covered by former President Obama’s signature domestic initiative. They’re continuing to purchase insurance they couldn’t afford until the ACA was enacted.

Yet we keep hearing assertions about the ACA suffering from a “death spiral.” That it’s doomed to croak.

I believe it’s good to remind congressional Republicans that they had nearly eight years to come up with an alternative to the ACA. They didn’t. They threw something together after their guy Trump took office.

Is it going to blow apart? The Trumpkins believe it will. I guess they’re entitled to their belief. However, if they’re so damn certain that the ACA will fail, why in the world are they waiting for the worst outcome before coming up with a way to improve it?

That isn’t leadership. It’s petulance.

OMB boss-designate highlights Trump’s ideological conflict

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Do you need an example of the non-ideology that drives Donald J. Trump?

Here’s one. Take a look at who he has chosen to become director of the Office of Management and Budget … and then square that — if you can — with what Trump has proposed doing as president of the United States.

The OMB director-designate is Mick Mulvaney, a South Carolina member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Mulvaney is a fierce budget hawk, a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, a TEA Party golden boy.

Mulvaney fights spending measures whenever he can. He says Congress spends too much money. Government is too big, too hungry for taxpayers’ money.

He’s a conservative’s conservative.

What does Trump want to do? He wants to spend a trillion dollars to improve the nation’s highway, bridge and rail infrastructure.

How in the world is he going to do that? Where is he going to get the money? How will he get this past his budget director, the guy who hates government spending with a purple passion?

Well, Trump is going to be the president. Mulvaney will answer to him, not the other way around.

Still, this appointment speaks to the puzzle that is Donald Trump. He ran as a populist, then has named a large number of billionaires to his inner circle. He said he knows “more about ISIS than the generals,” then picks three general-grade officers to his national security team. He spoke of his desire to improve public education, then selects a known foe of public education as the nation’s education secretary.

Now we have Mick Mulvaney being nominated to run the White House budget office. Mulvaney is a fiscal skinflint who’s going to work for a president intent on spending lots of money while hoping to enact tax cuts that will favor the wealthiest of Americans.

Oh, wait! He’s a populist, too!

Go figure. Any of it!