If we have Bernie Sanders to blame for turning democratic socialism into the new hot thing in American politics, we may be able to credit Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with destroying it. Every time this young Democrat gets in front of the cameras, it’s a trainwreck. She would have more hope of turning into the next big star of the left if she would just keep her mouth shut and keep the story focused on what kind of lipstick she wears. Because when she gets going about socialism and economics and immigration and, lord help us, Israel, she quickly reveals that there’s not a lot going on under the hood.
Ocasio-Cortez, mind you, is not going up against the heavy hitters on Fox News. She’s not getting called out on the carpet by Rush Limbaugh or Ben Shapiro. She’s going on friendly talk shows like PBS’ Firing Line and The Daily Show on Comedy Central. And even in those controlled environments, this young women can’t hide her ignorance. Plain and simple: If you’re a left-wing politician who can’t come away from an interview with Trevor Noah shining like the Hope Diamond, there may be no hope for your career.
On Thursday night, Ocasio-Cortez appeared on the show, where she was asked by Noah how she would pay for her socialist agenda, which includes free college, free housing for the poor, and universal free healthcare.
“If people pay their fair share – if corporations and the ultra-wealthy, for example, as Warren Buffet likes to say, if he pays as much as his secretary paid, a 15 percent tax rate, if corporations paid, if we reverse the tax bill, raised our corporate tax rate to 28 percent– which is not even as high as it was before — if we do those two things and also close some of those loopholes, that’s $2 trillion right there,” she said. “That’s $2 trillion in ten years.”
There’s a lot of nonsense there to unwrap; to someone who actually knows what they’re talking about, this answer is nearly as bad as her catastrophic idiocy about the “occupied” Palestinians. Reverse the tax bill? That’s going to pay for universal healthcare? Are you nuts? Even if we take all of this at face value, including her estimate of raising $2 trillion in ten years – an estimate that pretends that hiking the corporate tax rate to 28% won’t have a deleterious effect on the economy – then we’re still well short of what we would need to make these socialist dreams come true. Providing Medicare to every U.S. citizen, all by itself, would create a tax burden of nearly $1.5 trillion a year.
“If we implement a carbon tax on top of that, so that we can transition and incentivize people away from fossil fuels, if we implement a carbon tax, that’s an additional amount of a large amount of revenue that we can have,” she continued. “Just last year we gave the military a $700 billion budget increase, which they didn’t even ask for! They’re like, ‘We don’t want another fighter jet!’ They’re like, ‘Don’t give us another nuclear bomb!’ you know?”
Er, no. We don’t know.
And quite clearly, Alexandria, neither do you.