04.01.2019 0

Green New Deal presents opportunities for Republicans to protect jobs from disastrous economic suicide pact

By Richard McCarty

New York Democrat Alexander Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal (GND) scheme, which includes phasing out coal, oil, natural gas, most vehicles, and cows, failed miserably when put to a vote in the U.S. Senate. Incredibly, not even one of the twelve Democrat Senate sponsors of the GND resolution voted to advance it. Perhaps that is because not only is the GND bad policy, but it is also bad politics. Now, Republicans should capitalize on this ridiculous proposal.

The GND would be both costly and disruptive. It is estimated that the GND would cost over $90 trillion, and its supporters have not suggested any real plan to pay for it other than to print more money. In addition to quadrupling the national debt, the GND would displace millions of workers as it killed off entire industries. To switch careers many of these people would need to be retrained. Undoubtedly, some number of displaced workers would be unable to find suitable work in their area forcing them to either move or live at taxpayers’ expense.

Of course, once they are aware of the problems that the GND would create, many voters are likely to reject it. To get a glimpse of just how disruptive the GND would be in key states, consider the following. In Florida, a swing state, where President Trump won by fewer than 113,000 votes:

  • Over 280,000 jobs are supported by the oil and gas industry.
  • The cattle industry and its associated industries support over 110,000

In Iowa, a swing state, where Trump won by a little over 147,000 votes:

In Michigan, where Trump won by fewer than 11,000 votes:

In Minnesota, where Hillary Clinton won by fewer than 45,000 votes:

In Ohio, a swing state, where Trump won by over 446,000 votes:

In Pennsylvania, where Trump won by a little over 44,000 votes:

In Wisconsin, where Trump won by fewer than 23,000 votes:

Of course, the real number of people who would suffer under the GND is unclear, but it would probably stretch far beyond the ranks of workers in targeted industries. Depending upon displaced workers’ ability to procure sufficient income, their families, friends, and neighbors could also be negatively impacted. While the GND called for paying people who do not wish to work, it is unclear what they would be paid; and it is likely that government checks would be for significantly less than what many skilled workers in the energy and manufacturing industries earn.

Far-left Democrats have foolishly given Republicans an opportunity to win over new voters, and Republicans should make the most of it. In fact, it would be political malpractice if they did not warn workers that their jobs — and the jobs of their friends and family — may disappear if Democrats are able to seize full control of the government.

Richard McCarty is the Director of Research at Americans for Limited Government Foundation.

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