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Monday, January 21, 2019

Reprinted with permission from

Shortly after the Trump administration unveiled its controversial budget proposal for 2018, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) totally dismantled the plan in a scathing op-ed.

“The [$4.1 trillion] budget introduced this week by the Trump administration constitutes nothing less than a massive transfer of wealth from working families, the elderly, children, the sick and the poor to the top 1%,” Sanders wrote Wednesday.

On Thursday, the Vermont senator confronted Budget Director Mick Mulvaney on the budget’s $26.7 billion cuts.

Regarding “the cuts you are making to Medicaid, why are you going to throw seniors in the state of Wyoming or the state of Vermont off the Meals on Wheels program?” Sanders asked the director seated before the Senate Committee. “Why are you going to throw women and low-income babies off of the WIC (Women, Infants, and Children Food and Nutrition Service) program at a time when infant mortality rates in this country are already high?”

“Do you really think it is a great idea to tell a low-income pregnant woman that you’re going to take away the WIC program, take away nutrition programs from children in order to give a massive tax break of $53 billion to the Walton family?” Sanders hammered. “Please explain your logic.”

Mulvaney immediately dodged the question about slashing safety net programs—a plan that would actually hurt Trump’s own voters the most.

“It is mathematically impossible to take those general principles and assume their impact on a particular family,” Mulvaney asserted.

Sanders rebuffed his comment with an explanation of why the wealthiest .002 percent of Americans, which include the Waltons, would greatly benefit from Trump’s plan.

“The wealthiest family in America gets a $52 billion tax break as a result of the estate tax,” he explained. “Tell the American people why you think that’s good when you cut Medicaid and you cut programs for kids.”

Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.

This article was made possible by the readers and supporters of AlterNet.

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22 responses to “Bernie Sanders Gives Budget Director Mick Mulvaney Epic Lesson On American Inequality”

  1. Independent1 says:

    More telling than Bernie Sanders dismantling Trump’s budget is the fact that a Republican from South Carolina, Mark Sanford, also took great issue with what he constitutes a budgeting lie. It’s one thing for a devout ‘liberal/socialist’ to take issue with Trump’s budget, but when a Republican trashes it, that is even more damning!!

    And Sanford used some historical trends to prove that the entire basis of the Mulvaney/Trump budget is based on one lie after another!!

    See this from the HuffPost:

    A Republican Congressman Just Destroyed Trump’s ‘Lie’ Of A Budget

    WASHINGTON ― Citing the Bible and expressing his sympathies in advance, Republican South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford savaged President Donald Trump’s budget proposal Wednesday as a “myth” and a “lie,” hammering the White House’s spending plan more thoroughly than any Democrat. Sanford, the former governor of South Carolina who has a contentious relationship with the White House, simply did not accept the contention offered by Budget Director Mick Mulvaney in a House Budget Committee hearing that the economy is going to grow at 3 percent for the next 10 years.

    The White House uses that growth estimate to argue that, despite cutting taxes dramatically for the wealthy, tax revenues will actually rise so that the budget will balance in 10 years. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates growth rates of just 1.9 percent.

    “I have looked every which way at how you might get there, and you can’t get there,” Sanford told Mulvaney.

    The South Carolinian, who describes himself as a budget hawk, went on to lay out all the ways that using a bogus estimate is terrible.

    “What it does is it perpetuates a myth that we can go out there and balance the budget without touching entitlements,” Sanford said. “It’s not only a myth, it’s frankly a lie.”

    Sanford offered some basic history to challenge Mulvaney’s assumptions. For starters, he noted that the average economic expansion in all U.S. history lasts about 58 months. The current expansion begun under President Barack Obama has been underway for 94 months. The Trump budget, Sanford noted, assumes that will continue uninterrupted for an additional 214 months.

    “This budget presumes a Goldilocks economy, and I think that’s a very difficult thing on which to base a budget,” Sanford said. He also noted that the Bible cautions against building a house on sand. Sanford took specific aim at the unemployment, growth and inflation rates the budget relies on.

    “Can you guess the last time we had an unemployment rate of 4.8 percent, growth at 3 percent, and inflation held at 2 percent?” Sanford asked. “It’s never happened,” he answered, when Mulvaney didn’t.

    After pointing to other assumptions in the budget that have never happened, Sanford argued that to get the growth rates assumed by the budget, it would take a return to economic and demographic circumstances that haven’t existed since the 1950s and 1960s. That was when women were entering the workforce, highways were being expanded, appliances were first flooding the markets, productivity was skyrocketing, and the Baby Boomers were going to work, rather than retiring en masse.

    “Even if we went to 1990 numbers, we would only see one-quarter of what is necessary to achieve 3 percent growth,” Sanford said.

    And there is even more here:

    • dpaano says:

      Let’s hope that he’s not the ONLY Republican that sees the truth behind this ridiculous budget!! They’d rather build up our military, which is already the highest in the world, to the detriment of the poor, women, and anyone else that is a taxpayer! I think we should point a big finger at them (preferably the middle one) and say ‘YOU’RE FIRED!!!” If we ALL vote in the midterms….we can get rid of many of these idiots and retake at least SOME majority in the House or the Senate!

        • Sand_Cat says:

          Interesting that the aircraft silhouetted appears to be a Russian Su-27. Rather odd in view of the miniscule Russian budget compared to ours.

