Is Mnuchin a fool or a knave?
After Trump demanded that NFL owners deal harshly with black athletes protesting police brutality, Mnuchin said the athletes should "do free speech on their own time. This is about respect for the military and first responders in the country."
Apparently Mnuchin will say anything to retain his power and influence in the Trump administration. He knows he'll never have anything close to this power again.
Mnuchin probably figures so what if he lies about the true consequences of the tax bills? Trump lies about them, too. So do Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Mnuchin probably assumes most of the public will never know he lied. Even those who know will soon forget. In this era of Trumpian big lies, there are no consequences for lying.
But history may not be kind to Steve Mnuchin.
Over the last century, authoritarian and fascist regimes have intentionally and systematically denigrated the truth.
The knaves who helped them are remembered in ignominy.
(Robert Reich, a former U.S. Secretary of Labor, is professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of "Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few," now available in paperback. His film "Inequality for All" is available on Amazon, DVD and On Demand, and his documentary "Saving Capitalism" is now on Netflix. His daily blog is at www.facebook.com/RBReich/.)