News & Politics

Donald Trump's Choice for Budget Chief Wants to Cut Social Security and Medicare

Picking Mick Mulvaney as budget director does not bode well for the popular entitlement programs.

Congressman Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C.
Photo Credit: Flickr, Gage Skidmore

President-elect Donald Trump promised to protect Social Security and Medicare during the election, but if his pick for director of the Office of Management and Budget is any indication, that will be another promise that he won’t keep.

Rep. Mick Mulvaney, a Republican from South Carolina, is a well-known budget hawk whose congressional website complained during the 2016 election that “it’s disappointing that the discussion about our debt has faded away in the last few years,” The Hill reported Saturday.

Mulvaney has introduced numerous bills that have attempted to cut government spending, particularly on Medicare and Social Security. His argument has been that the programs need to be reformed in order to avoid bankruptcy.

As OMB director, Mulvaney would play a crucial role in shaping the national budget and determining which government agencies are allowed to issue regulations.

During a Republican primary debate in March, Trump promised to “do everything within my power not to touch Social Security, to leave it the way it is.” Similarly the Trump campaign told CNN Money in August that “we will not cut Medicare or Social Security benefits, but protect them both.”

Mulvaney’s appointment is also notable because of his advocacy of defense spending cuts, a position that puts him at odds with many in his own party, as The Washington Post reported. In particular, Mulvaney has criticized the use of overseas contingency operations a separate financial stream to fund wars without having to abide by spending caps on military and anti-terror operations. He has also advocated a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget.


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Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon.