After her upset victory in the Democratic primary over incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley last month, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been touted as “the future” of the Democratic Party, and her open embrace of Democratic Socialism has been enthusiastically embraced by a growing number of Democrats, particularly young Democrats. But how much do the 28-year-old candidate’s avid supporters truly understand her particular brand of socialism?
Campus Reform’s Cabot Phillips took to the streets of New York’s 14th Congressional District to see if the young voters who support her Democratic Socialist vision for America have any ideas about how to actually pay for “all that free stuff” — including “Medicare for all,” guaranteed jobs for every American, “housing as a human right,” and free college and trade school for all (see more on her platform below).
After getting enthusiastic endorsement of Ocasio-Cortez and Democratic Socialism from all the interviewees, Phillips asked them how they thought America would pay for all of the free stuff she’s promising.
“Oh god. I mean…,” said one woman. “Us,” said her male friend. “Us, I guess,” she agreed.
“All of the free things? Well, some of it should come from taxes, but the government should pay for it,” another young lady said. When Phillips noted that “the government is funded by taxes,” she responded, “Yes.”
“I don’t know where the money would come from, but they can figure it out,” said one guy with a laugh. When Phillips suggested “more taxes on the rich people,” the guy replied, “For sure, man. I’m like, they can afford it.”
“Tax corporations, tax the One Percent and find a way to support a living wage,” said another young man.
“The people, with a good idea and a good reason to spend their tax money, people wouldn’t actually mind paying more taxes,” said another Ocasio-Cortez supporter.
“There are so many more countries out there that are employing more socialism in their government and their politics, and they’re doing very well,” said the guy who said we should tax the rich the people.
“Is Venezuela doing that?” asked Phillips.
“Ooh, I don’t know too much about Venezuela,” he replied.
Below are excerpts from Ocasio-Cortez’s official platform on some of the ideas discussed above as well as some other hot-button issues (formatting adjusted):
Medicare For All
Improved and Expanded Medicare for All is the ethical, logical, and affordable path to ensuring no person goes without dignified healthcare. Medicare for All will reduce the existing costs of healthcare (and make Medicare cheaper, too!) by allowing all people in the US to buy into a universal healthcare system. What’s even better is that Improved and Expanded Medicare for All includes full vision, dental, and mental healthcare – because we know that true healthcare is about the whole self, not just your yearly physical….
A Federal Jobs Guarantee
Alexandria endorses a Federal Jobs Guarantee, because anyone who is willing and able to work shouldn’t struggle to find employment. A Federal Jobs Guarantee would create a baseline standard for employment that includes a $15 minimum wage (pegged to inflation), full healthcare, and child and sick leave for all. This proposal would dramatically upgrade the quality of employment in the United States, by providing training and experience to workers while bringing much-needed public services to our communities in areas such as parks service, childcare and environmental conservation….
Higher Education / Trade School For All
Roughly every 100 years, the United States expands its public education system to match its increasingly advanced economy. It’s now time to expand our national education system to include tuition-free public college and trade school….
Immigration Justice / Abolish ICE
It’s time to abolish ICE, clear the path to citizenship, and protect the rights of families to remain together….