Trump Picks Fiscal Conservative Hawk Mulvaney As Budget Director

Tyler Durden's picture

Hinting at a substantial clampdown on government spending over the next four years, this morning President-elect Trump announced the selection of South Carolina Rep. Mick Mulvaney to be his first budget director, a nomination which would put a "fiscal conservative hawk" in charge of managing the federal budget and the logistics of government affairs.

As director of the Office of the Management and Budget, replacing Obama appointee Shaun Donovan, Mulvaney would have broad responsibility for government operations, and for avoiding the government shutdowns that the Freedom Caucus countenanced several times.

The move, which will raise eyebrows among those who expect an unprecedented fiscal expansion under Trump, pits Mulvaney, a true fiscal conservative, in charge of government spending, following repeated alarms about the long-term trajectory of the debt, even as annual deficits have fallen in recent years despite a recent sharp spike during the final months of the Obama administration. He has criticized the use of special war funds to get around caps on defense spending and in past years has suggested that tax increases might be necessary to stabilize the debt, a stance anathema to many conservatives.

Mulvaney's selection points to a strategy by Trump to cut government where he can. The president-elect in recent days has, for example, railed against what he has labeled a far too expensive new version of the Air Force One aircraft he will fly that Boeing is supposed to build. In a statement announcing his selection, Trump called Mulvaney a strong voice in Congress for "reining in out-of-control spending, fighting government waste and enacting tax policies that will allow working Americans to thrive."

* * *

A graduate of Georgetown University with a law degree from the University of North Carolina, Mulvaney served in the state legislature after a brief legal career and a stint in his family's homebuilding business. Mulvaney is of Irish descent, and once caused a minor stir in Ireland when Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny attended a fundraiser of his held at an Irish pub in D.C. just before St. Patrick's Day.

The announcement of the nomination, which will require Senate confirmation, was made as Trump began his holiday vacation at Mar-a-Lago, his oceanfront club in Florida, around the same time that president Obama arrived in Hawaii for his final vacation as president.

Mulvaney, 49, was an outspoken critic of John Boehner, and was one of the conservatives credited with forcing the former House Speaker to resign in fall 2015 rather than bow to the party's Freedom Caucus flank and lead the House into another government shutdown. Mulvaney, who came to office as part of the 2010 Tea Party wave, has frequently allied himself with the most conservative members of the House and co-founded the House Freedom Caucus that has frequently bucked Republican leadership on spending bills, the Washington Examiner reports.

"He’s a tremendous talent, especially when it comes to numbers and budgets," Trump said in a statement Friday night, adding on Saturday morning that "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. 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 taxpayer's trust in how their money is spent."

Mulvaney responded that "it is a great honor to be appointed Director of the Office of Management and Budget. The Trump administration will restore budgetary and fiscal sanity back in Washington after eight years of an out-of-control, tax and spend financial agenda, and will work with Congress to create policies that will be friendly to American workers and businesses. Each day, families across our nation make disciplined choices about how to spend their hard earned money, and the federal government should exercise the same discretion that hardworking Americans do every day."

In a move that could prove portentous under the Trump administration, Mulvaney last year introduced legislation that would allow nationalized mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to be recapitalized and eventually leave the government's control. The conservative head of the House Financial Services Committee that Mulvaney served on, Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling, instead has advanced legislation that would reform the housing finance system and shutter Fannie and Freddie. Yet Mulvaney's approach may be favored in the Trump administration: Trump's selection for treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, endorsed re-privatizing the two mortgage businesses in some of his first comments as Trump's appointment.

Perhaps more notable is that in 2011, Mick Mulvaney was pushing for "Cut, Cap and Balance" in return for a debt limit hike, and voted "no" on the deal, while dismissing warnings of a US default.

Absent a significant change to Mulvaney's outlook on US spending, it is difficult to reconcile this appointment, with the market's increasingly conventional view of Trump as an "out of control" spender, and furthermore may undermine the perception that $1 trillion in debt-funded fiscal stimulus is imminent. It will also put Trump's decision to slash corporate taxes without a revenue offset under the microscope of one of the most frugal fiscal conservatives in government. However, like with most things the market has taken for granted under Trump, details of the president-elect's spending plans have yet to be formalized.

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Vardaman's picture

Seeing is believing.  I still don't expect to see much I can believe in, but I'll hope anyway...

Arnold's picture

Don't know a damned thing about him.

Marching orders received.

Move out.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Mine is not to question why. Mine is just to do and die.

