Ocasio-Cortez making ‘green deal’ a 2020 litmus test

By Art Moore

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Mic video screenshot)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Mic video screenshot)

Any establishment Democrat thinking about entering the 2020 presidential race could face an awkward checkpoint on the path to the party’s nomination.

The radical, socialist policies bandied about by populist star Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., now have been codified in the form of a House resolution, co-sponsored with Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass.

Though the “Green New Deal” has no chance of passing, Ocasio-Cortez and her allies are mobilizing a campaign to get House Democrats and 2020 presidential candidates to sign onto it, reports Vox.com.

They’re looking not for “vague platitudes of support,” but for wholehearted promotion of specific proposals, including a government-guaranteed job for all, a basic universal income, Medicare-for-all, phasing out air travel in the next 10 years, rebuilding every building in the country and targeting cow flatulence.

“Once this resolution is announced, there will be a really clear litmus test for what they support,” said Stephen O’Hanlon, spokesman for climate activist group Sunrise Movement, which held a sit-in outside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.

Pelosi indicated her lack of enthusiasm for Ocasio-Cortez’s proposals by not appointing her to a new select committee on climate change that includes three of the Bronx congresswoman’s freshmen colleagues.

At her weekly press conference Thursday, she deflected two questions about her response to the proposal to remodel every building in the United States.

“I haven’t seen it,” she said before ending the conference.

‘Massive government intervention’

In an interview with NPR, Ocasio-Cortez admitted the drastic measures to counteract climate change would amount to a “massive government intervention” into Americans’ lives.

NPR’s Steve Inskeep asked if she is prepared to acknowledge that conservatives are “right” in saying her plan requires “massive government intervention.”

“It does, it does, yeah, I have no problem saying that,” Ocasio-Cortez quickly replied. “Why? Because we have tried their approach for 40 years. For 40 years we have tried to let the private sector take care of this. They said, ‘We got this, we can do this, the forces of the market are going to force us to innovate.'”

Inskeep observed the plan is “certainly a lot of money,” and she doesn’t “specify where it’s going to come from other than saying it will all pay for itself.”

“Yeah, I think the first move we need to do is kind of break the mistaken idea that taxes pay for 100 percent of government expenditure,” she replied.

“It’s just not how government expenditure works. We can recoup costs, but oftentimes you look at, for example, the GOP tax cut which I think was an irresponsible use of government expenditure, but government projects are often financed by a combination of taxes, deficit spending and other kinds of investments, you know, bonds and so on.”

Inskeep pointed out that “deficit spending is borrowing money that has to be paid back eventually through taxes.”

“Yeah, and I think — I think that is always the crux of it,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “So when we decide to go into the realm of deficit spending, we have to do so responsibly. We ask is this an investment or is this actually going to pay for itself?”

Leave a Comment