Photo of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unveiling her Green New Deal proposal in an article by #dk on African-American Conservatives AACONS.

Green New Deal: Great New Deal for Illegals

In the days following the unveiling of the Green New Deal, Democrats have been scrambling to make their proposal seem less than the socialist manifesto that it clearly is. Rather than admitting that the Green New Deal [GND] is a dictate, the Democrats pretend that the proposal is merely a list of suggestions that  — maybe, if we are in the mood and aren’t too busy; no pressure — we can perhaps achieve.

Despite the most common descriptors from the left to describe the GND, it is neither “affordable” nor “realistic” but rather “aspirational.” To paraphrase Senator Cory Booker, the Green New Deal is “bold . . . like saving the world from the Nazis or flying to the moon.”

It is rather odd how the same Democrats who were “too fiscally responsible” to allow the one-time expenditure of $5.7 billion dollars for “Trump’s border wall dream” would support spending more than $400 billion a year on a program for which “aspirational” is the kindest descriptor.

Perhaps the most prominent current defender of the Green New Deal is Cornell University Law School Professor Robert Hockett, an adviser to the resolution’s co-author Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. Professor Hockett has achieved some recent notoriety for “fact-checking” Tucker Carlson on air by falsely saying Congresswoman Osasio-Cortez would “never” propose providing economic security for those unwilling to work, which she clearly did.

According to Professor Hockett, the GND does not issue requirements but rather merely gives the consumers additional options.

He says:

We’re really talking about expanding optionality here. We’re not talking about getting rid of anything. We’re talking about basically making it cost-effective to move into more modern forms of technology, more modern forms of production, which would then enable people to actually cost-effectively to transit to that stuff. We’re not talking about requiring anything or prohibiting anything.  

In other words, according to Professor Hockett, the purpose of the Green New Deal is to merely do what the free market has always done, which is to seek to give the consumer better options. However, under the GND resolution, the government will use its force to make one of the options as undesirable as possible. This is all very reminiscent of the option Senator Obama once promised the coal industry, “If somebody wants to build a coal-fired power plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them.”

Unfortunately, it appears Professor Hockett may not have not read the actual Green New Deal document, which states that “the goals described in subparagraphs (A) through (E) of paragraph (1)  . . . should be accomplished through a 10-year national mobilization . . . that will require the following goals and projects.“ (Emphasis added.)

One of the listed goals required by the GND is “(C) meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.”

So clearly the GND both “requires” — not “suggests” or “encourages” — and prohibits the consumer from getting that big, white, gas guzzling Jaguar SUV with the panoramic sunroof he hopes to buy as soon as AACONS pays him enough money to do so. If it did, the Green New Deal would be derelict in meeting its requirement for 100% zero-emissions.

This unwillingness to be honest and forthcoming about the demands of the Green New Deal by supporters is troublesome. Despite being the one who tweeted a document that contained a promise for “Economic security to all who are unable or unwilling to work.” for example, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez subsequently accused Republicans of “circulating false versions” of the plan. This accusation was then followed by the claim from the Ocasio-Cortez office that the document tweeted by her that contained the “unwilling to work” language was an “unauthorized draft” leaked by a rogue staffer.

Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez also said that the Green New Deal requires “massive government intervention” yet only hours later said that “one way the Right does try to mischaracterize what we’re doing as though it is some kind of massive government takeover.”

Clarity is clearly not a priority here. As Vox admits, “The appeal of the Green New Deal is in part how vague it is.”

In all, the phrase “all people of the United States” is repeated seven times in the official Green New Deal resolution. The word “citizen” is not mentioned once. 

Along these lines of deliberate vagueness, it is interesting to note that the Green New Deal lists a series of benefits for “all people of the United States.”

It says, for example, that it will provide “(i) high-quality health care; (ii) affordable, safe, and adequate housing; (iii) economic security and (iv) clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and access to nature” to “all people of the United States.”

It adds that it will “provide unprecedented levels of prosperity and economic security for all people of the United States” and “create millions of good, high-wage jobs and ensure prosperity and economic security for all people of the United States.”