        • jeffromac23 says:

          Days before 9/11 Secreatary Gates said the Defense Department didn’t know what happened to 2 trillion dollars. Now that figure is close to 10 trillion dollars and Trump wants to throw more money at them. We need somebody in Washington to stand up and tell our military unroll you can figure out what you do with the taxpayers money you are not going to get a penny more.
          They were supposed to be ready for audit 3 years ago and they still aren’t ready or able to do an audit. The American people deserve to know what has happened to all this money we entrusted to them. I don’t know Congress is continuing to let this go on and then give them even more money to lose.

        • dpaano says:

          I agree….it looks ridiculous that we’re spending so much on our military. It’s outrageous! And, it’s particularly outrageous because we have more people that are on welfare, food stamps, out of jobs, etc. than any of these other countries!

      • jeffromac23 says:

        The Republicans are not going to help anybody that that doesn’t have 9 zeros in there income. SS and Medicare have not added one penny to the deficit ever and never will it paid by a trust fund not out of income tax revenue. If they are able to cut so called entitlements or eliminate them all together think of how good they could make the budget look after they steal our money.
        If tax cuts stimulate the economy and create jobs where is that great economy and all the jobs from the Bush tax cuts hell Reagan had to hire hundreds of thousands of teachers to create jobs after his tax cuts. The Republicans only listen to their wealthy overlords not the people they are supposed to represent.

        • Independent1 says:

          And don’t forget that after making that huge tax cut that was mostly directed at the wealthy, including himself – Reagan increased taxes 11 times mostly on the poor and middle class. Requiring that the debt ceiling be raised 18 times. And despite those tax increases, he still added more debt to America than all the presidents between him and FDR combined – virtually tripling our debt in 8 years from 900+ billion to 2.9 trillion.

          (Reagan’s the only president who managed to increase his wealth by 10 million while president.)

        • dpaano says:

          The so-called “trickle down economy” has NEVER worked…for example, look at the states of Kansas and Louisiana, both of which are almost bankrupt because of severe tax cuts! When will our stupid politicians realize that it does NOT work!!!

      • queenbee says:

        Each day I hope people realized the power of voting especially to rid these thugs out of office.

        • dpaano says:

          Agreed….we need to make sure EVERYONE votes during the midterms and don’t sit home on their butts and think that their vote won’t count…..we need to get the Republicans OUT of power before they take this country down!! It’s bad enough that we have an idiot in the White House, but we don’t need them in the Senate, the House, OR the Congress!

    • Delguy64 says:

      Don’t get too excited about Sanford. He is a freaking LIBERTARIAN who wants to cut SS, Medicare and Medicaid. Even the so called logical Republicans are sucking dirtbags!!!

  2. FireBaron says:

    Hey, who told Bernie he was allowed to confront Teflon Donnie’s surrogates (while he is conveniently out of the country) with the Truth! They were all promised that no one would ever question anything they did or proposed!

    • Independent1 says:

      See what Mark Sanford, a Republican from SC had to say in my post below. He really set Mulvaney straight.

      • dpaano says:

        Is that even possible? Trump and his minions are all so crooked that it stinks! None of them give a damned about the American public…..they only want to do away with anything that President Obama did and to hell with the rest of the nation!!! It’s pretty blatant for everyone to see!

      • Joycejprendergast says:

        Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj303d:
        On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
        ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash303ShopTopGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★:::::!mj303d..,.

  3. dpaano says:

    I’d be interested in answers to Sander’s questions myself…, in any form of logic, does the Budget Director think that this budget is going to help the citizens of the U.S.? It boggles the mind at Trump and his minions and their mindset! They are doing NOTHING but trying to gut President Obama’s legacy, and they have a long way to go to do that….doing away with many of his bills won’t do it, and they are only making themselves look very Anti-American!! Guess they forget who pays their salaries! Maybe they don’t realize that if more and more people become poor and destitute….that means less tax money is available to collect….which means, NO RAISES for them!!!

    • Independent1 says:

      Problem is, Trump and his minions fail to realize how much it takes to create a 3% GDP increase these days. When Reagan was in office and America’s GDP was less than 4 Trillion; adding 3% to the GDP was like adding about 100+ billion to the domestic product. With the 18T of GDP today, to add 3% to our GDP means you’ve got to add over 1/2 a Trillion to the GDP to attain that; much harder to do.

  4. Dapper Dan says:

    So in a nutshell the Repugs want to deny women the right to terminate a pregnancy and yet will turn around and cut WIC that benefits low income pregnant women. Look guys what is it going to be ? Prolife or are you on some power trip ?

    • dpaano says:

      I agree….that’s been their mantra for years…..they want to deny a woman the right to terminate a pregnancy (for ANY reason), but when the woman DOES have the child, they make it extremely hard for her to support it…..especially when the man who got her pregnant gets off scottfree! I think they should penalize the man for getting the woman pregnant….and, if that happens, maybe they’ll keep it in their pants!

  5. Joan says:

    The distress of the poor, struggling workers and seniors living on Social Security can not move them. These are some one else’s relatives and loved ones, not theirs. Their plan is to blame the victims, so that they can be further victimized. Poverty is a “state of mind”, as is, I guess hunger, not only that, but it is a sign from God that you are unworthy.. Sickness is a result of poor life style choices and not say genetics or enviroment. The poor are poor because they are lazy, not because they work long and hard at jobs that do not pay a living wage. We are under attack from the politicians that we gave the power to attack us too. We must take our power back, resist, Vote!

  6. johninPCFL says:

    Over half of Walmart workers currently get government aid (food stamps, medicaid, etc.) so the Waltons have already gotten their tax break in the form of cheap wages driven by the GOP intransigence on the minimum wage.

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