Throughout her brief but transformative tenure in Congress, Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has repeatedly shown she has more charisma than economic sense.
One of the most memorable examples of this young woman’s poor judgment came shortly after she assumed office in January 2019: Based upon an erroneous interpretation of the deal, she recklessly and foolishly launched an attack on Amazon over its plans to build part of its second headquarters in Queens, New York.
This was a major blunder.
She amazingly misunderstood the $2.8 billion in tax cuts promised to the tech giant by New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, both Democrats, to be a cost to the state and the city rather than a reduction of the nearly $30 billion in tax revenue the enterprise was expected to bring.
How did an economics major miss that?
In addition to the projected $27 billion in potential new tax revenue, her relentless campaign to scuttle the deal cost the state roughly 25,000 new jobs.
On Wednesday, the freshman congresswoman’s inexperience and lack of judgement/knowledge reared its ugly head again, as she demanded that Cuomo and de Blasio raise taxes to provide increased funding for schools and child-care programs in the city.
“I’m calling on Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo to raise revenue to fund universal child-care programs, significantly increase staffing at schools, and fund the infrastructure improvements, including ventilation, that our school buildings need to be safe,” AOC said in a statement, the New York Post reported.
According to the Post, Ocasio-Cortez said she had received complaints from her constituents that due to COVID-19 safety concerns, “schools are not safe to re-open.”
“Poorly ventilated and unsanitized classrooms, ambiguous or ineffective health screening, COVID testing and contact tracing protocols, and severe staffing shortages, on top of COVID cases in at least 55 schools, all indicate we are not ready to re-open,” she said.
She also faulted the mayor for backing a proposal that cut $700 million from the school budget while cutting “almost nothing meaningful from NYPD.”
This allegation is false, as de Blasio did indeed slash $1 billion from the NYPD’s budget, an action for which he has been sharply (and rightfully) criticized.
So how does Ocasio-Cortez expect these items to be paid for? By tax increases on the rich, of course.
City residents are already reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 recession, which has caused “massive job losses and plummeting tax revenues,” according to the Post.
Cuomo opposes hiking taxes on the rich, noting that wealthy New Yorkers left the city in large numbers at the height of the pandemic and expressing the concern that they may not return if taxes are increased.
He believes raising taxes on the wealthy “would make New York uncompetitive with other states,” according to the Post. It’s worth pointing out that New York currently has the highest overall tax burden in the U.S., according to WalletHub, with a total burden of 12.2 percent.
Is it any wonder there’s been a mass departure from NYC over the last several months?
Moving company executives called the recent exodus “insane,” with United Van Lines CEO Marc Rogers having “told FOX Business that the majority of residents moving out of Manhattan, 61 percent, are earning over $100,000,” the outlet reported.
The state’s governor seems to understand this, and has resisted what is usually a knee-jerk reaction for most Democrats who believe they’re entitled to a never-ending stream of other people’s money. Cuomo knows that when you rely heavily on tax revenue from businesses and rich people, you can’t afford to lose them.
Despite all of this, Fox Business reported that de Blasio “has said he is not opposed to raising rates on the city’s wealthiest residents.”
The unpopular mayor has called on Cuomo and state legislators “to approve a $5 billion borrowing package for the city over two years to prevent a threatened 21,000 layoffs of municipal workers and preserve basic services,” the Post added.
Ocasio-Cortez, meanwhile, claimed the state owes the New York City public school system $3.9 billion in funding. This supposedly dates back to a 2006 court ruling over a dispute between a group of New York City parents and the state of New York, according to a 2016 article in The 74, an education news website which described the legal fight as “a decades-long battle … over long-standing funding inequities in public schools.”
“We are in this situation because we have balanced our budgets on the backs of students for decades,” AOC’s statement read.
“They deserve all of our gratitude and appreciation, but they also deserve the resources they need to succeed. Our kids and communities deserve for us to get this right.”
Ocasio-Cortez, arguably the highest-profile member of the so-called “squad” of female progressive lawmakers, often plays it fast and loose with the facts.
We know of one outright lie in her statement: Contrary to the freshman congresswoman’s claim, in August, the city council voted to cut $1 billion from the New York City Police Department, according to The New York Times.
This young politician apparently fails to grasp the magnitude of her proposals’ price tags. She doesn’t quite get that state and local governments must operate within budget constraints and can’t simply print money when there’s a deficit.
Immediately following the former bartender’s shock victory over longtime incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in the 2018 Democratic primary for the New York’s 14th Congressional District, she became the darling of the liberal media.
But upon her triumphant arrival in Washington, the self-described democratic socialist refused to defer to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s leadership.
As tensions between the two simmered, Ocasio-Cortez used her newly gained rock-star status to challenge Pelosi’s authority.
Like many who find themselves suddenly possessed of great power and influence, she often gets a little bit ahead of herself.
She throws her weight around too frequently, as she did when she made it her mission to prevent Amazon from building its headquarters in New York.
AOC clearly has much to learn, both about economics and about acting with grace.
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