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Economy, Regs, & Taxes

Trump Picks Fiscal Hawk to Lead Budget Office

America's debt is an issue Trump has not forgotten about and intends to tackle head on.

Paul Albaugh · Dec. 20, 2016

Now that the Electoral College has cast its votes securing the election victory of Donald Trump to become the next president of the United States, perhaps the media will turn its attention to the issues that propelled Trump to victory. Well, one can dream anyway.

One of several issues that has been off the radar for quite some time is our nation’s nearly $20 trillion debt, half of which is thanks to the spending policies of the federal government under Barack Obama. To be fair, the federal government has had a spending problem for several decades now, and the mountain of debt is so enormous that some people have quit paying attention. Life does continue, after all, and the sky hasn’t fallen.

Fortunately, Trump’s selection of Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) to head the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) indicates that America’s debt is an issue that he has not forgotten about and one that he intends to tackle head on.

Speaking highly of Mulvaney, Trump stated, “We are going to do great things for the American people with Mick Mulvaney leading the Office of Management and Budget. Right now we are nearly $20 trillion in debt, but Mick is a very high-energy leader with deep convictions for how to responsibly manage our nation’s finances and save our country from drowning in red ink.”

Trump added, “With Mick at the head of OMB, my administration is going to make smart choices about America’s budget, bring new accountability to our federal government, and renew the American taxpayers’ trust in how their money is spent.”

Trump has made a smart choice, and Mulvaney is yet another individual that conservatives, especially fiscal conservatives, can be happy to support.

Mulvaney’s responsibility as director of the OMB will be to guide Trump’s budget proposal negotiations. His performance in Congress is that of a solid fiscal conservative. Having been elected to Congress in 2010 as part of the first wave of Tea Party conservatives, he has a reputation for pushing for budget cuts and is an advocate for smaller limited government.

Mulvaney advocates shrinking the federal workforce and privatizing certain functions of the federal government. He’s also a proponent of shutting down the government instead of approving more spending for programs that the government has no business funding, such as Planned Parenthood’s gruesome abortion machine.

Josh Siegel of The Heritage Foundation notes that as the founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, the most conservative group in Congress, Mulvaney was a leading voice to push for cuts in both domestic and defense spending. The Freedom Caucus has a list of 232 regulations dealing with climate change, nutrition, immigration, labor and energy that it wants Trump to repeal, and with Mulvaney as the budget director, that should happen in short order.

Fighting the establishment is another thing Mulvaney is known for, which ought to please Trump supporters. He voted against raising the debt ceiling in 2011 despite the U.S. being on the brink of default and insisted that its passage be paired with “Cut, Cap and Balance,” a measure to slash federal spending and impose a constitutional amendment to balance the budget. In 2013, Mulvaney also led an effort to defund ObamaCare and later that same year declined to support the re-election of John Boehner.

On some issues, Mulvaney has been known to work with Republicans and Democrats, particularly on defense spending. Siegel notes, “He has opposed the use of a separate war funding account known as overseas contingency operations, which is a budgetary maneuver used to avoid spending caps to fund military and anti-terror operations abroad, such as the military campaign against ISIS.” The military is in serious need of any upgrade, but the Pentagon is also rife with waste, and Mulvaney knows it.

It will ultimately be Mulvaney’s task to figure out how that defense spending can occur without raising the debt even more. His reputation as a conservative “fiscal hawk” will be put to the test as he figures out what federal spending on wasteful programs will need to be cut in order to increase defense spending while simultaneously reducing the debt.

Fortunately, his track record shows that he is a solid pick to help the incoming Trump administration make America great again.

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