03.13.19

Green New Deal: Immediate Harm for American Workers and Families

‘Just a good, old-fashioned, state-planned economy. Garden-variety 20th-century socialism. Our Democratic colleagues have taken all the debunked philosophies of the last hundred years, rolled them into one giant package, and thrown a little “green” paint on them to make them look new. But there’s nothing remotely “New” about a proposal to centralize control over the economy and raise taxes on the American people to pay for it.’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the Green New Deal:

“Yesterday, I continued the discussion we’ve been having about the strange ideas that seem to have taken a hold of Washington Democrats. Ideas like the Democrat Politician Protection Act, a scheme to limit Americans’ First Amendment right to political speech and force taxpayers to subsidize political campaigns, including ones they disagree with. It did not earn a single Republican vote in the House, by the way. Ideas like ‘Medicare for None,’ which could spend more than $32 trillion to hollow out seniors’ health benefits, and boot working families from their chosen plans onto a one-size-fits-all government scheme.

“But even the soaring costs and massive disruption that plan would cause American families are dwarfed by the grandiose scheme they’re marketing as the ‘Green New Deal.’ By now, we’re all familiar with the major thrust of the proposal: Powering down the U.S. economy, and yet somehow also creating government-directed economic security for everyone at the same time. Naturally, accomplishing all this is quite a tall order.

“According to the Democrats’ resolution it will require overhauling every building in America to meet strict new codes, overseen by social planners in Washington. It would require banning the production of American coal, oil, and natural gas in ten short years. And cracking down on transportation systems that produce any emissions -- which, as one hastily-deleted background document made clear, is just a polite way of saying Democrats want to eventually ban anything with a motor that runs on gasoline. I thought ‘Abolish ICE’ was bad enough when Democrats were rallying to close down all of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. But now the far left also wants to abolish the internal combustion engine. And somewhere around that time, I gather is when the miraculous, promised universal job guarantee would kick in as well.

“Just a good, old-fashioned, state-planned economy. Garden-variety 20th-century socialism. Our Democratic colleagues have taken all the debunked philosophies of the last hundred years, rolled them into one giant package, and thrown a little ‘green’ paint on them to make them look new. But there’s nothing remotely ‘New’ about a proposal to centralize control over the economy and raise taxes on the American people to pay for it.

“Margaret Thatcher famously said the trouble with socialist governments is ‘they always run out of other people’s money.’  Well, this dangerous fantasy would burn through the American people’s money before it even got off the launchpad. But the cost to the Treasury is just the very beginning. It’s hard to put a price tag on ripping away the jobs and livelihoods of millions of Americans. It’s hard to put a price tag on forcibly remodeling Americans’ homes whether they want it or not, and taking away their cars, whether they want that or not. And it certainly is difficult to put a price tag on unilaterally disarming the entire U.S. economy with this kind of self-inflicted wound while other nations like China go roaring on by.

“By definition, global emissions are a global problem. Even if we grant the Democrats’ unproven claim that cratering American industries and outlawing the energy sources that middle-class families can afford would produce the kind of emissions changes they are after, we need to remember that the United States is only responsible for about fifteen percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Only 15 percent of the global total. And according to the Department of Energy, the U.S. cut our own energy-related carbon emissions by 14 percent from 2005 to 2017. What did the rest of the world do? They kept soaring higher and higher.

“In the same time period that the U.S. cut our energy-related carbon emissions by 14 percent, the International Energy Agency found that worldwide energy-related carbon emissions rose more than 20 percent. China, the world’s largest carbon emitter, increased their emissions dramatically over that period. So, believe me, if Democrats succeeded at slowing the U.S. economy and cutting our prosperity because they think it will save the planet, China will not pull over by the side of the road to keep us company. They will go roaring right on by.

“So the proposal we are talking about is, frankly, delusional. It is so unserious that it ought to be beneath one of our two major political parties to line up behind it. The Washington Post editorial board dismissed the notion that ‘the country could reach net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions by 2030’ as, quote, ‘an impossible goal.’ In a clear sign of how rapidly Democrats are racing to the far left, President Obama’s own former Energy Secretary said the same thing. Quote: ‘I just cannot see how we could possibly go to zero carbon in the 10-year time frame.’

“These Washington Democrats’ leftward sprint is leaving Obama Administration officials in the dust, and even parts of their own base. Listen to what Democrats’ usual Big Labor allies have to say about this socialist nightmare. Union leaders with the AFL-CIO say this proposal -- quote -- ’could cause immediate harm to millions of our members and their families.’ Immediate harm for American workers, American families, America’s future. And nowhere near enough reduction in global emissions to show for it. A self-inflicted wound, for the low price, by one estimate, of somewhere in the neighborhood of $93 trillion. Not based on logic or reason. Just on the prevailing fashions in New York and San Francisco. That’s what is defining today’s Democrats.”

Related Issues: EPA, Energy