Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Budget Director Mick Mulvaney testified before the House Budget Committee Wednesday, and defended Trump's FY18 budget, which he calls the "Taxpayer First" budget. Mulvaney repeatedly insisted that the government has a "moral obligation" to balance the budget since the U.S. is $20 trillion in debt. "Everybody around this table owes the government $60,000," he lamented.

  • 3% economic growth: "Trumpeconomics is whatever achieves 3%," said Mulvaney. "How pessimistic do you have to be to assume that 3%... is somehow unreasonable? What does that say about the previous administration? What does that say about the CBO?"
  • Balanced budget: "I believe it's impossible" to balance the budget without touching entitlements or "mandatory spending."
  • Trump's priorities: "The budget is nothing more than a collection of [Trump's campaign] promises. That's how we wrote it."
  • Compassion: Mulvaney repeated the statement he made yesterday, "The White House will no longer measure compassion by the number of programs we have or the number of people on those programs."
  • Medicaid and Social Security: Mulvaney said these are the two programs in mandatory spending that the budget department didn't touch. "We are not going to kick any deserving person off of any meaningful program."
  • On cuts to the corporation for public broadcasting: "I can assure you, Big Bird makes more money than everyone in this room."

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But, but, but: It still won't prevent the planet from cooking, as the firm still sees enough emissions to lead to over 3.3°C of warming above preindustrial levels by century's end.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage."
  2. Health: Mask mandates help control the rise in coronavirus hospitalizations. Hospitals face a crush.
  3. Business: Coronavirus testing is a windfall. Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. World: Putin mandates face masks.