The public feud between freshman Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and former Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman over "the future of the party" has ratcheted up over the last few days — and grown pretty entertaining in the process.
The self-described democratic socialist, Lieberman told Fox Business Thursday, is definitely not "the future" of his former party, as pronounced last year by Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez.
"I have three kids, two of whom are daughters," Perez said in July. "One just graduated college, one who is in college, and they were both texting me about their excitement over Alexandria because she really — she represents the future of our party. She ran a spirited campaign."
"With all respect, I certainly hope she’s not the future, and I don’t believe she is," Lieberman said of Ocasio-Cortez, who has come in aggressively pushing a far-left agenda, including her "Green New Deal," which seeks to mandate the complete transition to renewable energy within 12 years, among other radical demands.
Among the agenda items the freshman representative is floating is a dramatically increased progressive income tax that would almost double the top tax rate to 70%, an idea Lieberman — a long-time Democrat who switched to Independent later in his political career — specifically addressed in the interview with Fox's Neil Cavuto.
The problem with that idea, Lieberman explained, is that it always ends up disproportionately hitting the middle class.That kind of dramatic top-end tax rate, he said, "is really done for political reasons."
Ocasio-Cortez responded to Lieberman's comments by taking to Twitter. "New Party, who dis?" she wrote.
As the New York Post reports, Lieberman has since responded by expanding on his rationale for arguing that she's not "the future" of the party. In fact, he suggested, she's the past.
"She just takes us back to the big-spending, big-taxing Democratic Party, and the Democratic Party is not going to succeed that way," he said on Fox's "Sunday Morning Futures."
So what exactly is Ocasio-Cortez's "Green New Deal," which has begun to garner more support among House Democrats? As the title suggests, it's inspired by FDR's "New Deal," which included public works programs and more government intervention in the economy, particularly focusing on converting to "green energy" and creating "green jobs."
The deal sets out the currently impossible goal of eliminating all greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and manufacturing industries and switching entirely to renewable energy within 12 years, Fox News notes. The deal includes a jobs-guarantee program that would supposedly provide a living wage to anyone seeking a job. It also proposes basic income programs and universal healthcare. The deal promises to "virtually eliminate poverty in the United States and to make prosperity, wealth and economic security available to everyone participating in the transformation."