Tag Archives: OMB

Summer Part 2: August Agony!!! Looking Back: August 3: Mick Mollifies Big Spenders

Business Insider reported that Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney is reneging on promises to even marginally address the perilous finances of the United States.

mick mulvaney

If you can’t take the heat, give the big-government filth everything they demand and crawl home without your testicles.

While Mulvaney had previously promised he would demand spending cuts in exchange for “raising the debt ceiling” (a near-annual occurrence in which the Feds stare down our unprecedented $20,000,000,000,000 national debt, shrug, and pretend we’re solvent by simply increasing the amount of cheddar the Feds themselves may borrow–backed by taxpayers–without any significant reform in spending to even dent the $250 billion we pay in annual interest), he now advocates a “clean” increase. This just means we’ll keep spending beyond our means, but with a bipartisan consensus that our children should inherit at least one year of our GDP in financial obligations.

It’s all quite confusing, because:

The debt limit, the level of outstanding debt the federal government is allowed to carry, was technically hit in March. Since then, the Treasury Department has been using “extraordinary measures” to prevent a breach of the limit. The department has said Congress must pass a bill to increase the limit by the end of September to avoid a breach.

[our emphasis]

While Trump threw a transient bone to the fiscal conservative crowd shortly after his election by imposing a federal “hiring freeze,” that minuscule measure towards fiscal sanity was abandoned not even three months later. By…Mulvaney:

Summer Part 1: Stories We Shelved!!! April 11–Federal “Thaw”

Even more willing to live beyond our means is Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who made news for all the wrong reasons on August 21 by reportedly using a government jet to travel to Kentucky for front row seats in viewing the SOLAR ECLIPSE.

Mnuchin was delivering a scheduled speech alongside Senate Majority Leader Sellout Mitch McConnell (who actually hails from Kentucky and might be able to justify billing his citizens for a ticket out of D.C.)

Mnuchin might have gotten away with the alleged waste of taxpayer dollars, too, except his wife, Louise Linton, got on the Instagram to brag about the brands she was wearing on the excursion. Her selfie captured the jet in the background:

Watchdog requests documents about Mnuchin and wife's Ky. trip timed with eclipse

Linton responded to the haters, who were justifiably wondering why a luxurious lap in a federal jet was necessary for a famous actress estimated to be worth $300 million to view a three-minute natural phenomenon, with:

“Pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you’d be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours. You’re adorably out of touch.”

Although she later apologized for her behavior, Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (who for some reason acronymed themselves as “CREW”) have filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for any records of Mnuchin’s government-funded travel up to and including the eclipse excursion since he took office.

In related news, USA Today noted in February that fiscal year 2016 was a boon for taxpayer-funded government travel. Congressional records estimate they spent at least $14.7 million from the little people, which would be 27% more than in f.y. 2015.

Mnuchin’s own Treasury, however, estimated it was actually nearly $20 million. Treasury got their data from the State Department, and both outfits refused to explain the increase.

Using the $20 million figure, f.y. 2016 represents the highest government travel amount ever recorded, and includes 557 trips by Congress and their staffers that cost at least $10,000 per person.

Thanks to our sources:

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/trumps-budget-director-caved-one-202231113.html

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/347713-watchdog-requests-documents-about-mnuchin-and-wifes-trip-to-ky-theres

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/02/27/taxpayers-fund-first-class-congressional-foreign-travel-boom-overseas/98351442/

Summer Part 1: Stories We Shelved!!! April 11–Federal “Thaw”

That didn’t take long.

After assuming office on promises to rein in entitled agency fat cats and their bureaucracies, President Trump signed an executive order in January imposing a “freeze” on all hiring of civilian Federal “workers.”

Spring Break Blitz: Stories We Sat On!!! January 27–Federal Hiring Freeze and Zuckerberg’s Private Hawaiian Isle

But less than three months later (in which Trump also released a big-spending, unsustainable spending proposal for fiscal year 2018 that will raise deficits beyond the $9.4 trillion in new national debt that will accumulate in the next ten years even without spending increases), the hordes of paper pushers and their armies of union officials, lobbyists and big-government zealots from both major parties persuaded the president a malignant, bloated, stifling Federal “work”force must continue to grow. Like cancer.

As Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney–championed as a conservative cost-cutter in his confirmation hearing–cautioned [STUPID PHRASE ALERT]: “It does not mean the agencies will be free to hire willy-nillyWhat we’re doing tomorrow is replacing the across-the-board hiring freeze that was put in place on day one and replacing it with a smarter plan, a more strategic plan, a more surgical plan.”

The Hill had more:

[T]he freeze resulted in an increased backlog of benefits claims at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Department, which Trump pledged to strengthen during the campaign. 

It also created delays in the processing of Social Security checks, staff shortages at federal prisons, the closure of childcare facilities at military bases and fewer workers at the Food and Drug Administration to work on drug approvals.

But not to worry! For the 2019 fiscal year budget, agencies are required by memorandum to “begin taking immediate actions” to cut their employee numbers (to achieve the Trump budget’s lauded “savings” from cutting domestic programs like EPA–which will reportedly all be funneled to the military) and  to “maximize employee performance” in plans due June 30.

The Hill also reported Mulvaney’s insistence that Trump will not be cutting anything from Social Security or Medicare, keeping his campaign promise to ensure financial ruin for the “millennial” generation and their descendants.

The Feds confiscated a record $3,270,000,000,000 in taxes during fiscal year 2016, and spent that plus an additional $587,000,000,000. The latter amount was our deficit just for 2016.

The total national debt will soon hit $20,000,000,000,000.

Thanks to our sources:

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/328371-white-house-to-lift-federal-hiring-freeze

http://thehill.com/policy/finance/328506-trump-cut-social-security-reforms-from-budget-propsal

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/trump-prepares-budget-proposal-actual-u-s-debt/

http://freebeacon.com/issues/government-collects-3-27-trillion-taxes-fiscal-year-2016/