Mark Penn: Green New Deal has more in common with Mao's Cultural Revolution than FDR's New Deal

The “Green New Deal” is not green at all. If anything it’s a raw, red deal. It calls for a government takeover of our wage, and of our energy, housing, health care and transportation sectors. It has more in common with Mao’s Cultural Revolution than it does FDR’s New Deal, which lifted millions out of the Great Depression.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced this resolution with Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ed Marky and a bevy of supporting congressmen.

One wonders if anyone actually read it.

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One section says that in the spirit of democracy that only people from “frontline and vulnerable communities and workers” will “plan, run and administer” all of these massive green deal programs.

Just as Mao’s Cultural Revolution empowered students over their parents, so this bill sets up identity politics groups as having power over the major sectors of the economy. It even calls for a national “mobilization, “as Mao did.

Referencing historical discrimination, this bill in effect does away with one person one vote, or democracy as we know it, since in this resolution, redress of the past requires that only these designated groups would have a say in running this plan, whose administration would in effect be the domestic policy of the country.

Even more puzzling is that six Democratic candidates for president have given support to this effort. Most Americans oppose even a modest increase in the gasoline tax, let alone virtual destruction of the oil, natural gas and coal industries. That’s a $136 billion dollar industry employing about 10 million people. After mandating the “100 percent” end of these industries as part of the mobilization, the resolution calls for a guaranteed job for all Americans and economic security even for those “unwilling” to work.

It mandates that every building in America will be upgraded. It’s unclear in this legislative framework who would pay for incalculable costs of such a program because no one could ever possibly pay for it. No tax on the rich would ever generate enough to first eliminate our energy industry, including clean natural gas, replace it with technologies that are not yet ready and then provide a guaranteed job for everyone, with full benefits, regardless of employability. Don’t worry, though, “low tech” solutions to remove carbon dioxide will be encouraged.

The demand for justice on the basis of climate change is upside down. The energy revolution did not cause the oppression of the frontline and vulnerable communities. Quite the opposite, it was at the core of the democratization of technology as Thomas Edison’s invention of the light bulb was not limited to the few but became universal to every household.

The moderately priced car created by Henry Ford helped create the middle class and later provided the near-universal mobility that enabled people to live in the suburbs and commute to work. While the oil industry was broken up to create greater competition, these energy driven inventions were at the center of transforming American life for everyone.

Air travel is out under this deal as well, to be replaced by high-speed trains. Yea. Right. Amtrak to California.

The very premise that America is the carbon fiend that needs to mobilize to this degree on its own is faulty as well. Carbon emissions from America have been declining, down 2.7 percent in 2016. Since 2011, carbon emissions from large power plants in the U.S. have declined by nearly 20 percent.

The two most populous countries on earth -- India and China -- both looking to move more and more millions of people to the middle class, are ground zero for the explosion of future carbon emissions. We need to develop affordable energy technologies that could be deployed to bring these developing countries into line.

This plan is really a nifty piece of marketing to use the environment as a Trojan horse to justify socialism in America. It is not a serious plan to deal with the global issue of climate change in the world. Rather than advance the cause of climate change, this legislation could prove more of an easy target for Republicans to discredit the Democrats, who just won over moderate suburban voters in the last election. While many in polls may support something called the “green deal,” few Americans will support the details of this legislation once examined and explained.

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It’s not the platform of the Democratic Party and it’s up to the leadership of the party to back realistic proposals for a better future, not bumper stickers.

Failure to heed this warning could well lead to another surprise upset at the polls.

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