"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Monday, February 27, 2017

Another WTF? Moment

This, via TPM:

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday said that President Donald Trump's budget, which will be sent to Congress in March, will not propose cutting funding for all social safety programs.

"We are not touching those now,” Mnuchin said on Fox News’ "Sunday Morning Futures” when Maria Bartiromo asked if the administration planned to cut funding for programs like Social Security and Medicare. “So don't expect to see that as part of this budget."

I wouldn't expect to see Social Security as part of this or any budget: SS is funding entirely by payroll taxes and interest earned on trust fund moneys loaned to the US government. Nothing comes from general revenues. I would expect Mnuchin to know that.

As for Medicare, there seems to be some difference of opinion (if there can be opinions on something that should be this unambiguous): According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 41% of Medicare funding comes from general revenues:

The Medicare website lays it out a bit differently, citing two Medicare trust funds, but apparently at least one of those is funded at least partially by allocations from Congress. However, I don't know if this is considered a budget item or not.

I'm inclined to be a bit dubious about the Kaiser Foundation's assertions simply because they include Social Security, as well as Medicare, in their first graph showing government expenditures, which, while strictly true in that the government administers both programs, is misleading when discussing funding sources, since neither Social Security and at least most of Medicare are budget items.

All of which is by way of saying, as far as Mnuchin's statement goes, "Bullshit."

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