Since its botched unveiling earlier this month, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's "Green New Deal" resolution has been subjected to unceasing criticism over its unrealistic policy proposals that aim to achieve "net zero" greenhouse gas emissions within ten years - a goal that would involve eliminating cornerstones of American society from air travel to factory farming.
But in one of the first in-depth looks at the plan that Nancy Pelosi once derided as a "green dream", a think tank run by former CBO director Douglas Holtz-Eakin tabulated that implementing the plan in full may cost the US economy a staggering $93 trillion over ten years.
As Holtz-Eakin explains, while its name focuses on climate-change policy, the GND also calls for a dramatic expansion of the welfare state by implementing a jobs guarantee, food and housing security, and a variety of other social justice initiatives that would amount to a "re-engineering of social norms, policy processes, and key institutions." While the elements of the plan that call for the elimination of carbon emissions would only amount to some $10 trillion in costs, this expansion of the safety net would ultimately generate the most expenses.
Here's more from Bloomberg:
The so-called Green New Deal may tally between $51 trillion and $93 trillion over 10-years, concludes the Republican-aligned American Action Forum, which is run by Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who directed the non-partisan CBO from from 2003 to 2005.
That includes between $8.3 trillion and $12.3 trillion to meet the plan’s call to eliminate carbon emissions from the power and transportation sectors and between $42.8 trillion and $80.6 trillion for its economic agenda including providing jobs and health care for all.
"The Green New Deal is clearly very expensive," the group said in its analysis. "It’s further expansion of the federal government’s role in some of the most basic decisions of daily life, however, would likely have a more lasting and damaging impact than its enormous price tag."
Of course, backers of the plan have argued that the costs of not implementing the plan - and thus allowing our society to be torn asunder by the multifaceted forces of climate change - are unknowable, and potentially vastly more expensive than taking what they argue would be, by comparison, a few small preventative steps.
To back this up, they point to a United Nations report released in October that warns that catastrophic climate change could cost more than $500 billion annually in lost economic output in the US by 2100.
"It is the moral economic national security issue of our generation," Markey said in a recent interview.
Representatives of Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat, and Markey didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Republicans have embraced the sweeping plan because they think they can use it to cast Democrats as extreme, take back seats in Congress and possibly keep the White House in 2020.
But then again, this report was produced by the same people who once warned that the world would end in 12 years during a climate-change induced apocalypse. So it's important to take these figures with a grain of salt.
Interested parties can read a full breakdown of the costs associated with full implementation of the GND below:
And those looking for a deeper dive can find the full report here.