The Democrat Green New Deal, which has been endorsed by at least four leading Democrat presidential candidates (Harris, Warren, Booker, Gillibrand) is a grab-bag of longstanding left-wing policy dreams to nationalize the economy and healthcare, and redistribute wealth, with fighting ‘climate change’ just the latest pretext.

Among the many, many crazy proposals was “economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work.”

That wording was not in the proposed Resolution, but was in a Frequently Asked Questions document distributed to journalists and posted on the official congressional website of the co-sponsor and driving force behind the GND, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

https://web.archive.org/web/20190207191119/https:/ocasio-cortez.house.gov/media/blog-posts/green-new-deal-faq%20

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The entry was removed from the website after the controversy erupted.

Paying people “unwilling to work” received a lot of conservative media and political attention because the concept confirms the belief that progressive policies are an invitation to freeloading.

A furious media and social media debate was sparked Friday night when my colleague, Cornell Law School Professor Robert Hockett, appeared on Tucker Carlson and denied that AOC had proposed paying people unwilling to work.

A Media Matters writer, in a highly deceptive tweet that went viral, used Hockett’s appearance to claim Hockett had debunked “all the conservative media lies straight to [Carlson’s] face.” Ocasio-Cortez retweeted that tweet.

https://dailycaller.com/2019/02/09/ocasio-cortez-adviser-tucker-carlson-wrong/

[Image via Daily Caller]

In a knot which is still being unwound, Hockett now says he may have misunderstood the documents that Tucker was talking about, confusing it with a fake version circulated on Twitter. The Daily Caller reports:

Hockett conceded that he was in the wrong in an email to The Daily Caller News Foundation on Saturday.

“It appears there was more than one document being discussed yesterday, only one of which I had heard about with any definiteness by last evening after a long day of media appearances – namely, the one referred to by the Congresswoman in her tweet,” he wrote. “I regret that we seem unknowingly to have ended up speaking about different documents for a minute during our longer and otherwise ‘on-the-same-page’ conversation last night.”

While many are accusing Hockett of deliberately lying about it, I don’t believe that’s so. From my interactions with him, if he says there was confusion during the interview, I accept that.

The issue of Hockett and the Tucker interview is a distraction. The fact is that Ocasio-Cortez put the FAQ with the “unwilling to work” language on her official website.

Her Chief of Staff claims that it was a mistake to post it on the website, and that the FAQ was just a draft:

https://twitter.com/saikatc/status/1094265598694096896

Ocasio-Cortez followed up with her own tweet mentioning numerous versions and fakes:

https://twitter.com/AOC/status/1094331348813340672

Considering that the language in question was on an official document on her official website and distributed to the media, I agree that AOC and her supporters are deliberately trying to confuse the issue to obscure the policy preference to pay those unwilling to work:

I’m now watching this very carefully b/c it’s becoming a master study in how, when you are wrong, the best option is to spread so much misinformation that normal people find it exhausting to try to figure out the truth.

https://twitter.com/politicalmath/status/1094370417450467328

This is a good example of political gaslighting:

For all the talk about how Trump is “gaslighting America,” it’s rather hilarious that the media & AOC’s clapping-seal allies on Twitter, are willing to go along w/the patently obvious gaslighting lie that the Green New Deal document we spent an ENTIRE DAY clowning on wasn’t hers.

No, you simpering fools, it’s not a mystery: it was published by AOC’s office on her website and also sent by AOC’s representatives to NPR, among other things. Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining.

https://twitter.com/EsotericCD/status/1094322550404993025

But why gaslight the policy of paying those unwilling to work. Why portray it as some sort of clerical error? This excuse reminds me of Michael Kinsley’s definition of a “political gaffe“:

“A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth.”

In the Green New Deal FAQ originally posted to Ocasio-Cortez’s congressional website, Ocasio-Cortez told the truth about her view and the New Green Deal ultimate goal of paying those “unwilling to work.”

Paying those unwilling to work, through Guaranteed Basic Income, has been a centerpiece of progressive policy for many years, and for at least the past year has been part of Ocasio-Cortez’s policy goals.

In a July 2018 speech at Netroots Nation (the gathering of far left bloggers, journalists and politicians), Ocasio-Cortez specifically mentions “universal basic income” (at 00:25 in video) as a policy goal:

Ocasio-Cortez’s mention of universal basic income at Netroots was in sync with her developing policy platform, as she acknowledged in this April 2018 tweet:

https://twitter.com/aoc/status/980948443895037957?lang=en

In December 2018, the universal basic income was noted in this article at Quartz as a unique feature of Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal platform (emphasis added):

Newly elected US congress member and rising Democratic star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez campaigned for office on an ambitious climate-change platform which she also calls a Green New Deal. The plan has gained attention and supporters over the last month, and is becoming a main talking point among Democrats who are looking for a meaningful agenda for the party over the next decade. Ocasio-Cortez envisions the federal government leading efforts to eliminate greenhouse-gas emissions by investing in renewable energy infrastructure, improving the efficiency of residential and industrial buildings, and constructing an energy-efficient electricity grid.

Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal[ *] however, involves taking on not only climate change, but also poverty and inequality. To achieve the Green New Deal’s goals, the government would need to hire millions of people. Ocasio-Cortez sees this as an opportunity to transform the economy. The Green New Deal would include training and education for workers, as well as a federal job-guarantee program. Further, all investments would be focused on low-income communities. Presenting climate-change mitigation as a jobs program, rather than an economy killer, may be politically savvy.

As if all that wasn’t ambitious enough, the Green New Deal would also include “basic income programs, universal healthcare programs and any others as the select committee may deem appropriate to promote economic security, labor-market flexibility, and entrepreneurism.” It is basically everything liberals desire and more. Supporters defend the need for these welfare programs as ways to alleviate the disruption that would be caused by the elimination of fossil fuel-supported jobs. With a universal basic income and government-guaranteed health care, losing your oil-industry gig wouldn’t be as bad.

[* Note: The link in the Quartz article now redirects to the draft legislative proposal, away from the original link to AOC’s campaign website.]

The draft legislative proposal (pdf.) to which the Ocasio-Cortez campaign website now redirects, included basic income guarantees:

“include additional measures such as basic income programs …”

https://legalinsurrection.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/FINAL-Select-Committee-for-a-Green-New-Deal-.pdf

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So the FAQs were entirely consistent with Ocasio-Cortez’s plans for a Green New Deal. Those FAQs put progressive meat on the bare bones of the legislative Resolution.

Universal basic income was tried in Finland, and Ontario, Canada, but failed, was proposed in Stockton, CA, and is under consideration in Chicago. It has widespread support in California tech circles, and is part of the official platform of California Democrats.

What this record shows us is that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez including payments to those “unwilling to work” in her Frequently Asked Questions about the Green New Deal was not a mistake, it was an admission of the policy goals of those behind the Green New Deal.

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[Some wording changes were made to this post, and content added, after initial publication.]