“On the upper end, every American household would have to pay $65,000 per year to foot the bill.”
A common criticism that shadows Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s various economic proposals – like the Green New Deal, for example – deals with how the freshman congresswoman intends to fund her ambitious reforms. Many, especially on the right, would argue that she has yet to provide much in the way of a substantively satisfactory answer to that question.
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The New York Democrat’s breezy skirting of the full financial implications of her ambitious plan might be a wise tactical move considering recent news. According to a new study by the American Action Forum, which is only a partial accounting, the Green New Deal comes with an astronomical price tag.
While the American Action Forum was unable to calculate estimates for every single proposal offered in the plan, the numbers it did provide were illuminating. The plan would cost up to $94.4 trillion, or more than $600,000 per household in the United States, the study’s researchers found. Broken down annually, the study’s researchers estimate each American household would be on the hook for between $36,100 and $65,300 per year.
Unsurprisingly, Republican leaders were quick to seize on the study while blasting the plan as unrealistic.
“The American Action Forum’s analysis shows that the Green New Deal would bankrupt the nation,” Republican Sen. John Barrasso told The Washington Free Beacon.
“On the upper end, every American household would have to pay $65,000 per year to foot the bill,” he said. “The total price tag would be $93 trillion over 10 years. That is roughly four times the value of all Fortune 500 companies combined. That’s no deal.”
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Although Ocasio-Cortez has challenged the Green New Deal’s critics to propose an alternative, Barraso said that the solution is to focus on more feasible goals.
“Instead, we should promote innovation to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Promising new technologies like advanced nuclear power, carbon capture, and carbon utilization hold the key to significant emissions reductions,” he said. “We can lower our emissions without crashing our economy.”
With the 2020 election approaching, many Democratic presidential hopefuls have thrown their support behind the plan, downplaying the costs in the process. Sen. Kamala Harris of California called the Green New Deal “practical” in an interview with CNN that aired Sunday.
Earlier this month during a campaign stop in Iowa, New Jersey Sen. Corey Booker compared the much-hyped Green New Deal plan to going to the moon and defeating Nazis. “There’s a lot of people now going back on the Green New Deal, they’re like: ‘Oh it’s impractical, oh it’s too expensive, oh it’s all of this,’” Booker said.
“If we used to govern our dreams that way, we would have never gone to the Moon. ‘God, that’s impractical. See that ball in the sky? That’s impractical’,” he added.
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- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wipes away a tear during an appearance in Washington, DC, on Feb. 7, 2019.: Screen grab from YouTube