Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Ed Markey (D., Mass.) introduced a Green New Deal bill Thursday that, in addition to transitioning the U.S. entirely to renewable energy in ten years, promises to provide “economic security for those unable or unwilling to work.”
Since arriving in Washington in January, Ocasio-Cortez has prioritized the implementation of a Green New Deal and, in her frequent media appearances, has emphasized its potential as a means to pursue “economic justice” while drastically reducing carbon emissions over the next decade.
In drafting the proposal, Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow progressive lawmakers appear to have envisioned that the trillions of dollars in new government spending it would require would be financed entirely on credit.
“How will you pay for it,” reads a frequently-asked-questions document that accompanied the bill.“The Federal Reserve can extend credit to power these projects and investments and new public banks can be created to extend credit. There is also space for the government to take an equity stake in projects to get a return on investment.”
With the exception of the brief mention of a “carbon tax,” which the FAQ document claims “misses the point,” there is no mention of any additional taxes to cover the cost of spending.
In addition to providing “economic security for those unable or unwilling to work,” the plan also promises to create “millions of good, high-wage jobs” for willing Americans. Many of those new federal employees would presumably assist in the 14 major clean-energy-infrastructure projects the plan calls for.
In defending the breadth and scope of the proposal, which also includes 15 “social and economic justice and security” requirements, Ocasio-Cortez has likened it to the mobilization effort that preceded World War II, and conceded that it qualifies as a “moonshot” idea.