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Noah Smith

The Green New Deal Would Spend the U.S. Into Oblivion

The environmental parts of the plan would be costly, but manageable. The same can’t be said of its social programs. 

Out there.

Out there.

Photographer: Alex Wong/Getty Images North America

Skeptics of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s promise of a Green New Deal were worried that the plan would be a Trojan horse for unrealistic and ruinously expensive economic proposals that have little to do with stopping climate change. The unveiling of the plan gives them more reason for worry. Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal appears to take every big spending idea that has emerged on the political left in recent years and combine them into one large package deal, with little notion of how to pay for them all.

The Green New Deal as introduced to Congress is in the form of a non-binding resolution laying out a series of goals. The wording of the resolution is ambitious, but vague. More concerning are the details of an online FAQ that appeared on Ocasio-Cortez’s website but was later taken down. The FAQ contained important details that are not included in the resolution itself. On Twitter, Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, referred to the FAQ as a “bad copy,” and promised to release a revised version.