Mick Mulvaney is one of the worst…if not the worst… directors of the Office of Management and Budget. Last year I even created The Mulvaney Award for ultimate federal budget hypocrisy and nonsense.
That’s why it wasn’t all that surprising when, Politico quoted Mulvaney saying that the military parade President Donald Trump cancelled because of its new and much, much higher estimated price wasn’t actually cancelled because of the soaring cost.
According to Politico, Mulvaney said he would have been in the room when the decision was made had it just been about the money.
First, Trump himself tweeted Friday that the parade was cancelled just because of its cost. His tweet came after a number of news outlets reported the new $92 million projection and Trump even cited the District of Columbia’s reimbursement request. In other words, cost indeed was the reason it was cancelled.
Second, Mulvaney’s words about not being in the room when Trump made the decision to cancel (Given that the tweet was posted at 7:57 am EDT that was probably Trump’s bedroom) the parade sounds way too much like one of the top songs from the mega-hit Broadway musical “Hamilton” to be ignored.
That song, “The Room Where It Happens,” is about Aaron Burr lamenting not being in the room where Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were making key decisions about several very high-profile issues.
Mulvaney sounds just like Burr did in the show. Different issue; same lament.
For a little more context about how Mulvaney’s statement was so much like that song, check out the clip below.
Follow Stan Collender on Twitter @thebudgetguy
If you watch Game of Thrones on HBO, you know that one of the most memorable and often repeated phrases is a request that someone “bend the knee.”
(If you’re not a GOT watcher or just want a few grins, check out the video below to get the full bend the knee picture.)
What does this have to do with federal spending and revenues?
On Monday, the Congressional Budget Office will quietly issue its version of the mid-session review of the federal budget at 2 pm EDT. Keith Hall, CBO’s director, won’t stand at a podium pounding his chest about the quality of the analysis. CBO will simply let the numbers speak for themselves.
In other words, on Monday…yet again…the Congressional Budget Office will be the epitome of what a federal department or agency should be: solidly substantive, apolitical and uninterested in fame for itself.
The Congressional Budget Office is the only part of the budget process that has been a success.
CBO will issue this report after more than a year of vicious attacks from the Trump administration and its allies. Everyone from Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to Trump hanger-on Newt Gingrich has brutally rebuked and ridiculed CBO because its analyses did not help the White House do what it wanted to do.
Several members of the House Freedom Caucus even tried (but failed miserably) to eliminate CBO’s highly regarded budget analysis division because it didn’t produce numbers that furthered the HFC’s agenda.
Given these scurrilous attacks, CBO almost has the right to defend and promote itself, its staff and its numbers. Instead, it is stoically continuing to do its work.
That makes the Congressional Budget Office the only part of the congressional budget process that has been a success. Every other component of the budget act — especially the budget committees, reconciliation, the timetable and the commitment to getting appropriations enacted by the start of the year — has utterly failed.
For all these reasons, when it comes to the Congressional Budget Office, we should all bend the knee.
Follow Stan Collender on Twitter @thebudgetguy
Don’t Leave Just Yet…There’s so much more here:
GOP Won’t Be Able To Hide From It’s Big Deficits Before The Election After All
Trump’s Deficits Will Cause Very Serious Challenges For Multiple Generations Of Americans
Here’s What I Told NPR This Morning About The Deficit (Spoiler Alert: It’s Not Pretty)
Trump’s Economic Lies, Damn Lies And Statistics Revealed For All To See
Ryan And McConnell: Lock’em Up
This Is Why Trump Will Shut Down The Government
Raising The Chances Of A Government Shutdown This Fall To 60%
OMB Director Mick Mulvaney Says CBO Was Right After All
You’ve Been Warned: Trump’s Trillion Dollar Budget Deficits Are Here To Stay
This is definitely a man-bites-dog federal budget story.
Since becoming Donald Trump’s Office of Management and Budget director, Mick Mulvaney has viciously attacked the Congressional Budget Office as a highly partisan and substantively inept organization. He has repeatedly questioned its economic assumptions, its budget analysis and the politics of its analysts.
And that makes it more than a little newsworthy that OMB, the federal agency Mulvaney himself directs and in his mind is a paragon of bipartisanship and objectivity, released a report last Friday that not only shows that CBO’s numbers were substantively good, it also shows that the organization Mulvaney had attacked for being too partisan was more optimistic about where the federal deficit is headed the next few years than Donald Trump’s own budget director.
OMB Director Mick Mulvaney owes the Congressional Budget Office a huge apology.
CBO said in its Long-Term Budget Outlook report released last month that the 2018 deficit will be $793 billion; OMB said in its just-released Mid-Session Review of the president’s budget that it will be $890 billion. For 2019, CBO said the deficit will be $973 billion while OMB said it will be $1.085 trillion. For 2020, CBO said $1.003 trillion compared to OMB’s $1.076 trillion.
It’s important to note that OMB’s numbers are based on what we already know is a complete myth: that the spending cuts included in the Trump fiscal 2019 budget sent to Congress earlier this year will be enacted. For the second year in a row, the GOP Congress has shown no interest whatsoever in adopting the spending cuts the president proposed.
As a result, the disparity between CBO’s relatively optimistic deficit estimates and OMB’s comparatively pessimistic projections is most likely to get larger.
To be fair, CBO and OMB diverge in the opposite direction from 2022 through 2028. But, also to be fair, everyone’s budget forecast beyond three years is far more guesswork than substantive analysis given that its multiple congressional and presidential elections and countless natural and man-made disasters will occur, and long-term forecasts of how fast the economy will grow (or not) are often just wishful thinking or straight-line extrapolations.
In the meantime, however, OMB Director Mick Mulvaney owes the Congressional Budget Office a huge apology.
There’s much more here: