The Green New Deal (GND), the brainchild of democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, fell flat on its face on March 26th, failing a non-binding resolution vote. The vote tallied 57 against and 42 “present” votes, with no votes in support.
With all the hype over the GND, one would have expected it to pass— in spite of its economic illiteracy. However, the cold dead hand of reality quickly reminded everyone just how impossible, radical, and immoral this plan is.
Across the board, 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls, be it Beto, Kamala Harris or Bernie Sanders, have pledged their support for the Green New Deal. Senator Sanders tweeted, “I am proud to be an original co-sponsor of the Green New Deal proposal. We must address the existential crisis of planetary climate change.” Not to be outdone Kamala Harris, speaking on C-SPAN, said “We have to have goals. It’s a resolution that requires us to have goals and think about what we can achieve and put metrics on it.”
So what changed? Democrats from all corners of the party loudly pledged their support, some likening climate change to WWII. When the time came to vote, even the GND’s most ardent supporters understood that this plan is not only starkly radical, but would be a death sentence to the US economy, and our status as a world superpower.
The proclaimed goal of the Green New Deal was “a 10-year plan to mobilize every aspect of American society at a scale not seen since World War II to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and create economic prosperity for all.” Among the desired results of the GND would be to tear down or retrofit all buildings in the US to become clean energy friendly. Gas powered vehicles and planes will be replaced by high speed trains and they will “plant a lot of trees.” The US will, within a 10 year period, transition fully from fossil fuels and nuclear energy to 100% clean, renewable energy in the form of hydroelectric, wind, and solar power. Not only will it radically restructure every sector of the economy, but the GND also builds on FDR’s second bill of rights, calling for guaranteed basic income, healthcare, food, and “access to nature,” whether you’re willing to work or not.
There are several problems with this plan— aside from its initial insanity. First, non-renewable energies, namely fossil fuels and nuclear energy, account for 89% of energy output in the United States, with 11% being covered by renewables. Upon its passage, the GND would result in massive job loss, not only in the energy sector, but in those dependent upon energy, such as trucking and shipping. The inefficiency of high speed rail as the primary mode of travel would cause not only job loss but centralization of cities, as the cost of these trains would be unsustainable to build across the entire US. The goal of the GND, to achieve carbon neutrality and save the Earth, wouldn’t even be recognized.
By using the mathematical model of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Heritage Foundation found that, by 2100, the climate would be cooler by only 0.137 degrees Celsius. The destruction of the American economy would be all for naught.
Then there is the illegality and immorality of the GND. Not only would it be in violation of the Constitution, this radical takeover of the American economy would be immoral. By providing a basic income, healthcare, and other “essentials,” the government will be forcibly taking from responsible working citizens to subsidize those who choose to not work. This will be reflected in astronomical tax rates for those who do work, regardless of income bracket, causing more to drop from the workforce. The GND would be a violation of all that the Constitution stands for, from limited government to economic and personal liberties.
All of this without yet mentioning the cost of the GND— a cost that experts have pinned at $93 trillion dollars. To pay for it, the federal budget would have to nearly triple, which would bring about the inevitable collapse of the US economy. This costly reality is the reason the GND failed in the Senate.
So, is the Green New Deal dead? Likely no, but Americans must take this as a reminder that the Green New Deal is a dangerous proposal that must be fully and thoroughly rejected by the general populace.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.