Green New Deal Falls Flat | Citizens Against Government Waste
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Green New Deal Falls Flat

The WasteWatcher is the staff blog of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW). For questions, contact blog@cagw.org.


In an effort to fight climate change, freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced this week a framework they call a "Green New Deal.”  Saying that this plan is overly ambitious is an understatement. 

The proposal calls for “a sustainable, pollution and greenhouse gas free, food system” that “expands independent family farming.”  The blueprint doesn't explain how much additional land would be needed for an expansion of less-intensive family agriculture, but it raises the specter of government land grabbing using eminent domain.  The 2014 American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau found that 20% of people in the U.S. live in apartments.  Where would these people grow food?

For a plan that supposedly aims to create jobs and boost the economy, the Green New Deal would destroy many industries within the United States.

The proposal, released on Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s website, was originally published with a FAQ page that acknowledged the difficulty of achieving a 'zero emissions' society in just 10 years, “because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast.”

The phrase “farting cows” was removed from the FAQ page and replaced with the language “emissions from cows” which was then also deleted later that same day.

Language notwithstanding, the FAQ page made clear that the Green New Deal would erase cattle from the American landscape.  This would end production of milk, ice cream, cheese, and beef in the United States. America is home to approximately 100 million cows.  Would they all be slaughtered under the Green New Deal?

The Green New Deal would also outlaw air travel, so if you want to eat a hamburger on an airplane, you may eventually have to take a boat to Europe.

Under the blueprint, Congress would have to find money to: “build charging stations everywhere, build out highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary, create affordable public transit available to all, with [a] goal to replace every combustion-engine vehicle.”

How would Congress pay for all this?  A carbon tax would certainly be on the table, but that would only be a drop in the bucket for the kind of money this overly ambitious plan would cost.

Regarding payment for these endeavors, the authors of the Green New Deal write: “The Federal Reserve can extend credit to power these projects and investments and new public banks can be created to extend credit.”  The creation of new lines of credit in banks that don't yet exist would certainly devalue America's currency abroad. Here at home, inflation resulting from all of that new printed money would make retirement pensions worthless.  The Green New Deal could potentially be catastrophic for older people.  

The Green New Deal has been attacked by Republicans and Democrats alike.  The proposal doesn’t include a final price tag or many specifics at all.

Asked about the framework on Wednesday in an interview with Politico, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-C.A.) said, "It will be one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive. The green dream, or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they're for it, right?"

“In place of detail it offers optimism,” New York Magazine complained.

“This is what massive government overreach looks like,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said.

While the outline is short on specifics, it notes that the Green New Deal aims to provide “economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work.”

Though the blueprint is patterned on President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, which tried to rescue the country from the Great Depression, FDR’s plan did not include a provision for those willingly unemployed.

The Green New Deal is hardly a realistic proposal, but it does demonstrate how much control Democratic Socialists wish to wield over the U.S. economy.  The plan recommends a government takeover of the energy, transportation, and agriculture industries.  I have no doubt that the Green New Deal is a utopian dream for socialists like Rep. Ocasio-Cortez.  For the rest of us, it’s a nightmare.

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