Trevor Noah Presses Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: ‘How Do You Pay’ For Free Health Care and Education?


On Thursday night, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appeared on The Daily Show and spoke about what it means to be a Democratic Socialist.

When asked about labeling herself as a Democratic Socialist, Ocasio-Cortez said that we live in a society that is “capable” of insuring a “framework” of basic health insurance, education, and climate change, which relies on a “moral and ethical economy.”

Trevor Noah then asked if she had ever considered dropping the “socialist” label while maintaining her socialist positions. She didn’t exactly answer the question, but pointed to how she is “honest and authentic” and insisted that “the media” cares more about the label than the voters.

“I don’t knock on a person’s door and is like, ‘Hey! Let me tell you about socialism!’ Like, that’s not how I campaign,” she told Noah. “And I also think that I don’t knock on a person’s door and say, ‘Hey, let me tell you about being a Democrat.’ No, I don’t say that. I speak to people’s needs. And, you know, if Fox News and if media want to continue using this word, they’re gonna to use the word.  I think by me saying, ‘Oh, no, I’m not, this, that and the other,’ it just becomes a distraction.”

The Daily Show host then pivoted to policy, specifically on how she would fund all the things she wants the government to pay for.

Those ideas, I think most people would agree on, especially if they don’t know the label that they are attached to, you know?” Noah told Ocasio-Cortez. “But then, the pragmatic side of it comes in, as you said. How do you pay for these? You always see people coming in with economic arguments, and they say, look, these numbers don’t really add up. You know, in order to get healthcare for everybody, this is what it would cost. That’s going to be troubling. Even if you reverse the Republican tax deal, that’s only going to make up 5% of what we need to pay for Medicare for all. How do you pay for education- how do you pay for all these ideas?”

Ocasio-Cortez responded by calling it an “excellent, excellent question” and told Noah how she recently sat down with a “Nobel prize economist” and pointed to if people and corporations “paid their fair share.” She also suggested that if wealthy individuals like Warren Buffett paid a 15% tax rate, set the corporate tax rate at 28%, and closed loopholes, that would generate “two trillion dollars in ten years.”

Watch the clip above, via Comedy Central.

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