KER Politics – Mon 11 Feb, 2019

We have to be fully informed on the ideas or plans of the Socialists in the Democratic Party.

I just finished reading this article and I felt that it was important to pass on to our “family” I say this because I believe that it is critical that we completely understand what the “other side” has in mind regard the “civil war” or extreme divisiveness that exists in our country.

ETE MAROVICH NYT file

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., at a news conference about the Green New Deal in Washington on Thursday.

Skeptics of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s promise of a Green New Deal were worried that the plan would be a Trojan Horse for unrealistic and ruinously expensive economic proposals that have little to do with stopping climate change. The unveiling of the plan gives them more reason for worry. Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal appears to take every big spending idea that has emerged on the political left in recent years and combine them into one large package deal, with little notion of how to pay for them all.

The Green New Deal as introduced to Congress is in the form of a non-binding resolution laying out a series of goals. The wording of the resolution is ambitious, but vague. More concerning are the details of an online FAQ that appeared on Ocasio-Cortez’s website but was later taken down. The FAQ contained important details that are not included in the resolution itself. On Twitter, Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, referred to the FAQ as a “bad copy,” and promised to release a revised version.

But the original FAQ may give insight into the Ocasio-Cortez camp’s true goals. And it shows that although the Green New Deal bills itself primarily as an environmental policy and jobs program, the most expensive items are enormous new entitlements paid for by unlimited deficit spending.

First, to be fair, it’s important to discuss the good ideas in the plan. The Green New Deal would retrofit all American buildings and factories to be carbon-neutral, electrify all transportation, and switch the entire electrical grid to carbon-neutral energy sources. These goals are highly ambitious, but they’re good targets. Ocasio-Cortez’s plan correctly recognizes that carbon taxes wouldn’t be enough to prompt private companies to do all these things on their own, and that large-scale government-funded infrastructure is required. Furthermore, a focus on scaling up clean energy would push the technology forward. That would help other countries – where most of the world’s carbon emissions are produced – to follow in the U.S’s footsteps.

But these environmental policies, as sweeping as they would be, wouldn’t be the most costly items on the list. Among other things, the now-removed FAQ stipulates that every American would be guaranteed the following:

1. “a job with family-sustaining wages, family and medical leave, vacations, and retirement security”

2. “high-quality education, including higher education and trade schools”

3. “high-quality health care”

4. “safe, affordable, adequate housing”

5. “economic security to all who are unable or unwilling to work”

The plan thus appears to combine a federal job guarantee, free college and single-payer health care. Depending on how one interprets the guarantee of “economic security” to all those who are “unwilling to work,” it might also include a universal basic income – something that was mentioned in an earlier Green New Deal proposal. The guarantee of universal affordable housing is, to my knowledge, new.

How much would these proposals cost? It’s hard to know. Senator Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All proposal was predicted to cost about $3.2 trillion a year. Switching to renewable energy would conservatively cost more than $400 billion annually. Even though the cost is coming down as technology improves, net-zero emissions retrofits of every building in the country would be expensive – optimistically, perhaps $88,000 for a townhouse, and presumably much more for free-standing homes. Assuming $100,000 per home, that comes to about $1.4 trillion a year over a decade. Factories, office buildings, stores, etc. would cost much more per building, but there are far fewer of them – about 5.6 million. If each one costs $500,000 to retrofit, that’s about $300 billion more per year.

For universal basic income, the cost has been estimated at $3.8 trillion a year. A narrower program that only covered, say, out of three Americans who are “unable or unwilling” to work, it would cost about $1.3 trillion. By comparison, free college would be cheap at about $47 billion a year. Affordable housing for the entire nation could cost a lot, depending on that means, but let’s ignore that for now.

So this quick, rough cost estimate – which doesn’t include all of the promises listed in the FAQ – adds up to about $6.6 trillion a year. That’s more than three times as much as the federal government collects in tax revenue, and equal to about 34 percent of the U.S.’s entire gross domestic product. And that’s assuming no cost overruns – infrastructure projects, especially in the U.S., are subject to cost bloat. Total government spending already accounts for about 38 percent of the economy, so if no other programs were cut to pay for the Green New Deal, it could mean that almost three-quarters of the economy would be spent via the government.

And all this is assuming that repurposing essentially all of the nation’s economic resources doesn’t cause any loss in economic efficiency. History and the experiences of other countries suggest that this wouldn’t be the case.