Arnold's picture

Cog, wouldn't be nice [ beachboys back music here ]

if the Trumpet put people in to actually try to spend less than the .gov takes in?

InjectTheVenom's picture


>>>  Trump will drain the swamp  

>>>  Trump can't even spell the word swamp

Paul Kersey's picture

The good news:

In September 2015, Mulvaney endorsed Rand Paul in the 2016 race for president of the United States.

The bad news:

Mulvaney wants to bring the GSE mortgages private. That means much higher interest rates or there will be no buyers for mortgage-backed-securities (agencies). Much higher interest rates on mortgages will kill the housing market.

The housing recovery has been about the only recovery that Main Street America has had since the 2008 crash. With privatized GSEs, home price will crash and the TBTF banks will pick those homes up at garage sale prices and become America's landlords. The TBTF banks already own most Americans through credit card loans, car loans, student loans and mortgages. The rent-seeking, landlord banks, and their not so arms-length hedge fund "entities", could have an even easier time throwing Main Street Americans out in the street.

xythras's picture
xythras (not verified) Paul Kersey Dec 17, 2016 3:22 PM

All prices NEED to go down, homes included.


Paul Kersey's picture

From 2006 to 2009, house prices dropped 34%, and it was the big banks and hedge funds (like Blackstone) that picked them up in mass.  In fact, individual home ownership actually went down below the 1960s levels.  Today, banks and hedge funds are sitting on trillions of dollars more than they were in 2009.  Nothing would suit them better than the deflation of RE assets, where cash becomes king. Capitalism works well for those who have the capital.  As for those who don't have the capital, not so much. 

christiangustafson's picture

To hell with ponzi GSE credit-expansion!

Deflation is life!

U4 eee aaa's picture

man, watch it with those drive by gifs

SoilMyselfRotten's picture

If he doesn't close the gaping wound leaking trillions of US tax dollars, the Pentagon/MIC, he's not serious about clamping down. Sadly, he said he wants to increase defense spending, so not sure how he's going to pull this one off.

fbazzrea's picture

and i hope he doesn't let the MIC switch bad guys from Russia to China. MIC doesn't care who their bombs, bullets and drones kill. they just need an enemy. China will do.

we mustn't slip into the two-against-one triad-centric foreign policy pushed by the neocons. there is no rule that prevents multi-lateral cooperation. here's an historic opportunity for a complete political economic reset by dissolving the Fed, reverting to a sovereign currency and cancelling the debt by issuing one unique soverign note in the amount of our national debt to the banksters. and then President-elect Trump has the focused leadership skills to manuever the USA through the bootup.

i suspect increasing the defense spending was sweettalking the MIC bloodhounds to some degree. it won't be his fault the budget director says we can't afford it. 

we'll see... but for now, Trump is the man! (:

rejected's picture

How'bout we keep government out of the private markets.

The most populous generation, boomers, are dying off and will be selling off their houses.

The generations coming up are less populous. There will be more houses on the market than you can shake a stick at.

cheech_wizard's picture

There is no housing recovery. Did you get your information from RE/MAX?


U4 eee aaa's picture

If you haven't noticed yet the bond slam over the last month has already killed the housing market.

The parrot is already dead courtesy of the shadow banking cabal

Kidbuck's picture

It ain't been a housing recovery. It's been a debasement of the dollar. Let the market set rates and house prices may come down enough for the average frugal American to afford one without going into debt up to his eyeballs.

chimchim's picture

Dude, how about we insist that 'our' reps. Just get the gov out of all markets? Chips fall where they will. Prices become 'real'.
Screw re-caps, let Fred have a go with Fannie out in the real world.
It won't take all that long for things to settle.

y3maxx's picture

-Mulvaney sounds like a good pick.


Who's gonna be the one to go after the Clinton Foundation?


btw, no question now Obama's birth ceritficate is fake.

unsafe-space-time's picture

Don't ask God or dad why. Everybody else ask the fuck out of them.

SoDamnMad's picture

I want the guy to have a web site where he points out government waste and which Senator or Representative is handing out money for the waste like the bridge to no-where or the $600 toilet seat. Give him staffers who will show which colonels and generals flopped over to the defense contractors for appoving junk like those Littoral combat shits that break down on their first cruise or that new stealth destroyer that fires those million dollar rounds that are too expensive to practice with.  I won't touch the F-35 (cheers to those smart Canadians) or the Boeing aerial tanker that is over-budget and behind schedule.

