Here is a short list of things that President Donald Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, doesn’t seem to know: what budgets are for, what his staff thinks or whether private-sector jobs reports include public-sector jobs.
This might be excusable if we were talking about, say, an Econ 101 student – but we’re not. We’re talking about one of the most influential policymakers in government. It doesn’t seem like too much to ask that the budget director understand the purpose of a budget.
But Mulvaney doesn’t seem to understand budgets – or a lot of other things.
He doesn’t seem to know that the policies you put in your budget tend to be the policies you try to put in place. Instead, he said that he “wouldn’t take what’s in our budget as indicative of what our proposals are,” since they had “just made an assumption” that they would try to pay for their tax cuts as a matter of political expediency when in actuality they might not.
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He doesn’t seem to know that you can’t count the same $2 trillion of magical savings twice. Mulvaney, you see, assumed that the administration’s tax cuts would make the economy grow so much that they would pay for themselves by generating an extra $2 trillion in revenue. But he also assumed that this same $2 trillion would be used to pay down the existing deficit. In other words, one unrealistic set of savings was supposed to be entirely used in two different places.
He doesn't seem to know that his own staff estimated the Republican health-care plan would lead to 26 million fewer people having insurance given that he attacked the Congressional Budget Office for supposedly being biased for estimating that 23 million fewer people would.
And he doesn’t seem to know that you can’t find government jobs numbers in a report that only looks at private-sector jobs. While looking through the ADP jobs report, Mulvaney complained that he “can’t find the subset for government jobs” before asking his aide if they could “find that, please.” That might have taken awhile because it’s not there. ADP is a payroll processor that provides its own estimate of how many nongovernment jobs the United States creates each month.
Trump only hires the best people.