Media sensation and Democratic congressional candidate, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is promising the world to voters: Free health-care for all, free college, jobs for everyone, even free housing.
Just don't ask how any any of it will be paid for.
CNN’s Jake Tapper invited Ocasio-Cortz onto his CNN show Sunday and cited an estimate from the left-wing Tax Policy Center that pegged her platform at at least $40 trillion over the next decade. How, he asked, will you pay for it when the only tax hike you’re calling for amount to just $2 trillion.
Ocasio-Cortez was stumped.
Rather than attempting an answer, Ocasio-Cortez spoke vaguely about how other nations have nationalized health care and that her programs were “an investment in the future.”
When Tapper tried again, asking where she would get the additional $38 trillion, Ocasio-Cortez again offered vague platitudes about the importance of taking care of Americans through an enlarged government safety net.
Tapper finally gave up and thanked her from coming on.
Here’s a rush excerpt:
TAPPER: “Your platform has called for various new programs including Medicare for all, housing as a federal right, federal jobs guaranteed, tuition free public college, canceling all student loan debt. According to nonpartisan and Left leaning studies friednly to your cause, including the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities or the Tax Policy Center, the overall price tag is more than $40 trillion in the next decade. You recently said in an interview increasing taxes on the very wealthy, plus an increased corporate tax rate would make $2 trillion over the next ten years. Where is the other $38 trillion going to come from?”
OCASIO-CORTEZ: “One of the things we need to realize when we look at something like Medicare for all, Medicare for all would save the American people a very large amount of money. What we see as well is that these systems are not just pie in the sky. Many of them are accomplished by every modern civilized democracy in the western world. The United Kingdom has a form of single payer health care, Canada, France, Germany. We need to realize that these investments are better and they are good for our future. These are generational investments so that they are not short-term band-aids but they are really profound decisions about who we want to be as a nation and how we want to act as the wealthiest nation in the history of the world.”
TAPPER: “Right. I get that. But the price tag for everything that you laid out in your campaign is $40 trillion over the next ten years. I understand that Medicare for all would cost more to some wealthier people and to the government and to taxpayers, while also reducing individual health care expenditures. But I am talking about the overall package. You say it’s not pie in the sky but it’s $40 trillion is quite a bit of money. And the taxes that you talked about raising to pay for this, to pay for your agenda, only count for two. We’re going by left-leaning analysts.”
OCASIO-CORTEZ: “Right. When you look again at how our health care works, currently we pay — much of these costs go into the private sector. So, what we see, for example, is, you know, a year ago I was working downtown in a restaurant. I went around and I asked how many of you folks have health insurance? Not a single person did. They’re paying — they would have had to pay $200 a month for a payment for insurance that had an $8,000 deductible. What these represent are lower cost overall for these programs. Additionally, what this is, it’s a broader agenda. We do know and acknowledge that there are political realities. They don’t always happen with just a wave of a wand but we can work to make these things happen. In fact, when you look at the economic activity that it spurs — for example, if you look at my generation, millennials, the amount of economic activity that we do not engage in. The fact that we delay purchasing homes, that we don’t participate in the economy as purchasing cars as fully as fully as possible is a cost. It is an externality, if you will, of unprecedented amount of student loan debt.”
TAPPER: “I am assuming I won’t get an answer for the other $38 trillion. We’ll have you back and go over that.”