It will also require — not “make available” but “require” — “resources, training, and high-quality education, including higher education, to all people of the United States, with a focus on frontline and vulnerable communities, so that all people of the United States may be full and equal participants in the Green New Deal mobilization.”

In all, the phrase “all people of the United States” is repeated seven times in the official Green New Deal resolution. The word “citizen” is not mentioned once.

It would be foolish to assume that phrase “all people of the United States” is not meant to mean everyone who happens to be in the country — even those who happen to be here in violation of our immigration laws — rather than the people who are actual citizens of this country.

In fact, the Democrats have been subtly arguing that “all people of the United States” includes illegals for some time now; therefore, they conclude, those here illegally are entitled to the same rights and benefits as everyone else.

Although President Obama said in a 2009 joint address of Congress that the Obamacare “reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally,” for example, Obamacare has nonetheless been used to cover healthcare for illegals.

New York’s socialist mayor Bill de Blasio recently declared that “Everyone is guaranteed the right to health care, everyone” while pledging that “New York City will spend at least $100 million to ensure that undocumented immigrants and others who cannot qualify for insurance can receive medical treatment.”

In fact, according to Rep. Ocasio Cortez, anyone who is of Latino heritage is, in effect, an American regardless of their place of birth: “Because we are standing on Native land, and Latino people are descendants of Native people. And we cannot be . . . criminalized simply for our identity or our status.”

If anyone who is Latino is by definition among those considered to be included as “all people of the United States” and entitled to all the great benefits of the Green New Deal, then the approximately 600 million Latinos who currently live outside America in places like Honduras, Mexico, and Brazil are deserving of “high-quality health care; housing; economic security and clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and access to nature” courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer.

If all people of the United States is to mean all legal and illegal residents of the United States, as well perhaps as all Latinos worldwide, who exactly won’t be eligible for Green New Deal goodies?

Democrats should be pressed to answer if their Green New Deal would include an expensive array of new benefits for Americans only, or will anyone who manages to sneak over our border or overstay their visa would be guaranteed housing, health care, and income regardless of their willingness to work.

The Democrats should not be allowed to continue their deliberate vagueness on this issue. The answer may very will determine the long-term survival of this nation, much more so than climate change.

–DK

The Forgotten Man

Forgotten ManThe Forgotten Man, Amity Shlaes’ famous history of the Great Depression, actually takes its title from another book, which was written by libertarian philosopher, William Graham Sumner, and titled What Social Classes Owe To Each Other.

Published in 1883, Sumner used the term “The Forgotten Man” to distinguish the men who are the creators of government’s massive social welfare programs, and those who chiefly benefited from them, from the forgotten, or the men and women who with their taxes and labor bore the price of these programs.

As Sumner writes, “The State cannot get a cent for any man without taking it from some other man, and this latter must be a man who has produced and saved it. This latter is the Forgotten Man.”

Today Sumner would see that the Forgotten Man may not be the same man he was in the 19th century, but he has not disappeared, nor have the demands placed upon him been made any less cumbersome.  As our progressive state continues to demand sacrifice for an increasing stream of social policies and programs that will not benefit him, he continues to be the one who must bear the weight.

He is the inner city teenager who searches, perhaps, for a fast-food job to supplement his family’s income, but finds many of those jobs being given to illegals.

He is the worker who is seeking a high paying energy job, only to find politicians — in the name of the deception that these jobs will cause kitchen faucets to become flame throwers — have prevented their creation, though he will still find that he must pay his share of the three billion dollar tab left from heavily taxpayer subsidized “green companies” going bankrupt.

He is the senior who wants to supplement his retirement income by working at a retail job but finds that because employers must reduce hiring to avoid Obamacare penalties and to offset a higher minimum wage, those jobs have become increasingly scarce.

He is the taxpayer who must pay $50,000 per Obamacare enrollee, according to the Congressional Budget Office and his own premiums increasing.

