Tag Archives: Steven Mnuchin

December Debacle: Stories from the Freezer!!! October 6: Birds Gon Fly, IRS Gon Spy

The Treasury Department‘s IRS was all up in this fall semester, increasing criminalization of the Federal Government’s subjects taxpayers after the recent Equifax humiliation.

Seal of the United States Department of the Treasury.svg

The most recent “for your own protection” gambit involves some light surveillance of Americans’ financial records.

The Bank Secrecy Act, as we have previously reported, provides the justification to unleash the IRS on unsuspecting Americans through civil asset forfeiture.

Banks (except our unconstitutional central bank, the Federal Reserve, which Washington maintains we have no right to audit as it systematically devalues our dollar and manipulates our interest rates) must report all daily transactions of $10,000 or more to the Federal Government. The IRS then targets citizens who deposit slightly less than $10,000 and confiscates everything they own on the presumption of guilt.

Summer Part 2: August Agony!!! Looking Back: May 10: IRS Takes From Little People; Squander Millions on Unused Email, Faulty Fraud Detection

According to BuzzFeed, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) retains all records of $10,000 or greater transactions for our Federal thugs to comb through as they please–but only their thugs.

Basically, IRS (and others–read on!) are surveilling their employees by sweeping up the “10,000 or greater” transactions for their own databases: private financial information supposedly safe and secure with FinCEN absent a court order.

Buzzfeed cited twelve or more FinCEN employees who have warned officials and Congress that US citizens’ and residents’ banking and financial data has been illegally searched and stored.

Even better: the NSA is accused of using the same Treasury surveillance to comb through the financial data of whoever they’re currently watching. (Like many men in the media lately, NSA offered BuzzFeed a denial of the “categorical” variety. They never assaulted that woman or any man or woman. They have never seen the accuser in their life.)

OIA (Office of Intelligence and Analysis) is supposed to monitor suspicious financial activity abroad. But while the denial statement noted OIA and FinCEN are sharing info, it’s FinCEN who are accusing OIA of skirting laws. OIA is also allegedly cold-calling banks to gather intelligence on certain account holders–which some branches, per BuzzFeed, are volunteering, under the impression it’s  FinCEN-required compliance.

Paul Ahern, Treasury attorney, bullied FinCEN into thinking OIA had guidelines allowing them access to the intelligence. The guidelines were written a month later.

Who else also allegedly felt mandated to thumb through your bank account statements if you deposited more than the magic number 10,000? The CIA (who issued a prompt denial).

Two anonymous Treasury employees characterized the transgressions as “such an invasion of privacy” and “domestic spying.” (Hopefully no Federal agency is watching their emails or phone logs, or they might not stay “anonymous”…)

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The spying reportedly began under Obama, but the notorious Steven Mnuchin is now in charge of the extra layer of skin-crawling snooping  by the IRS for which you literally write checks each year to the IRS.

Image result for Sigal Mandelker

Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker (above) is also apparently okay with this.

ABC confirmed the Treasury’s IG is looking into the matter.

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Most disturbingly,

Officials at FinCEN said that after they began raising alarms, OIA began shutting them off from classified networks. That lack of access, which BuzzFeed News reported last week, meant FinCEN officials were unable to fully respond to law enforcement agencies during several live terrorist attacks over the last year. It also prevented FinCEN from fully complying with the Senate investigation into possible collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia.

[our emphasis]

Ain’t nobody got time for catching terrorists, we have law-abiding Americans to spy on!!!

Thanks to our sources:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/jasonleopold/us-intelligence-unit-accused-of-illegally-spying-on?utm_term=.wkxjgVoEm&bftwnews#.hoE7m40A9

US Treasury denies domestic spying

http://abcnews.go.com/amp/Business/wireStory/treasurys-ig-probing-illegal-surveillance-allegations-50328990

December Debacle: Stories from the Freezer!!! September 13 and 29: Mnuchin Continues Opulent Employment; Tom Price Priced Out of Trump Administration

PHOTO: Louise Linton and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin are pictured during their honeymoon in Edinburgh, Scotland, Aug. 5, 2017. <p itemprop=

Trump’s slimy Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin requested a $25,000/hour private Air Force jet to use throughout his honeymoon with actress Louise Linton last summer.

“The Secretary is a member of the National Security Council and has responsibility for the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence,” [a Treasury] spokesman said in a statement. “It is imperative that he have access to secure communications, and it is our practice to consider a wide range of options to ensure he has these capabilities during his travel, including the possible use of military aircraft.”

Like he’s in the fucking X-Men or something.

Image result for blackbird xmen united

Except even they didn’t need a private jet to communicate, because Professor X was all up in their minds!!

Related:

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

What does the Treasury Secretary even do, besides pose with sheets of increasingly-worthless (thanks, Federal Reserve) dollar bills?

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, right, and his wife Louise Linton, hold up a sheet of new $1 bills, the first currency notes bearing his and U.S. Treasurer Jovita Carranza's signatures, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington. The Mnuchin-Carranza notes, which are a new series of 2017, 50-subject $1 notes, will be sent to the Federal Reserve to issue into circulation. (AP Photo/ap

 

The Hill reported the Treasury’s Inspector General opened a second investigation into his $25,000 trip from Washington to New York and back on August 15 (one week before his eclipse stunt). He took a commercial plane to the meeting with President Trump, but needed 25 g’s of Air Force jet to return. Mnuchin’s office fired back that they were merely required to provide additional information toward the original investigation.

