On Tuesday, Democratic media darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — she of the 17,000 primary votes in a heavily Democratic district in New York — visited the set of Pod Save America, where she was asked a fairly simple softball question from her enthusiastic friends: how did she plan to pay for her wild expenditures?
Her answer: um, wut?
I think it’s that same exact thing. It’s that we … they say, “How are you gonna pay for it?” as though they haven’t used these same ways to pay for unlimited wars, to pay for trillion-dollar tax cuts and tax cut extensions. They use these mechanisms to pay for these things all the time. They only want to know … it just seems like their pockets are only empty when we’re talking about education and investing in human capital in the United States: education, healthcare, housing, and investing in the middle class. All the sudden, there’s nothing left. All the sudden, the wealthiest nation in the world, we’re just totally scarce. We have complete scarcity when it comes to the things that are most important. And so for me, I think it belies a lack of moral priority and that’s unfortunate. I think that a lot of these folks, especially those perhaps on the Democratic side, they don’t even see it, you know?… I legitimately think that they start kind of buying into conservative talking points. They get dragged into their court all the time. And I think it is because there is this really myopic and also just misunderstanding of politics as this flat, two-dimensional left-right thing.
Notice that in this two minutes of complete babbling, Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t bother to answer how she would pay for things — she just complains that since nobody else worries about that, why should she? She also suggests that government spending is going to priorities that aren’t important — even though two-thirds of federal spending goes to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Only about 16% of the federal budget goes to the military. The rest goes to priorities Ocasio-Cortez would likely think important. And as for tax cuts — that would be precisely the investment in the middle class she complains about.
Here’s the bottom line: Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t know what she’s talking about. She’s spouting platitudes, and she has no idea how to pay for her programs. But that’s not unusual: being a democratic socialist means never having to explain how.