Jake Tapper Grills Ocasio-Cortez Over How to Pay for $40 Trillion Platform: Guess ‘I’m Not Going to Get an Answer’


On CNN’s State of the Union, host Jake Tapper interviewed Democrat rising star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and pressed her on where the money will come from to fund her ambitious platform, which includes things like free college, free healthcare, free housing and more. However, Ocasio-Cortez was not able to account for the price tag, and eventually the interview had to move on without an answer.

“Your platform has called for various new programs including Medicare-for-all, housing as a federal right, a federal jobs guarantee, tuition-free public college, canceling all student loan debt,” said Tapper, listing a few of the items the New York candidate has promised to pursue. “According to nonpartisan and left-leaning studies friendly to your cause including the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities or the Tax Policy Center, the overall price tag is more than $40 trillion in the next decade.”

“You recently said in an interview that increasing taxes on the very wealthy, plus an increased corporate tax rate would make $2 trillion over the next ten years,” Tapper continued. “So where is the other $38 trillion going to come from?”

“One of the things we need to realize when we look at something like Medicare for all––Medicare for all would save the American people a very large amount of money,” replied Ocasio-Cortez. “And what we see as well is that these systems are not just pie-in-the-sky. They are, many of them are accomplished by every modern civilized democracy in the western world. The United Kingdom has a form of single payer health care. Canada, France, Germany. What we need to realize s that these investments are better and they are good for our future.”

“These are generational investments,” she added. “So that not just, they are not short-term band-aids but they are really profound decisions about who we want to be as a nation and how we want to act as the wealthiest nation in the history of the world.”

Tapper said that he understood the philosophical point, but again pointed out that the price tag of $40 trillion in ten years was not accounted for. “You say it’s not pie-in-the-sky, but $40 trillion is quite a bit of money. And the taxes that you talked about raising to pay for this, to pay for your agenda, only account for two,” he said. “And we’re going by left-leaning analysts.”

Ocasio-Cortez then told the story of how individuals she spoke to in New York didn’t have insurance, and other stories about how her generation doesn’t buy cars.

“What this is, is a broader agenda. We do know and acknowledge that there are political realities. They don’t always happen with just the wave of a wand, but we can work to make these things happen,” she said. “In fact, when you look at the economic activity that it spurs — for example, if you look at my generation, millennials, the amount of economic activity that we do not engage in. The fact that we delay purchasing homes, that we don’t participate in the economy in purchasing cars etc. as fully as possible, is a cost.”

“It is a externality, if you will, of unprecedented amounts of student loan debt,” she concluded somewhat cryptically.

“So I’m assuming I’m not going to get an answer for the other thirty-eight trillion dollars,” said Tapper. “But we’ll have you back and maybe we can go over that.”

Watch the clip above, courtesy of CNN.

[Featured image via screengrab]

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