Fact checkers from across the political spectrum slammed socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for another one of the insane claims that she has refused to correct.
“$21 TRILLION of Pentagon financial transactions ‘could not be traced, documented, or explained.’ $21T in Pentagon accounting errors,” the 29-year-old bartender turned politician tweeted on Sunday. “Medicare for All costs ~$32T. That means 66% of Medicare for All could have been funded already by the Pentagon.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s absurd claim, which was instantly debunked, has now drawn the attention of The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Politifact — all of which debunked her false claim.
The New York Times wrote:
For starters, the combined Pentagon budget from 1998 to 2015 was $9.2 trillion…
…So where did the $21 trillion figure originate?
It comes from an analysis of the Pentagon’s “unsupported journal voucher adjustments,” by Mark Skidmore, an economist at Michigan State University. The term refers to improperly documented accounting adjustments that are made when different financial ledgers do not match.
In other words, $21 trillion is the total value of adjustments made to the Pentagon’s financial records over those years that could not be traced.
That is not the same thing as $21 trillion in spending.
David Norquist, the Pentagon’s comptroller, explained in testimony to Congress in January that the adjustments occur after money is spent because “we have systems that do not automatically pass data from one to the other.”…
…The same article from The Nation that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez quoted also noted that Professor Skidmore’s analysis “does not contend that all of this $21 trillion was secret or misused funding” and that the transfers “are found on both the positive and the negative sides of the ledger, thus potentially netting each other out.”
The Washington Post gave her claim ‘Four Pinocchios,’ which is the worst possible rating a claim can recieve:
Swing and a miss!
Ocasio-Cortez is not the first Twitter user to mangle information from a news report. But it’s unconvincing to try to pass this off as a rhetorical point being misread. She cited the $21 trillion figure and said “66% of Medicare for All could have been funded already by the Pentagon.”
That’s a direct comparison. It’s badly flawed. The same article she referenced on Twitter would have set her straight. The tweet is still up, probably causing confusion. So we will award Four Pinocchios to Ocasio-Cortez.
Politifact, which is notoriously left-leaning, also rated her statement as “false.”
Numerous reporters and political analysts, including Bloomberg’s Steven Dennis, have called on Ocasio-Cortez to correct her false statement but it appears as though she has no interest in doing so and would rather let her tweet continue to mislead her followers.