by Naomi Lim
Possible independent presidential candidate and Democratic spoiler Howard Schultz on Tuesday dumped on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ “Green New Deal,” warning it would be “immoral” to spend trillions of dollars on an “unrealistic” solution.
The billionaire former Starbucks CEO and executive chairman urged Democrats to be “truthful” about their environmental initiatives rather than just throwing policies “against the wall because it’s a good slogan.”
“I read that by 2030 they’re suggesting that every building in America becomes clean energy, conforms to clean energy, just to put that in perspective, because it’s not realistic, that would mean that between 2,000 and 3,000 buildings a day would have to be reconstructed to conform to what they’re saying,” Schultz said. “So let’s be sensible about what we’re suggesting,”
Schultz’ comments are likely to further raise tensions between him and Democrats running against Trump. Several Democrats have said Schultz’ candidacy would only split the anti-Trump vote and help Trump win re-election in 2020.
Schultz pledged that he would drop out if it becomes clear he can’t win and that his campaign is only helping Trump, but said it’s too early to make that assessment. In the meantime, he also criticized the “Green New Deal’s” employment guarantee provision.
“I don’t understand how you’re going to give a job for everybody, how you’re going to give free college to everybody, how you’re going to create clean energy throughout the country in every building of the land,” he said. “I think it’s immoral to suggest that we can tally up $20, $30, $40, $50 trillion of debt to solve a problem that could be solved in a different way.”
Schultz also scrutinized talk among Democrats about hiking the marginal tax rate on the country’s richest people to 70 percent as “punitive.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Tuesday capitalized on what has quickly become a wedge issue for Democrats by vowing to bring up the “Green New Deal” resolution for a vote in the Senate, a move that forces some Democrats to take a position on the controversial measure. The proposal outlines massive public investments in clean energy infrastructure, including a federal job guarantee to anybody seeking work during the transition to 100 percent renewable energy across all sectors by 2030.