When you’ve lived your entire adult life in a way that would ensure no Senate committee would ever approve your nomination for a government post, and yet you still end up as Treasury Secretary, it can change you perspective. But it seems that Steve Mnuchin has gotten a little too acclimated to the notion that reality will bend to his will and erase things he’d rather not exist…
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin asked the University of California, Los Angeles not to post a video of his recent public appearance at which he was heckled by students.
Oh…this should be good.
Protesters handed out fliers outside the event, saying Mr. Mnuchin wasn’t welcome on campus. Hecklers in the audience hissed and coughed throughout the conversation, which was led by Kai Ryssdal, host of the Marketplace radio program.
Mr. Mnuchin said it was his first time speaking at a university. He addressed the opposition lightheartedly early in the talk by saying, “I normally go [speak to] people who wanna listen to me speak.”
Which makes us believe that Louise Linton must live in a blissfuly silent home.
The transcript of this interview is up over at Marketplace’s website, and it is a high recommend. Mnuchin seem not only very rattled by the hostile crowd of students in California (which speaks to Mnuchin’s stunningly poor preparation) but also by Ryssdal’s line of questioning that attempts to make Mnuchin justify the end result of the Trump administration’s economic policy agenda. At numerous points, Mnuchin attempts to bury Ryssdal in talking points, and when the reporter presents data that refutes Mnuchin’s claims, Mnuchin turns pissy and tries to paint Ryssdal as being a biased player. Except that Ryssdal is using actual math and not partisan talking points.
Here’s a taste:
Ryssdal: Help me understand then with some specificity how you’re going to do that. Because the numbers that were engineered by the White House and the Council of Economic Advisers that went into the tax plan were, “We’re going to get 3 percent. Here’s how,” as opposed to, “These are our policies, which is going to get us to 3 percent.”
Mnuchin: Well, you must seem to have a bias because you’re using the words engineered, so you obviously think that it was the policy the policies were created. Again, what I would say is we fundamentally believe that we will have economic growth and again, 35 basis points is the break even. And we’re already seeing this. By the way, we’re seeing companies give millions and millions of workers bonuses all as a result of this. And for people who are getting these thousand-dollar bonuses, these are not crumbs.
Ryssdal: Absolutely not, and I’m not going to imply that at all. You said 4 million workers in this economy?
Mnuchin: Four and a half million.
Ryssdal: Four and a half million have gotten one-time bonuses.
Ryssdal: So this is a labor pool of 155 million people, sir.
Mnuchin: So are you, tell me, are you, for those four and a half million workers —
Ryssdal: So my question is —
Mnuchin: in one month. That’s a big deal. That’s a big deal. Four and a half million workers have already seen this impact.
Ryssdal: By some estimates —
Mnuchin: I understand you’re doing the math.
Ryssdal: No. So the Americans for Tax Reform say plus or minus, 86 companies have given wage increases, 250 companies have given one-time bonuses, and I guess the question is, what would you rather have? Would you rather have a one-time bonus or a consistent wage increase over the next couple of years?
So, yeah, we’re sure that having an auditorium of kids loudly fucking with you is going to rattle your cage (especially if it gives you flashbacks, Steve) but some credit should also go to Kai Ryssdal who clearly put Mnuchin so far off his game that Secretary Snowflake ended up in conversational corners from which he could barely escape. Even he realized how bad it looked.
Steve Mnuchin trying to scrub any record of an embarrassing appearance is peak Steve Mnuchin. It mixes privilege, assumption, ego and disdain for the truth into a stew of douchery. And it would almost be darkly funny if Steve Mnuchin wasn’t the actual person in charge of the actual US Treasury Department.
Or as one UCLA student put it…
Mr. Mnuchin, appearing agitated, stopped the conversation several times, asking the hecklers either to identify themselves or explain what they were protesting. One person in the audience shouted: “I think you’re full of shit.”
We really want this tape.