WATCH. Anderson Cooper Plays Slow-Pitch Nerf Ball With Alexandria Ocasio Cortez

screengrab from

screengrab from

I’m sort of reluctant to post on this as it is not praising the emergent political savant, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, because over and over I’m told that criticizing her just makes her stronger and more appealing and it makes the critics weaker. I have to admit being sort of dumbstruck by this notion, and the idea that personal ridicule doesn’t work, because I’m old enough to remember Dan Quayle’s political career being burned to the ground by this incident:

And I can remember a Harvard MBA graduate and the first two-term governor of Texas since the Civil War being successfully ridiculed as stupid. Hell, I’m old enough that I can even remember a president being compared to a Cheeto. But whatever.

This Sunday, Anderson Cooper will interview the wunderkind on 60 Minutes. This is how CBS is billing it:

The meat of the interview, such as there is because according to all reports it is much more of a flurry of Nerf balls, is about Ocasio Cortez’s economic plan, the Green New Deal. To that end she’s seeking to establish a “select committee” on the Green New Deal with this as its mandate:

(i) The select committee shall have authority to develop a detailed national, industrial, economic mobilization plan (hereinafter in this section referred to as the “Plan for a Green New Deal” or the “Plan”) for the transition of the United States economy to become greenhouse gas emissions neutral and to significantly draw down greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and oceans and to promote economic and environmental justice and equality. In furtherance of the foregoing, the Plan shall: (a) be prepared in consultation with experts and leaders from business, labor, state and local governments, tribal nations, academia and broadly representative civil society groups and communities; (b) be driven by the federal government, in collaboration, co-creation and partnership with business, labor, state and local governments, tribal nations, research institutions and civil society groups and communities; (c) be executed in no longer than 10 years from the start of execution of such Plan; (d) provide opportunities for high income work, entrepreneurship and cooperative and public ownership; and (e) additionally, be responsive to, and in accordance with, the goals and guidelines relating to social, economic, racial, regional and gender-based justice and equality set forth in paragraph (6).


Well, at least it isn’t a five-year plan but it does look like a great leap forward.

COOPER: You’re talking about zero carbon emissions, no use of fossil fuel within twelve years?

OCASIO CORTEZ: That is the goal. It seems ambitious, and…

COOPER: How’s that possible? You’re talking about everybody having to drive an electric car.

OCASIO CORTEZ: It’s going to require a lot of rapid change that we don’t even conceive as possible right now. What is the problem with trying to push our technological capacity to the furthest extent possible.

COOPER: This would require raising taxes.

OCASIO CORTEZ: There is an element where, yeah, people are going to have to start paying their fair share in taxes.

COOPER: Do you have a specific on the tax rate?

OCASIO CORTEZ: You know, you look at our tax rates back in the 60s and when you have a progressive tax rate system your tax rate, you know, let’s say, from zero to $75,000 may be 10% or 15%, et cetera. But once you get to like the tippy tops, on your ten millionth dollar, sometimes you see tax rates as high as 60 or 70 percent. It doesn’t mean all $10 million are taxed an extremely high rate but as you climb up this ladder you should be contributing more.

COOPER: What you are talking about, just big picture, is a radical agenda compared to the way politics is done right now.

OCASIO CORTEZ: Well, I think it has only ever been radicals who have changed this country. Abraham Lincoln made the radical decision to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. Franklin Delano Roosevelt made the radical decision to embark on establishing programs like Social Security. That is radical.

COOPER: Do you call yourself a radical?

OCASIO CORTEZ: Yeah, if that’s what radical means, call me a radical.


Some of this is utter bullsh**. Even with technology you can’t reasonably claim that winding down the use of fossil fuels within 12 years is anything but nonsense. The Emancipation Proclamation was a half measure, not a radical idea. Beyond this, what she recites pretty mainstream progressive Democrat anti-freedom, tax-and-spend politics. She’s being criticized for the tax comment, but it is pretty much in line with Barack Obama’s view.

And when you consider the tax rate in 1963, 70% makes it seem like you’re living in a tax haven (here is a constant dollars calculator to see how much you’d have paid in 1963).


She’s correct that everyone has to pay their share but where we’d depart company is on what that would mean. In my view, we’ve become a nation of where most people simply have no skin in the game when it comes to tax increases.

By contrast, the lower 60% of households, who have income up to about $86,000, receive about 27% of income. As a group, this tier will pay no net federal income tax in 2018 vs. 2% of it last year.

Sorry, I don’t see the boldness. It is the same old crap we’ve been hearing for years. Ocasio Cortez comes across as an earnest college freshman, she’s not a particularly convincing or lucid spokeswoman for her cause, and clearly the cause is more about her than it is about anything else. What is missing from the promotional clips is any hint that she was grilled on the economic impacts of the Green New Deal on the average American or asked to explain exactly how the “Select Committee” on the Green New Deal plans on accomplishing its goals. I suspect we’ll see much more of this fluffing used as an interview technique as no one in the media is going to take the chance on offending her online fanclub by actually asking her a real question.


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