Politifact: Saying the Green New Deal Costs $93T is "False"

Politifact typically takes the medal for most ridiculous, left-leaning fact checker for a reason (although Snopes is working hard at it). They added another notch to their belt of bias with this ridiculous rating on Sen. Joni Enrst saying that the so called “Green New Deal” would cost $93T to implement.


Keep in mind that AOC’s ridiculous plan wants to refurbish or replace every single building in the United States while also providing free healthcare, a guaranteed “living wage,” and building high speed rail in every section of the country.

So is Ernst lying? Politifact says yes.

Interestingly, the report does not state its bottom-line estimate of what the Green New Deal would cost. But if you add up the various figures, the cost is pegged at somewhere between $51 trillion and $93 trillion.

So, Ernst is wrong when she flatly states that the Green New Deal will cost $93 trillion.

By far, the largest expenses, as estimated by the American Action Forum, are for non-environmental parts of the proposal: $36 trillion for universal health care and up to to $44.6 trillion for guaranteed union jobs with a family-sustaining wage. The environmental costs include an estimated $5.4 trillion to transition to a “low-carbon electricity grid.”

This “fact-checker” clearly doesn’t understand what the phrase “flat wrong” means. Ernst is not flat wrong for using the high end estimate. She’s simply using a high end estimate that was indeed in the report. You can disagree with that (I don’t know why you would), but her statement has basis in fact.


Secondly, while the writer is scoffing at the idea of $93T, she doesn’t even bother to mention the astronomical costs of a national high speed rail or retrofitting/rebuilding every single building and house in the United States. I’m going to go out on a limb and say those might just cost a few tens of trillions on their own.

In fact, Politifcat doesn’t make a full accounting at all in their rebuttal, instead giving a vague range of $51T to $93T. In response to their first number, on what planet would universal healthcare, a living wage guarantee, high speed rail everywhere, union jobs for everyone, retrofitting/rebuilding every structure in the country, and free college possibly only cost $51T? Several studies show that would barely cover Medicare for All. It’s asinine for Politifact to publicize such a silly notion and then use it to claim Ernst is lying for using the higher estimate.

The real problem here is not that Ernst tried to use a quantifiable estimate of AOC’s crazy plan, but that AOC’s plan is so insane and vague that it’s impossible to fully quantify it.

Instead of recognizing that, Politifact decides to attack the author of the study who came up with the $93T number, while simultaneously admitting that he’s credible. You can’t make this up.

But Ernst’s claim is even more misleading in that the report itself is full of assumptions, qualifiers and caveats.

Indeed, the report starts with a caveat, saying the breadth of the Green New Deal’s proposals “makes it daunting to assess” using the “standard tools of policy analysis. Nevertheless, this short paper is an initial foray”…

…But Holtz-Eakin’s work has held up to scrutiny before. He was the director of the Congressional Budget Office from 2003 to 2005 under President George W. Bush. According to the New York Times, he was often “a thorn in the side of the Bush administration.” And Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, told us the American Action Forum report is “a perfectly reasonable paper” for what it is —putting an “order of magnitude,” rough cost estimate on a bare-bones proposal.


The reason the study has qualifiers and has to make assumptions is because AOC’s plan is full of vagaries and ridiculous notions. How is that anyone’s fault but her’s? And why is someone else wrong for at least making a scientific attempt to estimate what her fantasies will cost?

Lastly, it’s absolutely hilarious to see anyone claim another person is lying because they are citing a high end estimate of a government program. At what point in history has any large government program come in at the low end estimate? Even the mid-tier estimate? In reality, $93T is probably too low of an estimate of the costs of something like the Green New Deal.

Politifact gives their final word by with a “False” rating of Ernst’s statement.

Ernst’s statement simply goes way too far. We rate it False.

They don’t go with half-true, even though they admit the grey areas and that Ernst is indeed citing a real number from a real study. This is what Politifact does. They will rate the most insanely false statements by Democrats as “half-true” or “mostly true” but when a Republican says something objectively true that they don’t like, they rate it as False.

Instead of going after Jonie Ernst for a truthful statement based in objective evidence, Politifact should be “fact-checking” whether AOC’s claim that the Green New Deal cost “less than nothing” is true. It’s right there in the FAQ. They won’t do that though because they are a biased, liberal outfit masquerading as a fact-checker.



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