Another day, another basic question flubbed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Last month she was asked how she’d pay for the wide array of programs she’s pushing for, including Medicare for all, a Federal jobs guarantee, paid family leave, free college, among others, on The Daily Show. She responded with some ideas for taxing the rich and cutting defense spending that would raise revenue by about $300-400 billion a year.
Unfortunately for her, just three of her main ideas (Medicare for all, free public college, and a jobs guarantee) would cost at least $1.56 trillion per year, at an absolute minimum. I say “absolute minimum” because the cost estimate for Medicare for all assumes that all medical professionals would work for half as much money, and the “free college” estimates assume that free college wouldn’t increase demand for college. Obviously, these are unrealistic assumptions.
And given that we’re already running a $1 trillion deficit without her programs, it would nearly require doubling taxes to pay for everything she wants (and not run a deficit). Luckily for Cortez, she didn’t receive any push-back on the Daily Show.
She was asked the same question again yesterday, this time on the popular left-wing podcast “Pod Save America.” She was prompted by the host stating that “We don’t talk about what defense costs; we’re about to hit a trillion dollars in debt because of the corporate tax cuts; yet when we talk about pre-K, healthcare, college, suddenly it’s unrealistic because of the cost. And it’s not just bad faith Republicans that make that argument; you hear it from Democrats as well. What’s your response to that?”
Cortez replied, “Well, I think it’s the exact same thing.” She continued, “It’s that we… you know they say, ‘How are you going to pay for it?’ as though they haven’t used those same ways to pay for unlimited wars, to pay for trillion dollar tax cuts and tax cut extensions. They use these mechanisms to pay for these things all the time.” It’s unclear what “mechanisms” she’s talking about. “They only want to know — it just seems like their pockets are empty when we’re talking about education and investing in human capital in the United States: education, healthcare, housing, and investing in the middle class,” she then rambled on.
She concluded “All of a sudden, there’s nothing left. All of a sudden the wealthiest nation in the world, we’re just totally scarce. We have complete scarcity when it comes to the things that are the most important.”
Did you hear an answer to the question in that response? I didn’t think so either.
— Pod Save America (@PodSaveAmerica) August 7, 2018
It’s unclear why Pod Save America themselves decided to highlight that clip on their Twitter because she doesn’t answer the question they claim she does. Rather, she just rambles on incoherently.
Consider that this is a clip Pod shared because they thought it would make Ocasio look good.https://t.co/khjagElDk4
— Holden (@Holden114) August 8, 2018
Responded but never answered the question
— Bobby VanSistine (@BVan87) August 7, 2018
the first of you doesnt know how she plans to pay for it (*cough cough* socialism….like….yano by taxes on richer > poorer). And the latter of you honestly thinks regular ppl will get an 80% tax rate…. good god man.
— Normy Daniels (@SalTyhunneds) August 7, 2018
But… you want to spend OUR money to pay for this stuff, @Ocasio2018.
Don't you think you should answer the question about how to pay for it?
Or can you not answer? https://t.co/QNx4XebRX7
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) August 7, 2018
If Cortez were to answer the question truthfully, she’d have to admit that financing the programs she wants is impossible without the kind of taxation present in Scandinavia (which does fund many of those programs Cortez wants). I suppose she’s aware that “tax the rich” sounds better as a candidate than “I’m going to raise taxes on everyone to at least 60 percent.”