Op-ed: Sen. Rick Scott
February 25, 2019
Much has already been written on the so-called “Green New Deal” introduced to the American public by New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as the next big Democrat idea. If you are not familiar with it, here’s the cliff notes version: it calls for rebuilding or retrofitting every building in America in the next 10 years, eliminating all fossil fuels in 10 years, eliminating nuclear power, and working towards ending air travel (to be replaced with high-speed rail).
There are even crazier things in this “Green New Deal,” but why bother, it’s not a serious policy idea; it’s a unicorn. It’s like an idea conceived in a dorm room or the dark back room of a liberal think-tank by people who have never had a real job in their lives.
The far-left Democrats fail to grasp something basic — Republicans and Independents care about the environment. We want clean air, we want clean water, and we feel obligated to be good stewards of this planet God has given us. But we do not worship the planet, we simply live on it.
At the same time, we also care about our economy, our jobs, and making sure that everyone has opportunity for success. We believe that taking care of the planet and pursuing economic prosperity and stability are objectives that can and must be pursued and realized simultaneously.
Now for the plain truth of the matter — to embrace this Green New Deal plan is to be an enemy of the American economy and the American worker. Anyone who endorses it is a math denier and a job destroyer. The “Green New Deal” is in reality the “Green Job Killer.”
Some will say, “Why bother picking on this silly plan? It’s not like it has any chance of being enacted.” Here’s the problem: A socialist from New York City with a massive Twitter following introduced this non-serious plan and every single major Democrat running for President immediately embraced it. Let that sink in for a moment.
While I believe that President Donald Trump will be re-elected, there is always the chance that one of these Democrat candidates could become President of the United States. What then? Tear down all buildings, eliminate oil and gas, and stop air travel?
Climate change (which is real and requires real solutions) is the religion of the new Left in America. This was an altar call, and all the presidential aspirants on the Democrat side came forward. They have accepted this economy-destroying plan as a new commandment, to go alongside single-payer health care and higher taxes on job creators.
Like all zealots, the people backing this proposal require total obedience to their faith. Anyone who speaks up in opposition, even in measured tones, is branded an apostate and an opponent of the environment and progress itself. Starbucks founder Howard Schultz, who is exploring an independent run for president, notes that the Green New Deal is “unrealistic” and the debt it would cause is “immoral.” In response to this criticism, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez simply attacked Schultz for being wealthy.
The coalition supporting this plan is made up of four parts:
- “Those unwilling to work.” Yes, a published summary of the Green New Deal plan, though later deleted from subsequent summaries, said it would “provide economic security” for not only those unable to work, but also those “unwilling to work.”
- Liberal professors at colleges and universities.
- Liberal billionaires, the non-working rich, who are insulated from the economic reality and pain this would cause for millions of Americans.
- Democrats running for President.
So that’s your coalition supporting the “Green Job Killer” — liberal billionaires, people unwilling to work, liberals enjoying the college life as long as they can, and Democrats running for President. I estimate this group to be roughly 15 percent of the country.
But for most Americans (people living in the real world) this is a declaration of war on the economy, our way of life, and the standard of living for working class families across the country.
And what does this mean for Florida? Well, it would mean the end of the tourism industry for one, not to mention massive job loss and unemployment. Every elected official in Florida, regardless of party affiliation, should make it clear that they oppose the Green Job Killer.
As for me, I love and cherish the environment; it’s what makes Florida so great. What I don’t love is naïve plans that would destroy Florida’s economy. In my tenure as governor of Florida, we made record investments in our environment. And we were only able to do that because Florida’s economy was booming and we had the resources to make these investments.
But there is never enough money, and we were still routinely attacked by the radical left; we weren’t doing it for them — and they will certainly attack this column on Twitter.
The most incredible part of the Green New Deal plan is the statement that they will provide “economic security for all people of the United States.” The Government can never do that, to argue otherwise is a disservice to all hard-working Americans and nothing more than phony political posturing.