I’m not a naïf when it comes to why people run for Congress, and it’s not solely to represent their constituents in a “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” sort of way.
Part of the game, if you’re so lucky, is building national recognition of your personal brand. It’s how you make the jump from freshman representative to, say, senator, cabinet member or — dare to dream — president.
At some point, though, you do have to pay attention to your constituents and their needs. More specifically, it helps when you don’t support giving away their money to individuals who aren’t citizens of this country, as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has recently proposed in a move guaranteed to generate news.
And garner media attention it did, because even though the New York Democrat’s legislative proposals have almost no chance of becoming law, they’re covered with the kind of alacrity usually reserved for policy prescriptions by Democratic presidential candidates.
According to Fox News, the new suite of legislation being pushed by the freshman congresswoman includes “national rent control and expanding welfare to illegal immigrants across the country, as part of a massive new proposal aiming to achieve a ‘just society.’”
“A just society provides a living wage, safe working conditions, and healthcare. A just society acknowledges the value of immigrants to our communities. A just society guarantees safe, comfortable, and affordable housing,” the website promoting “A Just Society” reads.
“By strengthening our social and economic foundations, we are preparing ourselves to embark on the journey to save our planet by rebuilding our economy and cultivate a just society.”
The website notes that “stark inequalities are being used by those in power to amplify fear and anger in our communities and further divide us. We must act boldly and swiftly to reverse the corrosive effects extreme inequality and poverty are having on our society.”
There are plenty of things in “A Just Society” (I guess the fact that nobody says the words “Green New Deal” without a sneer anymore meant it was time to propose a new, totally unpassable suite of legislation with a catchy name) to either lampoon or be very afraid about.
There’s nationwide rent control, which would ban year-over-year rent increases of more than 3 percent. The Uplift Workers Act mandates the federal government institute a “‘worker-friendly score’ for federal contracts.”
The part everyone’s going to be talking about, however, is that “A Just Society” provides welfare for illegal immigrants.
“Notwithstanding any other provision of law … an individual who is an alien (without regard to the immigration status of that alien) may not be denied any Federal public benefit solely on the basis of the individual’s immigration status,” the bill states.
We’re rolling out our next major project: A Just Society.
It’s a 6-piece suite:
1. Recognizing Poverty Act
2. Place to Prosper Act
3. Mercy in Re-Entry Act
4. Embrace Act
5. Uplift Our Workers Act
6. Ratify the UN Covenant on Economic, Social, & Cultural Rights
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 25, 2019
It describes a federal benefit as “any grant, contract, loan, professional license, or commercial license provided by an agency of the United States or by appropriated funds of the United States; and…any retirement, welfare, health, disability, public or assisted housing, postsecondary education, food assistance, unemployment benefit, or any other similar benefit for which payments or assistance are provided to an individual, household, or family eligibility unit by an agency of the United States or by appropriated funds of the United States.”
This is a massive moral hazard, but the media isn’t going to cover it. And why would they?
This sounds good to the left, which means that you’re not likely to see this challenged in any substantive way.
The Green New Deal was given plenty of uncritical coverage from the media, and this is going to be no different. AOC plays well in the media, and thus the serious structural problems inherent in this are going to stay hidden — at least, for a little while. That’s when Americans are going to start questioning why citizens — in particular our veterans — are taking a back seat to illegal immigrants in this plan.
My guess is that she’s not going to have an answer. After all, this is about starting a conversation, not producing results.
“I think the conversation that the Green New Deal sparked — like if I had to decide, would I rather have the resolution passed or would I have rather preferred we start a national conversation about the urgency of the climate crisis — I would have chosen the latter every single time,” she said last month.
Apparently, she now wants to have the same conversation about whether illegal immigrants are entitled to your taxpayer dollars.
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