Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Al Hunt Rips Treasury Secretary Mnuchin

I am guessing that former Treasury Secretaries are not happy with the performance of Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and his trophy wife.

The knives are coming out as signaled by this commentary from seasoned DC establishment columnist Al Hunt:
Mnuchin has had a rocky first eight months. He has issued confusing and contradictory statements about tax plans, made other verbal gaffes, and become embroiled in
personal embarrassments. This is not the norm for a Treasury secretary, whose words and actions are watched carefully by financial markets and foreign governments.

The U.S. has had a remarkable collection of respected and successful Treasury secretaries from varied backgrounds....

Mnuchin appears to have few of these credentials or qualities. He was an executive at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., but never was a chief executive of the Wall Street giant like Rubin and or Paulson. He has no governing or political experience except as a campaign donor...

He doesn't appear especially conversant or comfortable with major government issues..

Privately, some congressional Republicans complain that Mnuchin has given ammunition to critics of whatever tax plan ends up being offered...

He and his wife did use a government plane to fly last month to Kentucky, where the couple viewed the solar eclipse. Afterward, his wife used Instagram to show off the expensive outfits she wore on the trip and then quarreled online with a woman who criticized her for it.

Whether or not this sort of thing rises to a formal ethics problem, it’s not the type of behavior usually associated with Treasury chiefs, in whom discretion and caution are esteemed – even when taken to extremes.

Consider Rubin’s response when he was once asked by journalists to discuss some semi-controversial topic.

"May I go off the record?" he asked. The answer was yes.

“No comment," he replied.

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