Trump spuriously inflates costs of Green New Deal based on a tweet

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Trump

Trump, Mitch McConnell, and the Koch brothers couldn’t have found a more convenient means of attacking the Democrats than to point to the Green New Deal and claim it will cost the taxpayers unlimited astronomical amounts. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who co-sponsored the bill, seems to have partly replaced Hillary as their favorite nemesis.

That’s the real reason McConnell want to bring the deal to a vote while refusing to vote on expanding voting rights based on “I get to decide what we vote on.” Make no mistake: McConnell wants to force a vote on the progressive plan because he knows it will give the GOP a line of attack against Democrats, just in time for 2020. The fearmongering rallying cry of “Socialist!” will be front and center, along with the usual attacks on immigrants with brown skin.

“Democratic lawmakers are now embracing socialism! They want to replace individual rights with total government domination,” said Trump at CPAC.

Let’s be real: The GOP will do anything to avoid a serious discussion about what the majority of taxpayers really want: a serious discussion about fighting climate change and reducing health care costs. We’re done with helping out Big Pharma and Big Oil, but not Trump and not the GOP. Instead, they’ll label it socialism and continue helping out the lobbyists throwing them cash.

The White House occupant was quick to point to a premature analysis of what the Green New Deal would cost, likely based on a Tweet and by analysis funded by the Koch brothers and fossil-fuel interests.

At a rally in El Paso, Trump gave us a taste of what the 2020 campaign will be about (if he’s still in office, that is). Now all Democrats are after your car, your home, and let’s not forget: your “hamberders.”

“They want to take away your car, reduce the value of your home, and put millions of Americans out of work, spend $100 trillion, which, by the way, there’s no such thing as $100 trillion,” Trump said.

“You have to spend $100 trillion.”

We all know Trump has a tendency to exaggeration but where did this 12-digit figure come from? According to the Washington Post, the number, which Trump has started repeating at CPAC, probably came from this Tweet by Brian Riedl, a former economist for the Senate Finance Committee who advised Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio.

The numbers appear to have been derived from an analysis funded by the Koch brothers’ American Action Forum. Does anybody seriously trust the Koch brothers to come up with the cost of moving to net-zero emissions by 2030? No? We didn’t think so, but Republicans have jumped on the estimate of a deal that the authors say is “an initial foray,” a big-picture plan that is more of a rough draft than a hard-and-fast outline. There is not yet any Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate.

Politifact says the $93 trillion figure is “only about as strong as a clothespin in high wind.” They say the cost should be somewhere between $51 trillion and $93 trillion. Politico calls the figure “bogus.” The estimate is an exaggeration and it appears that works just fine for some Republicans, including Senator Joni Ernst, (R-Iowa), who really took exaggeration to a new level before the Senate.

“At $93 trillion, the Green New Deal would cost more than the entire recorded spending of the U.S. since the Constitution went into effect in 1789,” said Ernst.

It’s clear that Trump and the GOP will enjoy inflating the cost of the Green New Deal. Many will also brand it “socialist.” In the end, this is all it will take to rally the conservative base, and Republicans know it. If we’ve learned anything from watching the GOP in the Trump era, facts no longer matter to them whatsoever. Let’s face it: The Green New Deal would only seem viable to Republicans if the “green” meant more green conserved for the one percent of wealthy Americans.

Seemingly in response, Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) introduced a moderate version of future climate change legislation on Thursday. He hopes to appeal to the GOP, calling his plan “doable.” His plan, which he says is “complementary” to the Green New Deal, has a longer-range goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 instead of 2030.

Yet how can anyone seriously think there can be “comprehensive climate action” legislated with bipartisan interest if we have a POTUS who doesn’t even agree that climate change is a thing? How can we have any action on climate change whatsoever when the interests of oligarchs and oil companies are put before the interests of the people or even the planet?

The majority of Americans may want to address climate change, but unless they first address a sold-out Congress and a President in denial, can any deal on climate change become a reality? Meanwhile, the GOP under Trump has managed to place America’s deficit at a record-breaking 22 trillion, in the name of helping out the rich and ignoring climate change altogether.

See Trump attack the Green New Deal below:


Featured image: Cortez via Wikimedia Commons with Trump screenshot via YouTube