Trump's nominee for White House budget director is a disaster


With his nomination of Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) to be White House budget director, President-elect Donald Trump has once again indicated his administration's goal is to utterly break the government.

President-elect Donald Trump has compounded the numerous ongoing controversies over members of his transition team with yet another troubling pick for a high-ranking position, naming Congressman Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), a far-right Tea Party representative who founded the House Freedom Caucus, to be White House budget director.

During the debt ceiling fight in 2011, Mulvaney advocated letting the U.S. Treasury default — which is both unconstitutional and would crash the global economy for no useful reason. When pressed at the time, Mulvaney admitted he did not even understand what he was proposing.

He has fought for a constitutional amendment requiring Congress to balance every annual budget, which would effectively make it impossible for the government to fiscally intervene in recessions.

He co-authored the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act, which would have mandated a draconian annual spending limit; slashed Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start, Pell Grants, and medical research; and defunded food-safety and environmental regulations. The legislation would have also required a two-thirds vote for every tax increase.

He has said that he believes funding the military is the "first priority" over funding anything else.

As White House budget director, Mulvaney will be in charge of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), a federal agency that submits budget proposals to Congress and oversees the spending of federal departments.

It is hard to imagine a person who could do more damage in that role.

The Democratic National Committee issued the following statement in response to Mulvaney's selection:

Mick Mulvaney just might be one of the Donald Trump’s most alarming cabinet nominees. Mulvaney helped lead efforts to risk the full faith and credit of the United States by shutting down the government over the debt ceiling. Even worse, when asked about the consequences of such a move, he replied ‘I don’t know’ what they would be. A leader of the ‘shutdown caucus,’ he has also been a supporter of the GOP’s extreme budget proposals that would end Medicare as we know it and take more money out of the pockets of seniors. And in the wake of Hurricane Sandy – when millions of Americans needed help the most – Mulvaney nearly derailed a $50.7 billion emergency spending bill to assist victims of the storm’s destruction.

More than ever, to make sense of the President-elect's systematic choices of people who are manifestly unqualified and dangerous, it helps to consider Carly Fiorina's remark that Trump wants to "reset the role" of government:

He is in a position now to reset so much: to reset the trajectory of the economy, to reset the role of government, to reset how we're perceived in the world, to reset the role we play in the world. And so I think that's why you see such accomplished people, Mitt Romney among them, Rex Tillerson among them, Betsy DeVos, Mike Flynn — I think it's why you see so many accomplished people coming forward and saying, 'we want to serve this president' as he goes boldly and makes big changes which are necessary quickly.

It is no accident how many people on Trump's transition team are opposed to the function of their own agency. Just as Trump's pick for Secretary of Education wants to destroy public schools and his pick for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development wants to eliminate fair-housing laws, his budget director will oppose budgeting for all manner of important public services.

If Trump wants to create a government that actively works to destroy itself, he could not be doing a better job — to the utter detriment of the nation as a whole.