Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-MA) recently unveiled something called the “Green New Deal.” Republicans, and even some liberals, immediately mocked the proposal as delusional pie-in-the-sky stuff. Being a skeptic, however, I wanted to look at the details myself before making up my mind.
Sadly, the right wingers were correct – not sadly that they were right, but sadly that the proposals are so far left that it’s scary sad. The thing is nothing but a blueprint on how to transition America from capitalism to communism.
Even left-wing Politico called it a catch-all leftwing wish list:
“But by converting the Green New Deal into a catch-all left-wing wish list, its supporters are undermining their argument that climate is a unique emergency… This is why even liberals in the Democratic establishment are growing suspicious that the Green New Deal is less about transforming a fossil-fueled economy than it is about transforming a center-left party.”
Yet, a number of Democrat presidential candidates, including Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders, have endorsed the “Green New Deal.”
With that, here are the eight wackiest ideas proposed in the Green New Deal:
1. Eliminate Air Travel
GND calls for building out “highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary.” Good luck Hawaii! California’s high-speed boondoggle is already in $100 billion dollars of debt, and looks to be one of the state’s biggest fiscal disasters ever.
Amtrak runs billions of dollars in the red (though, as we’ll see, trains that run on fossil fuels will also be phased out). Imagine growing that business model out to every state in America?
– The Federalist
2. Eliminate 99% of Cars
There’s not a lot of details or policy substance into how they want to accomplish these goals, but essentially that’s what people took it as is that 92% of our transportation needs are met through petroleum products.
If you want to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions you are essentially banning the internal combustion engine and transitioning to electric vehicles, high-speed rail, all of these things that are economically costly right now and will be for a very long time.
The reason that 92% of our transportation needs are met through petroleum products is because they’re affordable and reliable. Charging stations for electric vehicles will be built “everywhere,” though how power plants will provide the energy needed to charge them is a mystery.
– Heritage Foundation
3. Ban All Affordable Energy
The resolution aims to accomplish its ambitious goals by eliminating virtually all fossil fuels from U.S. electricity generation within 10 years. That would destroy at least 3.4 million jobs in the oil, natural gas and coal industries.
The radical plan would replace fossil fuels by building hundreds or even thousands of costly new renewable energy facilities across the country. It also calls for building high-speed rail and eliminating as many gasoline-powered vehicles “as is technologically feasible.”
All this would hit American families and businesses hard in the wallet – not just with increased taxes to fund the Green New Deal but with dramatically higher prices of much of what we buy.
Renewable energy sources like wind and solar power are two to five times more expensive than existing conventional energy sources like natural gas.
Forcing Americans to ditch their perfectly good gasoline-powered vehicles and pay far more than they do now to provide power their vehicles and homes could cost families billions of dollars each year, harming low-income families the most.
– FOX News
4. Rebuild Every Building in America
The bill, the details of which were reported by NPR Thursday morning, is a mishmash of world-saving platitudes, wishful thinking, and downright absurd policy proposals. For example, it calls for upgrading or replacing every single building in the country over a 10-year period to make them more environmentally friendly. This is a real thing included in a real bill championed by real members of the most powerful deliberative body in the world.
The “Green New Deal” should “be accomplished through a 10-year national mobilization that will require,” among other things, “upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximal energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability, including through electrification,” the nonbinding resolution states.
This is not a realistic ask. Not even close.
This is like that scene in “Casino,” where Robert De Niro’s character demands that his cooks put an “ equal amount of blueberries in each muffin,” until they have exactly the correct ratio of blueberry-to-muffin. And like the cook who stares blankly at De Niro and asks, “Do you know how long that’s going to take?”, it’s impossible to read page seven of the “Green New Deal” and not ask, “Do you know how expensive that’s going to be?”
– Washington Examiner
5. Ban Cow Farts and Eventually Meat
President Donald Trump says progressives want to take away your burger. He’s not exactly wrong.
While the Green New Deal and its proponents don’t call for mass cow culls, their goal to reach zero emissions by 2030 includes dealing with factory farms. Agriculture is responsible for one-quarter of global greenhouse gas pollution — with burping and flatulent cattle creating a big chunk. If they want to keep eating meat, the New Dealers say Americans will have to rethink how it gets on their plate and what it costs.
The expansive environmental program backed by about 100 Democrats and championed by congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey envisions financing for smaller-scale and sustainable farming, where the government would offer benefits for reducing their carbon footprint. That could mean choosing poultry over beef, or cutting waste.
Incentives are the “carrot” farmers need to change production, but the proposed legislation doesn’t include carbon pricing that activists and economists see as necessary to curb climate change.
6. Guaranteed Income (Even to Those Unwilling to Work)
The Green New Deal that Democrats proposed Thursday looks to create a more environmentally sound country with economic benefits for everyone — even those who don’t want to work.
An overview circulated by proponents states the plan seeks a “massive transformation of our society” that could rid the country of fossil fuels and “create millions of family supporting-wage [sic] union jobs.”
But for those not interested in working, there’s something in the plan as well.
7. Guaranteed Job (to Those Willing to Work)
Guarantee “a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States.”
That last provision is one of the many landmines in the Green New Deal that its authors either never thought through or, worse, included intentionally to subvert the national economy. We can start by noting that Social Security will now be paid out based not on how much you contributed, but on how much you need to feel “secure.” But there’s an even worse explosion waiting to happen:
If everyone is guaranteed a job with a “family-sustaining wage,” then workers in the future will be paid not based on the quality of their work or the value of their job, but on the size of their family. Obviously, a family of 10 needs more money to be sustained than a family of two. Plus, how do we guarantee “family-sustaining wages” to both parents in a working family?
Is the intention to return families to the one-breadwinner model since each worker by definition will be able to provide for their family with a single income? Or will the two workers in a couple have to accept half wages because they are sharing responsibility for sustaining the family?
– Real Clear Politics
8. Socialized Medicine
Still, what is most shocking about the Green New Deal is a number of socialist wish-list items that have nothing to do with climate change. Don’t want to work but still want to live a cushy lifestyle? No problem. The Green New Deal has you covered. It promises “economic security” even for those “unwilling to work.” Yes, not those unable to work, but those unwilling to do so. Also on the menu: free higher education and trade school tuition. And Ocasio-Cortez didn’t forget to include universal basic income and health care as well.
It is impressive to see how many socialist freebies made it into a single document. As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) recently stated, the Green New Deal has all the components for “a good old-fashioned, state-planned economy” and is “garden variety 20th century socialism.”
All of this goes to show that the Green New Deal is less about curbing climate change than it is about advancing a radical socialist agenda.
– The Hill