Most troubling, the Green New Deal’s FAQ sidesteps the question of how to pay for the plan. It simply links to two op-eds explaining so-called modern monetary theory, or MMT, which posits that deficits don’t matter all the much in the absence of inflation for those countries that issue their own currency.This suggests that the Green New Deal will be paid for with soaring deficits, which could be quite dangerous. The plan’s environmental spending proposals would be temporary, but the new entitlement programs would be permanent. If MMT is wrong, and if ever-expanding deficits cause runaway inflation, the result would be a devastating collapse of the nation’s economy. Hyperinflation has never happened in the U.S., but then again, neither has anything like the Green New Deal. A wholesale breakdown of the U.S. economy wouldn’t do much to arrest climate change, nor would it provide an enviable example to the rest of the world, upon whose emissions reductions the planet’s future actually depends.

So although a big push for renewable energy is needed, the Green New Deal’s vast program for economic egalitarianism could make it unworkable. Let’s hope the FAQ doesn’t represent the final version of the plan, and the sweeping proposals for economic restructuring – especially basic income – can be dropped in favor of a tighter focus on reducing carbon emissions. But if the now-deleted FAQ represents Ocasio-Cortez’s true plans, the answer to the question of “Do you support the Green New Deal?” will have to be “No.”

Noah Smith is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He was an assistant professor of finance at Stony Brook University, and he blogs at Noahpinion.


Comments:
  1. On February 11, 2019 at 2:59 pm,
    OOTB Jerry says:

    New World Order in Trouble……….Mark Taylor….
    https://usawatchdog.com/new-world-order-panicked-and-in-trouble-mark-taylor/

    • On February 11, 2019 at 3:22 pm,
      Big Al says:

      Interesting point made by Mr. Hunter;s guest.

  2. On February 11, 2019 at 3:05 pm,
    OOTB Jerry says:

    No work no eat……
    6Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. 7For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; 8Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: 9Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. 10For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. 11For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. 12Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. 13But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

    • On February 11, 2019 at 3:05 pm,
      OOTB Jerry says:

      2 Thessalonians 3..kjv

    • On February 11, 2019 at 3:34 pm,
      Big Al says:

      Pretty obvious Jerry, I just read it again. I will add however that according to the Proclamation of the Kingdom, you are commanded to, among other things, “love yiour brother. I interpret that a refering to if your brother and sister cannot work, you should take care of him//her.

      • On February 11, 2019 at 3:50 pm,
        OOTB Jerry says:

        I do not think, that is what Cortez had in mind…………..

        • On February 11, 2019 at 7:14 pm,
          Al Korelin says:

          I am pretty sure that the Man from Indiana is correct on that one!

          • On February 12, 2019 at 9:23 am,
            OOTB Jerry says:

            🙂

  3. On February 11, 2019 at 4:09 pm,
    Nigel says:

    Well to be fair she is quite blatant about what she wants to do…
    Those net-zero emissions retrofit cost suggested by the author seem to be way on the low side to me, although to be fair they are described as ‘optimistic’.
    The interesting question to me is at what point do deficits matter? It’s not as if any party is trying to balance the budget anymore, it’s just massive overspend or even more massive overspend. I guess a time will come when something just breaks the camel’s back…
    Finally, seeing this is all about a ‘green deal’ why do most people ignore the obvious point that if global population continues to grow at the current pace there is no way you can ‘save the planet’ demand for food, water and energy resources will simply outweigh supply and destroy the environment whether it’s in ten years, twenty years or fifty years. IMHO population growth is the core issue the rest is just about the speed of collapse

    • On February 11, 2019 at 7:17 pm,
      Al Korelin says:

      Very good point about population growth, Nigel.

      Being “quite blatant is a very good point to bring up because yest she certainly is. That is the mark of an idealist and that is not all bad. (The mark that is.)

  4. On February 11, 2019 at 4:54 pm,
    pardu says:

    We and the world are heading to socialism, it is the goal of one world government and the goal of the United Nations. The UN reform act of 2005 HR 2745 stated that the lofty goals of the UN reported by congressman Tom Delay were to:
    1.Prevent wars.
    2.Protect Human rights.
    3.Advance the cause of Human freedom.

    But the observed goals of the UN are really as follows and freely admitted among many in the UN:
    1.Strip the US of its gold reserves
    2.Build up the industrial capacities of other nations at the expense of the US.
    3.Remove markets from American producers.
    4.Entwine America’s affairs with those of other nations so that the US can no longer act independently.
    5.Put an end to US sovereignty and independence.
    6.Sub-merge the US in a one world government.
    7.Disarm all nations and individuals under a program of “human security”.
    8.Replace the Christian religion with “Karmic energy” radiating from the UN’s society for Enlightenment and Transformation. This includes “eschewing Biblical traditions” and building on the “Gaia Hypothesis”.

