Democratic socialist it girl Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is upset no one is taking her and her $42 trillion plan to overhaul the nation seriously – except those who think you can really get something for nothing. Ocasio-Cortez is so perturbed by the paucity of respect for her ideas that she has resorted to playing the victim card, suggesting that it is sexism that is leading to her political demise.
This was on recent display after Ben Shapiro, editor-in-chief of The Daily Wire, offered to donate $10,000 to her congressional campaign or a charity of her choice if she accepted a debate on his “Sunday Special” series. Ocasio-Cortez likened wanting to debate a political candidate to “catcalling.”
Soon afterwards, she suggested that you shouldn’t criticize her because this is her first political campaign, incorrectly adding that Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) was immune from criticism for using a snowball as evidence to disprove climate change.
First, it is ridiculous to cry sexism when you are partaking in the political arena espousing your ideology. Shapiro never lambasted Ocasio-Cortez because she is a woman, but because she has terrible ideas. Second, when you’re proposing to spend trillions, your schemes should come under scrutiny.
Remember, this isn’t high school or college where you are shielded from the real world and given participation trophies just because you tried. This is the ugly world of politics.
‘Unlimited Blank Checks’
Speaking in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Ocasio-Cortez slammed her Republican critics for suggesting that the U.S. can’t afford her policies, but the country can afford “unlimited blank checks for war” and tax cuts. She thinks it is absurd that the government’s “pockets are only empty when it comes to education and healthcare for our kids.”
These are empty platitudes that fail to answer the simple question: How can you pay for free stuff? But let’s take the bait for a moment.
While it is true that many members of the Republican Party seem desperate to go to war, the Democrats have been just as keen over the years. The Democrats voted for the Iraq War, former President Barack Obama invaded Libya, and the left is itching for military conflict with Russia – the anti-war left is non-existent. Moreover, no matter how odious these foreign adventures have been, the price-tags of these wars, regime changes, and foreign meddling have been less than entitlement spending.
Now, as LN has recently noted, the government does not pay for tax cuts. When politicians approve of lowering taxes, they are merely agreeing to give people more of their money back. The government does not have any money of its own and it does not control your wealth, so it is a meretricious argument.
The government’s pockets are empty, whether it is for occupying a foreign land or introducing another welfare benefit. The U.S. cannot even afford its current obligations, let alone any future entitlements. With a $22 trillion national debt, $1 trillion budget deficit, $120 trillion in unfunded liabilities and expenditures, and annual interest payments nearing $1 trillion, how could the government spend more?
The U.S. is broke.
Crunching the Numbers
Socialists, even of the democratic socialist variety, are often vague about details.
Sure, they are the first ones to hop onto the soapbox and wail about free healthcare, free tuition, free internet, free housing, free money, and every other goody found in Santa Claus’s red bag being a human right. But when you ask for a cost estimate, you get a shrug – or an accusation of sexism or racism.
Ocasio-Cortez has been pretty much the same since rising to national stardom this summer.
Because she has failed to present the numbers, others have been doing it for her. One in-depth study was completed by Brian Reidl, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a reporter for Vox Media, who estimated that the democratic socialist agenda would cost $42 trillion.
Here are Reidl’s specific findings:
- $30 trillion for a single-payer healthcare system.
- $6.8 trillion for guaranteed government jobs.
- $8 trillion for free tuition.
- $1 trillion for infrastructure spending.
- $1.4 trillion for paying off student loan debt.
In total, by 2048, the U.S. government would maintain a baseline deficit of $84 trillion to ensure $218 trillion in new programs are implemented.
How do you pay for this?
Well, democratic socialists want to eliminate defense spending, but that would only take care of approximately $600 billion – let’s say $1 trillion for all the waste, like being a member of NATO, subsidizing other militaries, and overthrowing democratically elected governments.
You could confiscate 100% of all corporate profits, household income, and business revenues. You could institute a national sales tax. You could triple payroll taxes. You could slap tariffs on all imports. Yet, it still wouldn’t be enough to cover the tab of free stuff because people would stop working and private enterprise would cease operating since the incentive is gone – just imagine how much capital would flee the country if Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) had their way.
In fact, you could steal all the money from every American billionaire, and it would only be enough to keep the doors of Congress open for a few months. Again, it is important to point out that officials are having a difficult time to pay for the current system of entitlements, causing the country to borrow from China, print the money, and sell record amounts of Treasuries.
So, realistically speaking, the U.S. could never afford socialism even if it wanted to.
Not Real Socialism
Should the U.S. transform into Ocasio-Cortez’s dream and then metastasize into Milton Friedman’s nightmare a couple of years later, you’d likely have socialists griping that it’s not real socialism. This has been the case for socialists for years: every time a nation adopts socialism – the nationalization of industry, the implementation of price and production quotas, and the introduction of a massive welfare state – and it falls, the left whines that it would have worked only if they implemented it correctly.
This is a far cry from the capitalist system. Every time a regressive nation adopts even trinkets of the free enterprise system, it instantaneously experiences small pockets of modest prosperity.
Ocasio-Cortez claims she knows better than you because she has degrees in economics and international politics. Like her ignorance on issues in the Middle East, her piece of paper from Boston University can’t even allow her to perform basic arithmetic. And this is the future of American politics? Perhaps Idiocracy had it right all along.