OpTwoMistic's picture

Shut down the secret space program and they could nearly balacne the buget,\maybe get some returned.  What have we received from it?

rejected's picture

How'bout shutting down the Global wannabee empire program of wars, wars, and more wars. Makes the space program which benefits all seem like pocket change and doesn't kill as many people.


A debt junkie nominates a fiscal conservative for budget director. It's like a fox guarding a hen house. 

Orly's picture

Or, as Thomas Jefferson would say, "checks and balances."


buzzsaw99's picture

do i still get my global warming money?

Arnold's picture

Put on a fleese hoodie for Christ's sake.

wisehiney's picture

Best news ever.


Hack and cut,

    Slash & burn,

        Starve the fucking beast!

buzzsaw99's picture

he will start cutting after he increases israel's grift

Arnold's picture

Last time I pinky swear.

Who else you got that's watching our back?

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

OT, but related to "Trump picks"...

Jackie Evancho will sing the National Anthem at the Inauguration on Jan. 20th.  AWESOME!  (Sorry, slutty Gaga and you twerking primate types)

Here is Jackie, singing The Little Drummer Boy, with the 3 famous young Italian opera trio "Il Volo"

Those of you who don't know who she is, Jackie is from Pittsburgh PA, and first rocketed to national and global prominence with her appearance in "America's got Talent" in 2010:

And at the risk of trying the patience of some of you, here she is again -- this time in 2011 in "Brtitain's Got Talent", singing Nessun Dorma:

If you had a daughter...

p.s.  Even as an 'Born-Again Atheist' (self-excommunicated Catholic), I say to you:  Merry Christmas, ZHers!

SoDamnMad's picture

I reserve the sole right to shoot everyone who kneels.

Jayda1850's picture

Get the fuck out of here with this pick. Trump wants a trillion dollar spending bill, while his treasury secretary is advocating a 100 year bond. Trump used to pretend to be a guy named Barron to jerk himslef off in the media and even named his son Barron. If you fucking dumb ass Trump supporters are so blind, here is a fucking clue. Our country will be run by the robber barrons every year Trump is in office. I know you Trump supporters are still looking for that silver lining and will continue looking as silver crashes to a 10 handle. Goldman is running the fucking goverment!.Stop being in denial and pull Donald's cock out of your fucking mouth!!!

DEMIZEN's picture

It is alredy run by robbers  how can it get worse?

Jayda1850's picture

If there is one true principle in all of science it is, "It could always be worse."

DEMIZEN's picture

It could get worse for scientists. especially the ones depending on govt grants :)

cheech_wizard's picture


The U.S. government's total revenue is estimated to be $3.632 trillion for Fiscal Year2017. 

Rather sure the money can come out of that giving the current waste, fraud, abuse under Obama. There is a lot of missing money from the past 8 years. I'm laying odds people are going to go to jail.

Standard Disclaimer: A member for over 5 years and you still suffer from rectal cranial inversion.

roadhazard's picture

I gave them a heads up a year ago... nada.

The_Dude's picture

I thought we were supposed to be spending a trillion and Ivanka is handing out goodies to everyone....wish we could get the story straight. 

wisehiney's picture

No trillion dollar spending plan.

That was just goldman squeezing the tbonds so that they, the pension funds and insurance companies could get some cheap.

And also to give the fed room to cut rates into the onrushing recession.

Burn out the deadwood and rebuild.


Son of Loki's picture

My neighbor is very successful remodelling houses. he says 70% or more of his clients are Gubmint workers. He laughs saying, "they're the only ones who can afford it!"

The Big Losers the past 15 years have been the simply hard working middle class private sector and seniors who got zero COLA as the Bush/Obama trolls printed trillions for war and Bankers.

Wall Street Bankers, Gubmint workers, Union workers, the MIC and the FSA have benefited tremendously. I hope this guy can turn some of this around and start helping out small business owners and the American middle class, private sector.

Stop bailing out fat cat bankers who take risks with your money, cut the FSA, cut the child tax credit to slow down the Shitling rate, fire lazy employees, stop all unnecessary wars, negotiate better trade deals with foreign nations, strict vetting for immigrants, build the freaking wall, and so on. Stuff that Obama, Kerry and HIllary failed to do.

Hillary lost because of Hillary and Obama. No one else.

DarkLordofSadNews's picture

ZH wtf you done more click baits for the ad money.. 

Arnold's picture

Sadly you make more with that post than..uh... nevermind.

Arnold's picture

If I hadn't seen the same wording come out of 'time served' posters in the past couple of days

I would not have mentioned it.

Smerf's picture

"hard working"
"business owners"
"fiscal responsibility"

No wonder the left is up in arms.