Editorial: Green New Deal a bad deal for freedom

The Detroit News
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks as Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) (R) and other Congressional Democrats listen during a news conference in front of the U.S. Capitol February 7, 2019 in Washington, DC. Sen. Markey and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez held a news conference to unveil their Green New Deal resolution.

That otherwise serious lawmakers are embracing the fantastical Green New Deal offered by the painfully green Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is an indication of just how skittish Democrats are of their socialist wing.

Yet a number of otherwise seasoned members, including presidential hopefuls Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Senate sponsor Edward Markey of Massachusetts, are attaching their names to this hilariously idealistic manifesto.

The Green New Deal, according to an primer posted by Ocasio-Cortez but since taken down, seeks to remake or rebuild every structure in America to make them carbon-free, kill the internal combustion engine, replace airplanes with zero-emission high speed trains, run all power plants on renewable energy sources and wean Americans off red meat — among other things — and do it all within 10 years.

And as long as we’re turning America into a green paradise, we might as well check off the rest of the far left’s wish list.

The Green New Deal would also guarantee a union job with a “living wage” to everyone. The 16 million new public workers would be charged with implementing the initiative. It would also provide Medicare for all, make college free, forgive student and mortgage debt, nationalize much of the utility and banking industries, cut military spending by 50 percent, end enforcement of most immigration laws and grant statehood to the District of Columbia.

And who’s going to pay for this grand makeover of America? The rich, of course. While Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t spell out the funding mechanisms, it is designed to pair with her proposed 70 percent tax rate on high earners.

The great flaw in the Green New Deal is so obvious that it’s almost embarrassing to state: It was all tried before, by the Soviet Union and other socialist regimes, and failed miserably.

Instead of a utopia, the result was dystopian societies that grew out of the reality that the only way to implement these policies is by giving the government control over both the economy and individual decision-making.

It’s a clear window into the ultimate goal of the more radical global-warming warriors: An end to capitalism and free will. Noted climate change activist Naomi Klein, in her new book “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate,” argues the planet can’t be saved as long as free markets are allowed to exist and free people are allowed to make their own decisions.

With one package of legislation, America would convert to a socialist state.

Of course, this monumental foolishness has no chance of passage, even in a Democratic-controlled House. Give Speaker Nancy Pelosi some credit for dismissing Ocasio-Cortez with a gentle pat on the head.

But the idea of a Green New Deal is getting too much support from progressive economists and lawmakers to not take seriously the threat that major parts of it could eventually become law.

A majority of Ocasio-Cortez’s fellow millennials favor socialism over capitalism, according to recent polling. And they’ve had pounded into their heads that no sacrifice is too big to save the planet, even freedom.

After the 2020 election, Democrats could once again be in control of all of Washington. If the party’s far left wingers keep gaining influence, the Green New Deal might not be such a laughing matter.