Gage Skidmore / Flickr Mick Mulvaney...
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Full-time Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney seems to be spending an inordinate amount of time in his part-time job as interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, where he’s been placed to do Wall Street’s bidding and destroy the agency. Already, he’s stopped investigations that promised to return $60 million to defrauded customers. While he’s helping loan sharks rip off Americans, he’s ripping off the taxpayers, giving outrageous pay hikes to his own hires at the CFPB. How outrageous? They’re making more than cabinet secretaries.

Mulvaney has hired at least eight political appointees since he took over the bureau in late November. Four of them are making $259,500 a year and one is making $239,595. That is more than the salaries of members of Congress, cabinet secretaries, and nearly all federal judges apart from those who sit on the Supreme Court. […]

Mulvaney, as Trump’s budget director, has long railed against government spending. One of his first directives as acting CFPB director was to announce he needed zero dollars in funding to run the agency, pledging to spend down the bureau’s surplus fund this quarter before requiring more money from the Fed — the CFPB is funded by the Fed and not through the traditional congressional budget process.

In his Jan. 17 letter to the Fed, Mulvaney said he was asking for zero dollars because of the need to be “responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars.” But that tight-fisted approach apparently was not used with his staff’s salaries. Further, it appears that at least two people that Mulvaney hired for his office are for positions that did not exist under the previous administration, at an additional taxpayer cost of $259,500 per employee.

The general pay cap for federal employees is $134,776 annually, and it’s supposed to be $250,000 for the Federal Reserve, which funds the CFBP. Kirsten Mork, Mulvaney’s chief of staff, was getting paid $167,300 working for Rep. Jeb Hensarling on the House Financial Services Committee. Now she’s making $259,500 as chief of staff of the CFPB. The AP article doesn’t explain how she can be paid nearly $10,000 over the Fed’s pay cap. But she’s getting the maximum pay for overseeing an agency that is now doing basically nothing.

Actually, it is doing something. It is proactively working to protect Wall Street, payday lenders and whoever else is profiting from shady lending practices. It is working proactively to screw consumers.

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