While Donald Trump gets most of the negative press for being an absolutely reprehensible and vile human being, I make sure to showcase as often as I can that there are plenty of Republicans — both working for him and in Congress — who are every bit as bad, if not worse, than he is.
One of those people might be Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.
You see, since Trump built part of his campaign on opposing cuts to Social Security, one of the few promises even he knows he probably shouldn’t break, Mulvaney apparently tricked the current “president” into supporting cuts for Social Security Disability Insurance by calling it “welfare” — then he bragged about it to the press.
As written by Michael Gunwald of Politico:
During his populist run for the White House, Trump had vowed to leave Social Security and Medicare alone. But Trump had also vowed to rein in America’s national debt, which Mulvaney didn’t think was possible without reining in the two biggest chunks of the federal budget. So Mick the Knife brought a cut list to his meeting in the Oval.
“Look, this is my idea on how to reform Social Security,” the former South Carolina congressman began.
“No!” the president replied. “I told people we wouldn’t do that. What’s next?”
“Well, here are some Medicare reforms,” Mulvaney said.
“No!” Trump repeated. “I’m not doing that.”
“OK, disability insurance.”
This was a clever twist. Mulvaney was talking about the Social Security Disability Insurance program, which, as its full name indicates, is part of Social Security. But Americans don’t tend to think of it as Social Security, and its 11 million beneficiaries are not the senior citizens who tend to support Trump.
“Tell me about that,” Trump replied.
“It’s welfare,” Mulvaney said.
“OK, we can fix welfare,” Trump declared.
Sure enough, the Trump budget plan that Mulvaney unveiled a few weeks later would cut about $70 billion in disability benefits over a decade, mostly through unspecified efforts to get recipients back to work. That may sound like welfare reform, but the program isn’t welfare for the poor; it’s insurance for workers who pay into Social Security through payroll taxes.
To put into perspective what a scumbag Mulvaney is, he’s the same person who, just a few months ago, mocked people with disabilities when he was asked if there should be some sort of a “safety net” for people so that they don’t go broke if they get cancer:
That doesn’t mean we should take care of the person who sits at home, eats poorly and gets diabetes. Is that the same thing as Jimmy Kimmel’s kid? I don’t think that it is.
That statement is appalling. Not only did Mulvaney showcase that he doesn’t understand anything about diabetes, but the level of ignorance it takes for someone to talk so callously about the health of human beings is abhorrent.
So it should come as no surprise that after Mulvaney duped Trump into supporting cuts to Social Security, he bragged about doing so.
As reported by Vox:
As extraordinary as that story is, two things about it are even more extraordinary:
- Mulvaney appears to be comfortable openly bragging to the press about how he duped the president of the United States, even while he continues to serve as one of his senior advisors.
- Nobody else in the budget process thought to check twice whether Trump really wanted to come out of the gate breaking a signature campaign promise and force Mulvaney to revisit this point.
This is part of what I said made Trump so incredibly dangerous. It’s not just the awful policies and ideas he supports, it’s that he’s so incredibly incompetent, he doesn’t really know what he’s supporting or rejecting. Instead, he’s surrounded himself with a bunch of sleazy, crooked, unethical Swamp Things™ who, as terrible as they might be, are aware that Trump’s a buffoon who can be easily tricked or manipulated into doing what they want.
That’s essentially what Mulvaney’s figured out.
Shockingly, Trump really likes Mulvaney because he’s a “yes man” who tells him whatever he wants to hear. Yet the reality is, Mulvaney’s an opportunist. He realizes Trump’s an imbecile who can be easily fooled, which is exactly what he proved by vilifying SSDI and getting Trump on board with cuts.
Mulvaney’s just lucky that Donald Trump’s too much of an incompetent, arrogant megalomaniac to realize when someone’s treating him like a simple-minded, easily manipulated moron.
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