Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, began the sordid business of trying to sell President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget proposal with a press briefing on Tuesday morning.
The Trump budget is patently evil and stupid and full of lies, and in his efforts to make austerity sound like something average Americans are clamoring for, Mulvaney said a great many things that were villainous to the point of absurdity.
Here are just a few of Mulvaney’s worst hits from today.
“We looked at this budget through the eyes of the people who are actually paying the bills.”
Although the Trump administration is trying to sell this as a “taxpayer-first” budget, the bill occupies space safely within the lines of conservative orthodoxy. So it’s important for them to widen any perceived gulf between the hardworking Americans and Welfare Queens where one wouldn’t otherwise exist.
Mulvaney later said:
“We need folks to work. We need people to go to work. If you’re on food stamps, and you’re able-bodied, we need you to go to work. If you’re on disability insurance and you’re not supposed to be, we need you to work,” he told reporters. “There’s a dignity to work, and there’s a necessity to work.”
Take, for example, those needy Americans receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, otherwise known as food stamps. Research shows the majority of SNAP recipients are working (and, therefore, you know, paying taxes) and that receiving food stamps doesn’t create a disincentive for people to work.
“We’re no longer going to measure compassion by the number of programs or the number of people on those programs, but by the number of people we get off those programs.”
The budget director, who’s already shown his understanding of the whole “compassion” thing to be a bit lacking, went on to rail against the notion that reaching needy Americans should be viewed as a success.
This line is the Republican talking point equivalent of the Italian Chef meme, which could only be outdone by Mulvaney suggesting that a ton of Americans are defrauding taxpayers by accepting disability benefits and food stamps when they shouldn’t be.
“It’s reasonable to ask if some are getting food stamps who shouldn’t be.”
He said it! He also said this:
I guess most of what’s contained in the Trump administration’s budget wish list isn’t comically evil. It’s just regular, garden variety evil.