Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Meanwhile In Bannon Land...

Chuck Pierce reminds us that while America was focused on the horrific details of just how bad Trumpcare is going to be, that Trump himself was busy Monday signing an executive order entitled the"Comprehensive Plan For Reorganizing The Executive Branch."  You can imagine what's coming next.

In theory, the job has been handed to Mick Mulvaney, the new head of the Office and Management and Budget, most recently seen throwing shade at the CBO, and one of the original Tea Party fanatics elected in response to the Obama Presidency. (Mulvaney was one of the chief architects of the 2013 government shutdown.) But the fine print of the measure shows that it is likely more a creature of Bannon's professed love for vandalism for its own sake. From the order itself:

The proposed plan shall include, as appropriate, recommendations to eliminate unnecessary agencies, components of agencies, and agency programs, and to merge functions. The proposed plan shall include recommendations for any legislation or administrative measures necessary to achieve the proposed reorganization. 
This "reorganization" of the executive departments sounds very much like how a polar bear "reorganizes" your innards prior to making a meal of you. That the job has been handed officially to a guy who doesn't believe in what many of those agencies do—and, unofficially, to a guy who wants to blow them up simply to see how pretty the shrapnel is—gives something of a lie to the public face of the initiative as a good-government effort to root out the unholy trinity of waste, fraud, and abuse. 
This isn't a cost-cutting measure. It's a function-cutting measure. It's not about what the agencies are. It's about what they do. This is like handing a group of drunk teenagers a flamethrower and pointing them toward a lumber yard.

In other words, if Senate Democrats manage to somehow stop Mitch from gutting executive branch agencies to death, this order will simply allow Bannon to do it anyway.  All those programs that help poor people and especially people of color, administered by all those cabinet agencies Trump is now in charge of?

It's all going to go up in flames, guys.  And these assholes have invested heavily in marshmallows and gasoline.  Even if they don't lay a glove on Obamacare, the HHS is still a cabinet agency, and Trump and company can make all the cuts they want to in order to make implementation utterly impossible.

Which is the point.  It's not just "government small enough to drown in a bathtub", it's government lit on fire and covered in thermite.

The Environmental Protection Agency isn't fighting the White House's initial budget that proposes to cut the agency's budget by about $2 billion — or roughly 25% — and reduce the agency's workforce by roughly 3,000 employees. 
Climate change programs would be gutted under the proposal and the workforce attached to these programs would be cleared out of the agency — in line with the aggressive vision of EPA transition head Myron Ebell. 
The Trump Administration, in fact, is now discussing making even deeper cuts to the EPA, according to a source privy to the White House's internal deliberations. Senior Trump officials consider the EPA the leading edge of the administration's plans to deconstruct the administrative state.

If they fire everyone that they can, then there's nobody to spend the money.

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