Or he is the STEM worker whose wages have remained frozen for decades, but is grateful for the opportunity to work in his field as the government and Big Business interests continue to lobby to have him replaced with less expensive foreign workers with H1-B visas

Clearly Obama, despite his State of the Union shout-out to his political operative Rebecca, has put in place that have made it harder for these men. But unfortunately, their problems can not be blamed solely on the Left.  Numerous Republicans, such as Senator Bob Corker, who ran for office with tax pledges to lower taxes, now line up to impose a gas tax that will not only be massive but regressive as well. Another 10 cents a gallon will be very little to the man who is getting a $7500 tax rebate for buying a new $130,000 Tesla, but it means a great deal to the Forgotten Man.

Furthermore, examine the argument put forth by Bryan Caplan, noted libertarian economist and open border advocate. In his paper Why Should We Restrict Immigration? Professor Caplan actually concedes that “Under open borders, low-skilled wages are indeed likely to fall.”  However, this is fine, because as Caplan adds “most Americans are not low-skilled.” Open borders will not affect the salary Caplan makes as a professor, nor will it affect the salary of his friends and neighbors.  But it will affect the salary of the forgotten.

The Forgotten Man, as I am defining him, is the man who finds his taxes higher, and his employment opportunities limited, by the State. Often he is the man who can not find employment at all.

As economic professor (and AACON guest) Peter Morici wrote “The [December 2014] unemployment rate fell to 5.6%, but that may only be because so many working age Americans quit looking for work and are no longer counted in the official jobless tally. If the same percentage of adults were in the labor force today as when Presidents Obama took office, the jobless rate would be about 9.9%.”

As The New York Times put it: “Working, in America, is in decline. The share of prime-age men — those 25 to 54 years old — who are not working has more than tripled since the late 1960s, to 16 percent. More recently, since the turn of the century, the share of women without paying jobs has been rising, too. The United States, which had one of the highest employment rates among developed nations as recently as 2000, has fallen toward the bottom of the list.”

He is made more expendable by technology. Companies like Amazon are building robots which can eliminate the need for thousands of warehouse workers at companies, and the computer screens will eventually replace cashiers at McDonald’s the way ATMS have replaced bank tellers. Financial Advisor quotes a study that claims 47 percent of workers could be put out of work by robotics. “If you have self-driving automobiles, will you need cab drivers, truck drivers, auto insurers and chiropractors?”

However, the consequences of such a large segment of society not working has not yet been fully seen, although we have seen glimpses of what that would portend. The Heritage Foundation, in their most recent Index of Dependence on Government, writes “America is increasingly moving away from a nation of self-reliant individuals, where civil society flourishes, toward a nation of individuals less inclined to practicing self-reliance and personal responsibility. Government programs not only crowd out civil society, but too frequently trap individuals and families in long-term dependence, leaving them incapable of escaping their condition for generations to come. Rebuilding civil society can rescue these individuals from the government dependence trap.”

Perhaps it will be more than increased government dependency. At the economic summit in Davos, the experts bemoaned the youth unemployment in nations like Italy of more than 50%, and reminded that high unemployment rate in Greece were partially responsible for their 2008 riots. In the US, there are counties in which the non-employment of men ages 25-54 is as high at 74%.  And many of the counties with high employment are so because of drilling jobs which are disappearing now that oil is selling for less than $45 a barrel.

Liberal economists and politicians are fond of obsessing over the income gap, but ironically they continue to favor the Quantitative Easing and low-interest rates remedies that have exasperated the gap. Perhaps their proclamations of social unrest caused by the income gap are not as sincere as they pretend. If they were, they would warn less about the societal effect of having a working class of CEOs who can earn more in a day than his employees can earn in a year, and more on the societal effect of having a working class that is no longer working.

–DK

Newt Gingrich at CRP – the CA GOP Conference

Newt Gingrich was the only presidential candidate to make an appearance at the California Republican Party conference (CRP) this weekend in Burlingame, CA.

With introductions by Michael Reagan, Herman Cain, and Callista Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House refuted point by point President Obama’s speech on energy given this past Friday.

Blessed to be onstage with such political luminaries was African-American Conservatives’ Co-Founder, Marie Stroughter.

President Obama’s speech on energy at the University of Miami

Speaker Gingrich’s rebuttal at CRP

AACONS Co-Founder, Marie Stroughter onstage listening to Michael Reagan