New York Post, 16 May 2020
The cost of the left’s Green New Deal is so enormous most Americans were probably never able to appreciate its true magnitude. Now, thanks to the COVID-19 crisis, maybe they can.
Last year, a study co-authored by a former head of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found the GND’s 10-year sticker price could top $93 trillion — a figure that sounds like Monopoly money.
But with America on lockdown and the economy shrinking (first quarter GDP fell nearly 5 percent and might plunge as much as 40 percent in the second), Congress has been swooping in with multitrillion-dollar rescues: $2.2 trillion in March and maybe another $1 trillion in the coming weeks.
Yet to pay for the Green New Deal, which presumed Democratic nominee Joe Biden calls a “crucial framework” for fighting climate change, Washington would have to triple those outlays — every year for a decade. (And the fiscal bloodletting wouldn’t end there.)
“The Green New Deal is clearly very expensive,” notes the American Action Forum study. Indeed, “the breadth of its proposals makes it daunting to assess.”
Plus, its expansion of “the federal government’s role in some of the most basic decisions of daily life” would “likely have a more lasting and damaging impact than its enormous price tag.”
Fact is, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other backers are basically calling for exactly the kind of economic shutdown the nation is now experiencing — only on an even larger scale.
While Americans today avoid air travel, for instance, the GND would essentially ban airplanes altogether. Gasoline cars, too. And anything else that burns fossil fuel.
Steak lovers would long for today’s virus-sparked meat shortages after the GND did away with flatulent cows.
And the tens of millions out of work thanks to the lockdown would be a pittance compared to those unemployed under the AOC plan, which offers “economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work,” a fact sheet unveiled with it said.
The loss of freedoms under the GND would also surpass those lost under social distancing, as bureaucrats dictated how you lived, ate, traveled and worked.
Indeed, the sacrifices would have to be greater than now because even with the global economic shutdown, carbon emissions are projected to fall only 6 percent, while some analysts believe they need to drop close to 8 percent to beat climate change.
Advocates see the emissions dip as a bright side to the pandemic: “This is what ‘rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society’ looks like,” tweeted noted climate activist Eric Holthaus. “We’re doing it. It’s possible!”
Actually, it’s hard to see any bright side to the outbreak, but it does offer a useful taste of life under the GND — not one many Americans would care for.