Ocasio-Cortez Watch

I’m with the sober voices who say we shouldn’t overdo the piling on of Her Highness, the Countess Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and while there are a lot of great memes mocking her, I think we’re better off reserving our fire for actual stupid things she says rather than making them up.

Like her declaration in a recent appearance about her idea for a “Green New Deal” (you can read all about it here), where she declared that when it comes to energy, “We need to invent technology that’s never even been invented yet.” Yes, she actually said that.

Question: Wasn’t the first New Deal rather “green” when it comes to energy? Look at all those huge carbon-free dams they built back then. Why not a few more of those? You can bet Trump would go for it. (Cue green outrage in three, two . . .)

Then there was her recent claim that we could provide $21 trillion toward expanding Medicare to everyone just by scooping up the loose change underneath Pentagon couch cushions. Here’s her actual Twitter quote:

“$21 TRILLION of Pentagon financial transactions ‘could not be traced, documented, or explained.’ $21T in Pentagon accounting errors. Medicare for All costs ~$32T. That means 66% of Medicare for All could have been funded already by the Pentagon.”

Even the Washington Post noted that Ocasio-Cortez is blindingly stupid on this point, and gave her four fact-check Pinocchios as gently as they could:

[T]he situation [Ocasio-Cortez] is describing, the $21 trillion is not one big pot of dormant money collecting dust somewhere. It’s the sum of all transactions — both inflows and outflows — for which the Defense Department did not have adequate documentation. “The same dollar could be accounted for many times,” as Philip Klein wrote in the Washington Examiner. . .

Pentagon spokesman Christopher Sherwood said “DoD hasn’t received $21 trillion in (nominal) appropriated funding across the entirety of American history.” . . .

Let’s put $21 trillion in context. The entire national debt is $21.8 trillion. According to the Congressional Budget Office, total defense spending from 1998 to 2015 was nearly $9 trillion. The CBO estimates $7 trillion in defense spending from 2019 to 2028.

In other words, completely defunding the military for the next decade would yield only one-fifth of $32 trillion. That’s a much better way of illustrating the cost of Medicare-for-All.

Keep in mind that Ocasio-Cortez was an honors graduate of Boston University.