Trump’s Treasury Secretary gave a lecture and participated in a moderated discussion at UCLA earlier this week, and he had initially agreed to post the video of the event, before going back on his word after a bunch of students dared to challenge him. Per the New York Times:
But the official video footage of the university’s Arnold C. Harberger Lecture, hosted by the Burkle Center for International Relations, is nowhere to be found. That is because Mr. Mnuchin took the unusual step of revoking his consent for it to be released given the contentiousness of the event.
“The Burkle Center and Treasury Department officials had an agreement to post the video of Secretary Mnuchin’s lecture at U.C.L.A. to the center’s website following the event,” said Peggy McInerny, a university spokeswoman. “Treasury Department officials subsequently withdrew their consent to post the video.”
Well Mr. Mnuchin, there’s these things called cell phone cameras and the internet. Here’s the video that the Treasury Secretary decided was not suitable to be released, as he had students challenging the draconian GOP tax plan that is a gigantic wealth transfer from the poor to the rich.
To give you an idea how seriously this knock-off James Bond villain took these protesters, Mnuchin derisively said at one point “I’m dealing with students, I forgot. I think they’re going to get more tired than I am.” The students were certainly being unruly, but it was only proportional to the tax cut spearheaded by Trump’s treasury secretary that adds as much as $2 trillion to the national debt, while cutting the poorest people’s after tax incomes proportionally to what it adds to the richest after tax incomes.
This episode exposes the central fissure in American politics. Mnuchin and the Republicans in Congress enacted a horrifying attack on the poorest members of society—all in order to give more to the rich in a time of hyper-inequality. There’s nothing else to call this bill other than class warfare, and these students are simply fighting back. However, because American politics favors the politics of respectability far more than the politics of reality, the students have been portrayed as “snowflake” extremists, while Mnuchin is just “trying to have a discussion.”
Like the Parkland students before them, this is simply a new generation literally calling “BS” on a failed political generation. Steve Mnuchin and his feeble kind (like EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt who requested a special waiver to fly in business class because us plebeians in economy kept yelling at him) are cowards who don’t have the stones or the brains to defend their ideas when they get challenged in public. Keep yelling at these public figures who work for us wherever you see them, and make sure someone is recording. To listen to the entire discussion that Steve Mnuchin doesn’t want you to hear, check out Kai Ryssdal’s audio recording of the ordeal.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.