They're a blueprint of an administration's priorities, the first written draft of a president's spoken vision.
Mulvaney's appearance was one of four slated Wednesday as Trump Cabinet officials fanned out on Capitol Hill to defend Trump's budget, which contains jarring, politically unrealistic cuts to the social safety net and a broad swath of domestic programs.
Republican Rep. Kevin Brady calls Trump's proposals a "welcome change" because the budget envisions a balanced budget over the next decade.
Anti-poverty advocates say both Carson and Mulvaney are fundamentally wrong, that most low-income people would work if they could.
Nobel Memorial Prize laureates and the New York Times columnist Paul Krugman have noted that Trump's budget proposal and tax plan both call for the elimination of the estate tax, which is levied on the estates of people with more than $5.45 million in assets (for the 2016 tax year).
Reports ahead of the budget's release on Tuesday indicated that the budget would align with cuts to Medicaid proposed in the AHCA, which would ax more than $800 billion from the program. It makes large cuts to the student loan program for low-income families.
The poor and the elderly don't pay as much taxes as the 1 or 2 percent, but their needs are just as real.
Mulvaney added: "We don't want to measure compassion by the number of programs we have and the number of people on them - true compassion is the number of people we want to try to get off of those programs and get back in charge of their own lives". They encourage work and aspiration.More news: What is WannaCry ransomware?
- You have to believe businesses will behave.
"Then the administration asserts that it will propose revenue neutral tax cuts with the revenue neutrality coming in part because the tax cuts stimulate growth!" Also lopped off is $192 billion for food assistance.
These are not surprising.
But it's refreshing to see that at least in theory, federal tax policy has factored in those who actually pay the bills. Trump's budget opens the door wider to misbehavior. And you have a 13 percent cut in the Department of Education. Trump, and Republicans, do.
According to the proposed budget, "a comprehensive overhaul to our tax code will boost economic growth and investment", and assumes an aggressive 3 percent growth in the economy. There's little reason to think the House GOP conference (led by the first and most important proponent of premium support, Paul Ryan), will back away from a Medicare reform budget like those its supported in the past several years. Without that growth, he warned, it will become increasingly hard to cut budget deficits. It's the Trump budget assumptions and justifications that amount to propaganda. It targets farm subsidies that have long needed closer examination.
But it could be the start of real bargaining that goes something like this: Trump doubles his offer (unlike Mulvaney, he doesn't care about budgetary red ink), uses some money from a tax on foreign income of USA companies, gets Saudi Arabia and other countries to chip in for energy-related projects and some public-private deals.
Trumponomics is anything that can get the USA economy soaring to 3 percent growth, the administration's top economic advisers told Congress this week, saying the only way the federal government can balance its books is to get the economy humming that fast. Republicans are in power now.
In the end, its a budget that became an inevitability last November.