    It wasJudge Robert Bork who wrote a book on how we are “Slouching Towards Gomorrah”, which talks about liberalism and the American decline. (That is probably why they did not let him on the supreme court).

    It was the Lord in Leviticus 25:10 who told us that we were to “proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.”

    It was Thomas Jefferson who stated that “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free…it expects what never was and never will be.” (1816)

    Almost from the beginning of this nation there were two schools of thought, the Hamiltonians (concentrated power in the federal government and central banking which gives us top down control) and Jeffersonian thought (the government derives its power from the consent of the governed, or bottom up control, states are sovereign and the people are sovereign), but today the federal government says the states and we the people are not.
    They believe we are subject to the federal government.

    Chief Justice John Marshall gave us “judicial review” which means the courts only determine what the constitution says, and this led to the constitution to be twisted out of its original intent.
    The founders believed it was the people and the states and congress who were to determine what cases the courts could review. The founders never intended that the court was on equal footing in power with the other branches of government. Ultimately, it is congress and more especially the states and the people who determine these issues, hence the 10th amendment, which tells us powers not enumerated to the federal government are left to the states and the people.

    The federal government has for many decades gone well beyond its 18 enumerated powers and now controls almost every aspect of our lives. If they get their way, socialists and the so-called enlightened politicians like Bernie Sanders and Cortez will drive us under the control of the UN.

    Sorry for the long diatribe, but I agree with Big Al and others, that we are in serious trouble and need to wake up.

    • On February 11, 2019 at 7:26 pm,
      Al Korelin says:

      And, I would add one more important thing that we need to do and that is be very aware of of both the philosophy and and current actions of our opposition.

  5. On February 11, 2019 at 5:46 pm,
    OOTB Jerry says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfTBbNtYjqI
    A little history of the slave trade……that some might make you think……The Jew’s hands are not clean…

  6. On February 11, 2019 at 7:30 pm,
    Al Korelin says:

    I son’t have to think about it because I know that nobody’s hands are clean in this issue. It is important to acknowledge that slavery as wrong as it is, has been in existence for a long time. Read the Old Testament.

    • On February 11, 2019 at 8:04 pm,
      OOTB Jerry says:

      Owl……..the tape is very informative……..I did not realize the early jews were instrumental in the movement of slaves into America, as early as 1492….
      let alone, running the slave business in different ports in the early colonies….1700’s
      and a lot of the ships, that were transporting rum, and slaves were owned by jews.
      I guess, the bottom line………history in the usa, never talks about the subject of jews being the major trafficers, …and always the victim …….

      • On February 11, 2019 at 8:07 pm,
        OOTB Jerry says:

        Kind of gives the post WW2 …..Christian Judeo meaning a different slant…….
        Christians have been hood winked long enough…….jmo

      • On February 12, 2019 at 8:56 am,
        GH says:

        “always the victim”

        This is the big problem between Jews and Gentiles.

        There is no honest history, no honest accounting.

        Jews maintain that they have always (or overwhelmingly) been the innocent victims of irrational Gentile hatred (of course, nothing racist in that accusation!).

        Even without knowing history, that sounds fishy. Things are seldom one-sided, and even less seldom for 2000+ years. And then, when one DOES dig for real history, the lies they have told are flabbergasting, the abuses stunning.

        I’m sure everyday American Jews believe these lies as well, and are as unaware of real history as the rest of us. They’re subjected to even more intense indoctrination than the average American. But what they need to do for everyones’ sake, including their own, is to wake up to the hugely criminal element in their midst and help deal with them.

        • On February 12, 2019 at 9:19 am,
          OOTB Jerry says:

          Great points…………imo

        • On February 12, 2019 at 9:20 am,
          OOTB Jerry says:

          BIg Ditto………on…….. “is to wake up to the hugely criminal element in their midst and help deal with them.

    • On February 12, 2019 at 8:35 am,
      GH says:

      What is interesting about past Jewish predominance in the slave trade is that mass media and school propaganda are now very blatantly 1) provoking and maintaining racial tensions and rencor for past injustices; and 2) twisting history to pawn off all guilt on “white, Christian men”.

      And who is behind this propaganda campaign? Jews.

      And yet, to this day, Israel’s/Jews’ involvement in human trafficking for sex and organs is, as in so many fields of commerce, especially vice, highly disproportionate.

      • On February 12, 2019 at 9:22 am,
        OOTB Jerry says:

        Congress…….Like Rubiolo……is handing these guy $700plus Billion…..(hope I am correct on the number, I posted it the other day)


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