On October 6, the IG found “no evidence of wrongdoing” in the nine Mnuchin trips reviewed (which cost taxpayers over $800,000 in private planes), but that “corners were cut” and the Trump administration must better justify private jet use in the future. One of the nine was a withdrawn request for the honeymoon. The most expensive was a four-day jaunt to Italy for the G-7 summit for $314,442; Mnuchin maintained he needed a private plane for “scheduling, [STUPID WORD ALERT] logistics, […] secure communications needs,” and “potential for developments during travel related to a number of issues.”

Senators High on Private Fly(ing)

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Speaking of pricey travel, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price could no longer afford the damage to his reputation after Politico reported his travel on private and military planes. (The exact amount is at least $400,000 and possibly as higher than $1 million. Reports vary.)

The final straw for Trump, interestingly, was Price’s half-assed offer to reimburse the government what he calculated as the price of his own seat on the (at least 24) flights: $52,000. Taxed-to-death American people no like. Price was forced to resign.

Image result for tom price

Related:

Trump Goes to War with Old People

Price did end up writing the $51,887.31 check to the Treasury.

Eric Hargan was installed as acting HHS Secretary and remains in the position, which is slightly different from the “active deputy secretary” slot he held under President George W. Bush.

Thanks to our sources:

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/treasury-secretary-mnuchin-requested-government-jet-european-honeymoon/story?id=49777076

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/354862-inspector-general-launches-second-investigation-into-mnuchin-travel

http://money.cnn.com/2017/10/05/news/mnuchin-trips-government-planes/index.html

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/353162-health-secretary-tom-price-resigns

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/10/04/how-we-found-tom-prices-private-jets-215680

Trump Announces Eric Hargan as Acting HHS Secretary

December Debacle: Stories from the Freezer!!! September 3: Dirtbag Mnunchin Demands Debt Limit Increase Tied to Harvey Funding; Democrats Happy to Collude

Trump’s Treasury thug Steven Mnuchin used the Sunday talk show circuit to demand any Federal relief of the destruction inflicted by Hurricane Harvey (the costliest American hurricane in history, according to Wikipedia) be held ransom in exchange for the annual can-kicking of the nation’s record $20,000,000,000,000 debt.

Related:

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

Mnuchin used the Mussolini-era term “state” not for the state of Texas (it appears) but for our cancerous Federal Government,  emphasizing the benevolent big wigs must have control at all times, or everyone will perish.

“The president and I believe that [raising the debt limit] should be tied to the Harvey funding, that our first priority is to make sure that the state gets money. It is critical and to do that we need to make sure we raise the debt limit.”

[our emphasis]

The $300 million-net worth Mnuchin also touched on his “comfort” with borrowing a few billion dollars in light of his boss’s two predecessors’ charging of $10 trillion apiece to the national credit card. (Read: threatened not to give Texas relief money if the nation didn’t step deeper into the debt pool.)

“[W]ithout raising the debt limit, I’m not comfortable that we would get the money that we need this month to Texas to rebuild.”

He insinuated the storm “moved up the situation” of that pesky debt limit. Any disaster can be used to bargain for an extension of your malicious fiscal practices.

That’s not all for the terrible toils of Texans in 2017. According to Texas Tribune, disaster relief funds from the Federal Government via Housing and Urban Development, will take between 7 and 32 months to disperse.

Before the government agencies can disperse the money, they must develop an action plan that HUD approves. The public must also have a chance to comment on the plan, a process that can take 30 to 60 days. Texas officials have asked that time period be reduced to seven days.

In all fairness, the layer cake of Federal job creation delaying the money is small potatoes compared to what Houston’s neighbor to the southeast, Puerto Rico, was in for after the next hurricane.

On September 7, the Senate sold out the younger generation as expected, 80-17. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, both Republicans of Texas and ostensibly fiscal conservatives, voted to continue borrowing into unsustainable oblivion until December, while kicking $15.25 billion to FEMA for Harvey relief.

Of the 17 “no” votes (all Republicans, which is interesting given their majority in both the House and the Senate…see below), notable were Rand Paul of Kentucky, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John McCain of Arizona. Marco Rubio, of oft-hurricane-battered Florida, did not vote.

The House initially wanted just $7.9 billion for the disaster, but approved the more lavish Senate bill September 8; Trump signed it the same day. When it comes to spending your money, the major parties are surprisingly cooperative.

New York Times noted Republican leaders had wanted a longer-term extension of the debt limit, but were left with little recourse when Mr. Trump sided with top Democrats in Congress, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, at a White House meeting on [September 6], blindsiding his own party.

According to Washington Examiner, [a]head of Friday morning’s vote in the House, GOP lawmakers attended a meeting with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and House Republicans were angered by his lack of information about how much money the government will spend between now and Dec. 8.

That anger translated to a still massively lopsided 316-90 vote for the measure. All 90 “nay” votes were from Republicans.

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On December 7, with the above-imposed deadline looming, Congress again dug deep into the country’s financial future, throwing together a two-week “continuing resolution” to keep the cash flowing long enough to advance what would be their only major legislative accomplishment under Trump thus far: a large tax cut that will add nearly $1,500,000,000,000 more to the national debt in the next ten years.

Thanks to our sources:

http://thehill.com/homenews/sunday-talk-shows/349043-mnuchin-debt-limit-should-be-tied-to-the-harvey-funding

https://www.texastribune.org/2017/10/02/hurricane-harvey-relief-funds-might-take-years-officials-tell-legislat/

https://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=115&session=1&vote=00192

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/house-approves-harvey-relief-debt-ceiling-spending-bill-in-vote-that-splits-gop/article/2633813

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trump-signs-harvey-relief-debt-ceiling-spending-bill/article/2633868

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/07/government-shutdown-2017-house-republicans-285329

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/15/gop-tax-bill-would-raise-deficits-by-nearly-1-point-5-trillion-jct-report.html

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/