There’s been a lot of talk about The Green New Deal. Beyond the headlines, what is it really? Given our energy needs, is it practical? Can we have an abundance of energy and a clean planet? Alex Epstein, the author of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, considers these questions and has thought-provoking answers.
There’s never been a more economically destructive, job-killing, environmentally harmful, costly and impractical proposal that has drawn so much support from members of Congress and White House hopefuls.
Not only is the Green New Deal impossible to achieve. Just trying to accomplish its absurd and harmful goals could send our nation into another Great Depression, throw millions of Americans out of work, and turn the American Dream into a nightmare.
Below are four important parts of the Green New Deal you probably haven’t heard about.
1. Green New Deal leadership should be “inclusive,” except for white men.
According to the resolution, Green New Deal legislation should ensure “the use of democratic and participatory processes that are inclusive of and led by frontline and vulnerable communities and workers to plan, implement, and administer the Green New Deal mobilization at the local level.”
Elsewhere in the resolution, “frontline and vulnerable communities” are defined as those belonging to “indigenous communities, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth.”
In other words, everyone should be involved in Green New Deal leadership except for able-bodied white men who are middle-class or wealthy. This racist and sexist provision is particularly strange considering that one of the primary co-authors of the resolution, Sen. Markey, is a wealthy white man.
2. The Green New Deal’s cost is so high that no amount of taxation could ever pay for it.
Neither the Green New Deal resolution nor the FAQ provide an estimated total cost for the plan, but the FAQ does state that the proposal would be so expensive that it would be impossible for private individuals and businesses to pay for it – even if every company and billionaire were to “pour all the resources at their disposal into this investment.”
3. How will Democrats pay for the Green New Deal? Print trillions of dollars.
In many news stories about the Green New Deal, reporters have stated Ocasio-Cortez and Markey have offered no plan for paying for their proposed massive new government programs. However, in the FAQ and in a separate Green New Deal draft resolution released in 2018 by Ocasio-Cortez, it was made clear that Democrats suggest running up the national debt by trillions of dollars and printing money to pay for these socialist policies.
In the FAQ – under a heading titled “How will you pay for it?” – Ocasio-Cortez’s team wrote: “The same way we paid for the New Deal, the 2008 bank bailout and extended quantitative easing programs. The same way we paid for World War II and all our current wars. The Federal Reserve can extend credit to power these projects and investments and new public banks can be created to extend credit.”
Creating new public banks, printing money, and running up America’s debt by tens of trillions of dollars would have disastrous long-term effects. Not only would it rapidly increase inflation, potentially forcing officials to raise interest rates to combat the inflation, it would also significantly increase the proportion of the federal budget consumed by payments made to service the debt.
The current national debt is now $22 trillion, and federal debt payments for fiscal year 2019 are expected to be $364 billion. Even without the Green New Deal, interest payments are estimated to become the second-largest budget expenditure by 2028, costing $761 billion.
If Congress were to pass the Green New Deal, Americans would likely be forced to spend more than $1 trillion per year on interest payments by 2028, making it almost impossible to pay for numerous important government programs without destroying the value of our currency (and the economy, by extension) by printing trillions of new dollars every year.
4. Promising tuition-free college for millions of students.
In Ocasio-Cortez’s 2018 draft resolution and in Democrats’ prior statements about the Green New Deal, there’s been no mention of a universal, tuition-free college program.
However, the newly released nonbinding Green New Deal resolution promises to provide “resources, training, and high-quality education, including higher education, to all people of the United States, with a focus on frontline and vulnerable communities, so those communities may be full and equal participants in the Green New Deal mobilization.”
There are about 13.3 million students currently attending a four-year college, and the average tuition for a public institution of higher education is about $10,000.
If the government were to pick up the tab for every one of these students, the total annual cost would be a whopping $133 billion, or $1.3 trillion over the first 10 years – and that doesn’t include costs for the 6.7 million students attending two-year colleges or the other training programs promised by the Green New Deal.
These socialistic proposals stem from the same Marxist ideology that has, along with the huge national debts they have incurred, decimated countries like Venezuela and the former Soviet Union.