Everyone has been talking about Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal. But, what’s in the House Resolution and what would it mean for you?
From guaranteed employment and upgraded infrastructure to universal health care and green housing, the proposal promises the world but provides no information on what it would cost and no plan on how to pay for any of it.
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the former director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, co-authored a study that analyzed the Green New Deal. The results were astounding. While Holtz-Eakin and his co-authors say it is too early to pin down one specific number, they estimate that the Green New Deal could cost as much as $93 trillion dollars.
$93 trillion dollars. That is an absolutely insane number!
If we were to tax those making over 10 million dollars a year at 70 percent, as previously discussed by Representative Ocasio-Cortez, the federal government would bring in less than an additional $100 billion annually. In 10 years, this added revenue likely wouldn’t even be able to pay for a small portion of the Green New Deal.
In 10 years, this added revenue likely wouldn’t even be able to pay for a small portion of the Green New Deal.
So, what exactly is in the Green New Deal? Well, the 14-page resolution is jam-packed with bizarre, unrealistic passages. The claimed focus is on curbing carbon emissions, which alone would cost trillions of dollars, but there is so much more in the plan. Here are a few passages you should be aware of.
Section (2)(E) proposes that every existing building in our country be upgraded. It sounds great, but would be extremely impractical and expensive. For example, when the New York City Housing Authority changed the lightbulbs and fixtures in just 23 housing developments, it cost them $33.2 million. Upgrading the heating and hot water in these 23 developments cost them over double that number. Imagine doing this across the entire country!
- (2)(E) upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new structures to achieve maximum energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability, including through electrification;
Section (2)(H) proposes that we create a net zero emission transportation system. This means you would be saying goodbye to your Ford F-150s, your Mercedes G-Wagons, and your diesel engines. Instead, you could ride the proposed new public transit, spend more money to buy a zero-emission vehicle or take high-speed rail. Holtz-Eakin and his co-authors estimate that this will cost between $1.3 to $2.7 trillion overall, with an estimated cost per household sitting between $9,000 to $20,000. This does not seem like a reasonable proposal at all, especially coming from someone like Representative Ocasio-Cortez who already chooses Uber over the subway.
Holtz-Eakin and his co-authors estimate that this will cost between $1.3 to $2.7 trillion overall, with an estimated cost per household sitting between $9,000 to $20,000.
(2)(H) overhauling transportation systems in the United States to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible, including through investment in:
- (i) zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and manufacturing;
- (ii) clean, affordable, and accessible public transit; and
- (iii) high-speed rail;
Section (4)(H) of the resolution promises jobs for all. Not just any jobs, but jobs with paid leave, paid vacations and other perks. But, of course, this won’t come at no cost. Holtz-Eakin and his co-authors estimate that this will cost between $6.8 to $44.6 trillion overall, with an estimated cost per household sitting between $49,000 to $322,000. Would we ever be able to afford this? I highly doubt it.
(4)(H) guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States;
Section (4)(O) is what I like to call the socialism section. On top of Section (4)(H)’s guaranteed employment, Section (4)(O) vaguely proposes universal healthcare, green housing, economic security, clean resources and access to healthy food. Again, it is tough to understand what this section really proposes besides more free stuff, but there are still some cost estimates available. Holtz-Eakin and his co-authors estimate that universal healthcare will cost $36 trillion overall, with an estimated cost per household sitting at $260,000. Further, they estimate food security would cost about $1.5 billion, and green housing would cost between $1.6 trillion and $4.2 trillion. This sounds like more nonsense to me.
Holtz-Eakin and his co-authors estimate that universal healthcare will cost $36 trillion overall, with an estimated cost per household sitting at $260,000.
(4)(O) providing all people of the United States with:
- (i) high-quality health care;
- (ii) affordable, safe, and adequate housing;
- (iii) economic security; and
- (iv) clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and access to nature.
The Green New Deal will not work
Clearly, the Green New Deal is unrealistic, unaffordable and simply would never work. Yet, Democrats continue to embrace this foolish proposition with little to no regard for the disastrous economic effect it would have on our country and our lives.
Not only do they have no plan to pay for this, but they also don’t even have a plan to implement this. They have no plan to grow and deliver food without fossil fuels. They have no plan to go about upgrading “all existing buildings.” They basically have no plans at all and have abandoned common sense in exchange for attention.
The Green New Deal is simply ridiculous. Even if you have an intense interest in energy policy and curbing carbon emissions, it is clear that this is not the plan you have been waiting for. In fact, it would not even be effective in serving its own claimed core purpose.
The United States is just one of many countries in the world, which means we only emit a fraction of carbon emissions. What about China? What about India? What about Japan?
Just say no to the Green New Deal. Remember, Congress works for us. We don’t have to support them when radical, unaffordable proposals are brought to the table. Instead, let’s continue to push for real, tangible, affordable and efficient changes to make our lives easier and to make America a better place.