Potential presidential candidate and former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz scoffed at the proposed Green New Deal on Saturday and challenged advocates such as Democratic New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to embrace reality instead of socialism.
Schultz spoke at the South by Southwest Conference & Festival in Austin, Texas. His criticism of the Green New Deal echoes criticism from GOP lawmakers who have told The Western Journal that the proposal would be a disaster.
Schulz has said he may run for president in 2020 as an independent but has been vague about his plans. He said that Democrats’ drift toward socialism is a political gift to President Donald Trump.
“For us to start moving towards a level of socialism is such an extreme position and something that is inconsistent with the values, the heritage, and the tradition of the country,” Schultz said. “And that is what Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and others are proposing to try and defeat Donald Trump with a far extreme proposal.”
“If Donald Trump runs against one of those types of candidates it’s my belief that Donald Trump will be reelected, that the vast majority of Americans are not going to embrace socialism,” Schultz said.
Schultz said the Green New Deal has lost touch with reality.
“I read that by 2030 they’re suggesting that every building in America becomes clean energy, conforms to clean energy, just to put that in perspective, because it’s not realistic, that would mean that between 2,000 and 3,000 buildings a day would have to be reconstructed to conform to what they’re saying,” Schultz said. “So let’s be sensible about what we’re suggesting.”
Schultz added that the concept was “a well-intentioned idea but it’s never going to happen.”
“Let’s propose things that are true, that are honest, that are sincere, and that are realistic,” Schultz said.
Ocasio-Cortez could not let the comments pass without a reply.
Ah yes, because we‘ve all drawn upon the rich inspiration of American leaders who‘ve inspired a nation in crisis by saying, “No, You Can’t.” https://t.co/SmToOkqAKm
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 9, 2019
No you cannot make the United States socialist teeny bopper.
— Carmine Sabia (@CarmineSabia) March 9, 2019
Schultz also said that the growing litany of “free” programs proposed by Democrats ignore the reality that all programs have costs.
“There’s nothing free in America,” Schultz said. “So these proposals about Medicare for all, and free college, and a government job for everybody, that is not free. So someone is going to have to pay for that and that means that taxes for everyone is going to have to go up or someone’s going to have to wave a magic wand and do something that doesn’t exist but that has to be paid for by somebody and the difficulty in trying to pay for any of that is we’re sitting with $22 trillion of debt that has to be addressed.”
He added that a job guarantee is a promise that government cannot keep.
“I don’t understand how you’re going to give a job for everybody, how you’re going to give free college to everybody, how you’re going to create clean energy throughout the country in every building of the land,” he said. “I think it’s immoral to suggest that we can tally up $20, $30, $40, $50 trillion of debt to solve a problem that could be solved in a different way.”
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