Democratic-Socialist Explains How She'll Raise a Trillion Here, A Trillion There

By Susan Jones | July 27, 2018 | 6:15am EDT
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democratic-Socialist, explains how she'll come up with $4 trillion dollars to transform the U.S. into a free-for-all economy. (Photo: Screen capture/Comedy Central)

( - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, appearing on Trevor Noah's show Thursday night, advocated for a "moral and ethical economy" that provides free health care, free college education, and "bold action on climate change" for the American people.

"We're here to talk about wages; we're here to talk about education; we're here to talk about saving our planet; we're here to talk about a carbon tax; we're here to talk about people paying their fair share, and we're here to talk about saving the country, frankly," Ocasio-Cortez said.

"How do you pay for these?" Noah asked the 28-year-old who defeated Rep. Joe Crowley, a ten-term Democrat leader, in the June primary in New York.


"So this is an excellent, excellent question," Ocasio-Cortez responded:

And in fact, there's a lot of the back-of-the-envelope stuff based on our values. So for example, I sat down with a Nobel Prize economist last week -- I can't believe I can say that, it's really weird.

But one of the things that we saw is, if people pay their fair share, if corporations and the ultra-wealthy -- for example, as Warren Buffett likes to say, if he paid as much as his secretary pays, 15 percent -- if he paid a 15 percent tax rate; if corporations paid -- if we reverse the tax bill, but 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.

That's $2 trillion in ten years, and it's -- one of the wide estimates is that it's going to take $3 trillion to $4 trillion to transition us to 100 percent renewable energy economy. So we got $2 trillion from folks paying their fair share, which they were not paying before the Trump tax bill. They weren't -- like they weren't paying that before the Trump tax bill. If we get people to pay their fair share, that's $2 trillion in ten years.

Now, if we implement a carbon tax on top of that so that we can transition and financially 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.

Then the last key, which is extremely, extremely important, is reprioritization. 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? They didn't even ask for it and we gave it to them. And so a lot of what we need to do reprioritize what we want accomplish as a nation.

And really what this is about is saying health care is important enough for us to put first. Education is important enough for us to put first. And that is a decision that requires political and moral courage from both parts of the aisle, period.

Ocasio-Cortez said she believes “we are morally obliged to pursue” her view of where the nation needs to go.

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