Former Congressman and House Budget Committee member Mick Mulvaney returns to the House Budget Committee today to testify on the details of Trump’s 2018 Budget. Mulvaney returned as the director of Office of Management and Budget. Before the hearing started, one could see Mulvaney casually talking to various members who he had served with just a few months ago.
During the over three-hour hearing, Republican committee members praised the Trump budget for its vision to balance the budget within 10 years. Meanwhile, every Democratic member gave long grandstanding demonizing speeches as to why their pet government project (several of which Congress has not authorized in several years) was seeing a reduction or elimination of funds. If you were to listen to the Democrats, one would assume that without government assistance, most Americans would have no place to live and would starve to death. Even some Republicans could be seen whining about some special interest spending that was getting cut.
On numerous occasions, Mulvaney was required to tell Congress that most Americans do not understand the specialized Washington jargon in which an increase in government spending is called a decrease in government spending. Washington is able to call an increase in government spending a decrease in government spending by the use of a specialized term called “baseline budgeting.” Under baseline budgeting, Washington uses a fancy formula that automatically increases every government program’s budget by the cost of inflation plus an increase based on population growth. Mulvaney explained that Washington needs to return to standard budgeting principles and retiring the monstrosity of baseline budgeting.
To explain why baseline budgeting needs to be retired, Mulvaney used the example of a program that cost $100 last year. Mulvaney says that only in Washington if you spend $100, $102, or $104 dollars this year will Washington call that a cut. If you spend $106 this year, Washington calls this new spending a freeze in spending. Finally, Mulvaney argued that it is only if you spend $108 per year do both standard American English and Washington specialized jargon both call this an increase in government spending and increase.
Mulvaney reminded the committee members that the current debt per individual living in the United States is $60,000. Mulvaney thinks it is unfair that his children owe $60,000 before they have gone to college or started a career.