WashPost: Ocasio-Cortez Claim About Pentagon Wrong

Leslie Hanson
December 6, 2018

Ocasio-Cortez in a December 2 tweet claimed a $21 trillion mistake could have paid for about 66 percent of the cost of a Medicare-for-all bill. First, she's comparing $21 trillion of Pentagon accounting errors made over an unspecified period and Medicare for All spending of $32 billion over ten years. "That's a much better way of illustrating the cost of Medicare-for-All", adds the Post.

"That means 66% of Medicare for All could have been funded already by the Pentagon", she added.

Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is quickly becoming one of the most prominent faces on the left wing of American politics.

"Time to walk the walk", the Democratic Congresswoman-elect tweeted on Tuesday.

In the posting, Ocasio-Cortez, who defeated Rep. Joe Crowley in June's Democratic primary, referred to a report in the Nation that tracked Pentagon spending from 1998 to 2015 and found $21 trillion in "unsupported budget adjustments".

"The $21 trillion is not one big pot of dormant money collecting dust somewhere".


Ocasio-Cortez's pledge comes a day after she criticized her future colleagues in Congress, including Democrats, for not paying interns.

But even more importantly, Ocasio-Cortez ignored that the accounting errors were a sum of both assets and liabilities, and not simply an amount that would be saved and could be applied to another program.

El Borde [CC BY 3.0]Before we get to the substance of her contention, please keep in mind that a tweet is, by definition, very short, while the issues she raised are somewhat complex. She seems to think so.

Rizzo also noted that Skidmore's figures cover 17 years of Pentagon activity, while the Urban Institute's $32 trillion Medicare plan estimate spans only 10 years, so the two numbers are not directly comparable anyway.

Read the Washington Post's full rebuttal of Ocasio-Cortez here. "But it's unconvincing to try to pass this off as a rhetorical point being misread".

"The tweet is still up, probably causing confusion". "It's only when we are talking about investing in the physical and economic well-being of our citizenry that we become concerned with the price tags".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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