Perhaps OMB Director Mick Mulvaney has become more of a curse than a blessing in his job as budget director.
Or perhaps he's just bored with that job and would love a shot at wrecking the CFPB, an agency he loathes.
Either way, it looks as though Donald Trump is going to appoint Mulvaney as interim director of the CFPB after Rich Cordray leaves his position.
CBS News reports that an announcement could come as soon as Friday.
Senator Elizabeth Warren doesn't think much of the idea. "The new director of the CFPB must be someone with a track record of protecting consumers and holding financial firms responsible when they cheat people," Warren said. "This is no place for another Trump-appointed industry hack."
Mulvaney is, by his own definition, a right wing nut job. He views his role as one where he destroys government rather than making it work to the benefit of the governed.
Here's one example of how he approaches his role in government, via POLITICO Magazine:
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. The episode suggests Trump was either ignorant enough to get word-gamed into attacking a half-century-old guarantee for the disabled, or cynical enough to ditch his promise to protect spending when it didn’t benefit his base.
Now that Mulvaney's budget framework has been passed and they've moved on to tax deform (which was passed by the House today, by the way), he's looking for another field to raze. What better one than the only agency in government created to protect ordinary people from predatory financial practices, right?
We live in terrible times.