Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Contrasts in Style Between Trump’s Secretary of Treasury and Obama’s Partly Explains the Failing Trump Administration

Seeking Good Policy vs Seeking Personal Aggrandizement

The new Secretary of the Treasury must get the Republicans to raise the debt ceiling.  Now the debt ceiling is one of the dumbest laws in a nation of dumb laws, but it is the law.  In charge of the campaign  is Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin.

The previous Secretary was Jack Lew, a serious and experienced government fiscal operative.  Mnuchin has never had government policy experience.  And he seems to be as much interested in enjoying the perks as he does formulating policy.

To be sure, Mnuchin appears to be enjoying the trappings of being a cabinet secretary. He meets weekly with Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet L. Yellen, often for breakfast or lunch, to discuss a variety of financial market issues.

His wife, actress Louise Linton, has accompanied him to at least two congressional hearings, an unusual occurrence.

Whereas Lew seemed to eschew all the security and publicity — he once stood alone at night in Union Station waiting for his wife to get off a train — Mnuchin travels differently. He was recently seen leaving a Washington custom tailor shop in the middle of a workday with a group of Secret Service agents. His wife gave an interview to Town & Country magazine detailing all the types of diamonds and pearls she would wear at their June wedding.

It used to be that wealthy people served in government out of a sense of duty.  Mnuchin is one of a large group of folks who serve out of a sense of entitlement.

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