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Green New Deal Guarantees More Red Tape And Red Ink

February 14, 2019

No doubt most Americans have heard of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and her "Green New Deal" (GND).

No doubt most Americans have heard of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and her "Green New Deal" (GND). For weeks, the mainstream media has been fawning all over Ocasio-Cortez, giving her more publicity than even the most attention-starved celebrity could dream for.

Although a GND bill doesn't exist yet, Ocasio-Cortez has posted a draft text of her plan on her website. Among other things, the GND would overhaul the U.S. energy grid, eliminate all fossil fuels by 2030, require "upgrades" to every home and business building in the country, impose single-payer health care, and establish a federal jobs program that would promise a "living wage" to all Americans.

With her Green New Deal, Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, aims to institute a wide-ranging socialist agenda using the guise of a feel-good environmental policy that will supposedly stop global warming.

What Ocasio-Cortez doesn't tell people is that her GND would bring an economic apocalypse that would totally bankrupt the nation.

Green New Deal: Energy Overhaul

The primary element of the GND is a radical transformation of the U.S. energy sector. Within 10 years, it calls for the United States to be powered completely by renewable energy sources like wind and solar.

According to a 2013 study by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a conservative cost estimate to transform the U.S. energy grid to 100% renewables by 2030 would be $13 trillion, or $5,664 per household per year in increased energy bills.

Another assessment, which takes into account increased energy demand, estimates the "costs in the repowering scenario by 2030 to $4 trillion for wind generation and to more than $23 trillion for the total solar portion."

Besides the mammoth infrastructure upgrade costs, a huge increase in bureaucracy would need to oversee this colossal undertaking. At the very least, the Department of Energy's $30 billion budget and 13,000 federal workers would have to dramatically expand.

Transforming the U.S. energy grid to 100% renewable sources within a decade would destroy the U.S. economy and create a new parade of federal workers armed with a full assortment of radical regulations to enforce.

Medicare for All

A second major plank of the GND is a government takeover of the nation's health care system, a long-sought-after Democratic Party dream.

Over the decades, the U.S. government's role in the health care sector has incrementally increased. From the Department of Veterans Affairs to Medicaid, Medicare, and Obamacare — the nationalization of health care has been slow and steady. The results have been abysmal. All these programs are hopelessly over budget and besieged with low-quality and unreliable care. And Medicare for All would only take this problem to a whole new level.

According to a 2018 report by the Mercatus Center, Medicare for All would cost more than $32 trillion in its first 10 years. This figure is made all the more remarkable by the fact that America's out-of-control debt currently stands at more than $21 trillion, which has been accumulated over more than 240 years (and counting).

A 2016 study by the Center for Health and Economy found Medicare for All would "increase federal spending by $34.67 trillion between 2017 and 2026. In an alternative scenario with a more generous benefit, H&E projects an estimated increase in federal spending of $47.55 trillion between 2017 and 2026."

Obviously, the United States is not in a good financial position to implement Medicare for All.

Federal Jobs Guarantee

A third main piece of the GND aims to provide a federal jobs guarantee program that would promise a living wage to anyone who wants one, regardless of skills or qualifications.

In 2018, the Brookings Institution conducted an economic analysis of a potential federal jobs program titled "Labor Market Considerations for a National Jobs Guarantee." According to the report, a federal jobs program with a minimum wage of $15 would cost $543 billion per year.

Of course, this does not take into account the unintended consequences that such a program would produce in the private-sector employment market.

Like most things in life, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. In reality, the Green New Deal is a pipe dream that would crash the U.S. economy and usher in a new "green" Great Depression. Even if Ocasio-Cortez could somehow raise taxes to the insane level she desires — 70% on Americans making more than $10 million — this would not come even close to the whopping price tag of her Green New Deal.

Unless you desire an army of federal bureaucrats barking more orders than a drill sergeant and a mountain of debt that will sink the U.S. economy faster than a hole-riddled boat, the Green New Deal sure seems like a raw deal for Americans.

[Originally Published at Investor's Business Daily]

Article Tags
Environment
Author
Chris Talgo is editor for The Heartland Institute