Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tweeted video Friday of an economist’s vision of how the federal government can afford to pay for her Green New Deal proposal.
“Can we pay for it? Easily,” Economist Josh Mason explains: “Congress will authorize the expenditures and the Treasury will spend the money”:
“Can we pay for it? Easily.
“The Green New Deal will be funded the same way we paid for the original New Deal, the same way we paid for World War II. Congress will authorize the expenditures and the Treasury will spend the money.”
Our future is imperiled, our economy is fragile, and frontline communities are vulnerable to major threats from rising sea levels to lead in our water.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 22, 2019
A #GreenNewDeal is a common sense, moral solution to fix these issues with the urgency they demand. pic.twitter.com/khIGPa7DI0
Mason concedes that the government will eventually need to raise taxes, “especially on the rich” – but, claims that “taxing away extreme concentrations of income and wealth” is a good thing:
“Now, over time, that spending will be financed by some mix of borrowing and higher taxes – especially on the rich.
“Whether or not we need to raise taxes on the rich to pay for the Green New Deal is honestly a bit beside the point. Taxing away extreme concentrations of income and wealth is good for our democracy.”
Ultimately, “Someone needs to spend money” and “that’s where the government needs to step in,” Mason says:
“Someone needs to spend money – to put people to work, to give businesses a reason to boost investment and raise productivity. Consumers won’t spend money it their income are low. Businesses won’t invest if there’s no one to sell to.
“That’s where government needs to step in. Investing in our economy when no one else can, putting millions of Americans back to work and raising living standards in the process. That’s why we shouldn’t think of the Green New Deal as an economic cost. It’s actually the solution to our biggest economic problem.”