Office of Management & Budget Director Mick Mulvaney gave an intricate and often eccentric explanation of redundancy and overlap in federal bureaucracy in a presentation that stunned the president and the press.

"I call this the 'drain the swamp' cabinet meeting," Mulvaney said, adding that it has been about 100 years since the federal government was reorganized at this scale.

He criticized the "Byzantine nature" by which the government regulates, creating headaches for business owners, employees and taxpayers.

"If you have a cheese pizza, it's governed by the Food & Drug Administration. If you put a pepperoni on it, it's governed by the [Department of Agriculture]," he said.

"If you have a [live] chicken, it's governed by the USDA. If that chicken lays an egg, it's governed by the FDA, but if you break the egg and make an omelette, that's again governed by the USDA."

He said that a hot dog is regulated simultaneously by two government agencies and said that one of the most intricate and "bizarre" cases of regulations involves saltwater fish.

Mulvaney said that a salmon in the ocean is governed by the Department of Commerce, but that when the salmon is swimming upstream into freshwater where it breeds, it is governed by Ryan Zinke and the Department of the Interior. 

On its way to the breeding grounds, it encounters a fish ladder -- a device used to help fish navigate waterfalls and other impediments -- that is governed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


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Mulvaney said government regulations as they exist are often "stupid" or "make no sense."

President Trump then interjected: "That was incredibly said. I think you should put that on television, not what I said [previously]."

Mulvaney said the examples he gave were just a few of the impediments faced by small businesses trying to operate in compliance with the government.

He said that is part of the reason the Departments of Education and Labor should be merged.

"They're all doing the same thing," he said, noting that both "try to get people ready for the workforce."

He added that there are "horror stories" from the Army Corps of Engineers because of the overlaps they have with the Interior, Transportation and Defense Departments.

Watch more above.


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