WASHINGTON, D.C. — In the latest display of liberal, faith-based eco-fanaticism, newly-elected U.S. Rep. Oscasio-Cortez is attempting to force a “green ‘new deal'” on the American people, according to reports.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “new deal” is a very expensive deal. It is, in fact, fiscally impossible without expanding U.S. GDP (total wealth created by American people in a single year) by four times its current size, according to Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) from from 2003 to 2005.
Holtz-Eakin is now head of the right-of-center think tank “American Action Forum,” which released the report.
In fact, current unfunded federal liabilities owed to the rest of the world, i.e. America’s creditors — the countries who own U.S. treasuries and to whom America must pay annual interest in order to even turn the lights on and pump clean water into our communities — exceed $80 trillion (four times world GDP).
When such figures are taken into account, it’s not difficult to understand how some in Congress and the public may identify mathmatical deficiencies in Cortez’s ambitious “green” agenda.
The so-called “Green ‘New Deal'” may tally between $51 trillion and $93 trillion over 10-years, concludes American Action Forum.
“The Green New Deal is clearly very expensive,” the group said in its analysis. “It’s further expansion of the federal government’s role in some of the most basic decisions of daily life, however, would likely have a more lasting and damaging impact than its enormous price tag.”
“That includes between $8.3 trillion and $12.3 trillion to meet the plan’s call to eliminate carbon emissions from the power and transportation sectors and between $42.8 trillion and $8.6 trillion for its economic agenda including providing jobs and health care for all,” reports Bloomberg.
Cortez’s “green” agenda is nothing more than the latest manifestation of “Watermelon Marxism” — green on the outside, but red on the inside.
It’s an old technique for socialists to utilize the cover of other issues and emotional appeals to conceal totally unrelated (but coveted) policies of wealth redistribution and totalitarian control.
Don’t believe us at Big League Politics; believe former Obama admin. Regulatory Czar Cass Sunstein. During the lead-up to former Pres. Barack Obama’s own attempted “Green ‘New Deal,'” Sunstein wrote the following:
It is even possible that desirable redistribution is more likely to occur through climate change policy than otherwise, or to be accomplished more effectively through climate policy than through direct foreign aid.
We agree that if the United States does spend a great deal on emissions reductions as part of an international agreement, and if the agreement does give particular help to disadvantaged people, considerations of distributive justice support its action, even if better redistributive mechanisms are imaginable.
Furthermore, Sunstein thinks that “[i]f we care about social welfare, we should approve of a situation in which a wealthy nation is willing to engage in a degree of self-sacrifice when the world benefits more than that nation loses.”
Sunstein is not alone. Van Jones — Obama’s environmental czar — propigated the term, “eco-apartheid.” Such convenient (and self-serving) ideological devices are the basic for Jones’ wild-eyed exclamation, “Give them the wealth! Give them the wealth! No justice on stolen land…we owe them a debt.”
Obama presumably was on board, since even he pledged to “bankrupt” the coal industry, among other outrageous remarks:
So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.
Obama’s “cap-and-trade” plan would have reduced U.S. GDP by $9 trillion and lowered emissions past a point where no industrial nation could endure — wholly consistent with Obama’s pledge to bankrupt the coal industry, despite the fact that coal accounts for 50 percent of U.S. energy consumption.
Obama also tried to lock the U.S. into the never-ratified Kyoto Protocol — despite the obvious threats to US security. In its non-partisan report to study the implications of implementing Kyoto, the US Environmental Information Agency predicted a loss of between $100-400 billion in US GDP and skyrocketing energy prices. Moreover, the Kyoto Treaty’s effect on our national security due to reductions in military training and operational tempo would have been staggering.
When combined with the no-sale Copenhagen Treaty and the Paris Agreement, both of which sought to achieve global wealth redistribution under the banner of “climate debt,” Cortez’s “Green ‘New Deal'” is clearly the extension of socialist ideology by other means.
There’s nothing new under the Sun, especially hot-tempered socialists.
Cortez should cool off before she confuses her next outburst of grade-school antics with sensible public policy.
Not all Shi’a-Majority Nations are the Same
The recent alleged arson attack on the Tomb of Esther and Mordechai, a Jewish holy site in Iran, was indicative of the ever-rising rate of anti-Semitism and broader religious intolerance in the Islamic Republic. The recently released United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) annual report had highlighted Iran’s anti-Semitic targeting of its small Jewish population as well as other minorities including followers of the Baha’i faith; the most persecuted faith in Iran.
The USCIRF described that it documented “a particular uptick in the persecution of Baha’is and local government officials who supported them in 2019. Iran’s government blamed Baha’is —without evidence — for widespread popular protests, accusing the community of collaboration with Israel, where the Baha’i World Centre is located. Iran’s government also continued to promote hatred against Baha’is and other religious minorities on traditional and social media channels.”
U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Elan Carr has said that “anti-Semitism isn’t ancillary to the ideology of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is a central foundational component of the ideology of that regime, and we have to be clear about it, and we have to confront it and call it out for what it is.” After the Tomb of Esther and Mordechai was set ablaze last weekend, Carr reiterated these statements and called Iran the “world’s chief state sponsor of anti-Semitism.”
In 2016 I wrote, “According to Articles 12 and 13 of the Iranian Constitution, all branches of Islam and Christianity have the right to worship, as do Jews and Zoroastrians, within the limits of the law there. However, converting away from Islam to any other religion is considered haram, or forbidden, and in many cases, could result in execution.”
Anti-Semitism is a historical reality in Iran’s strict brand of Shi’a Islam, which emphasizes the separation between believers and non-believers, expressed in terms of purity versus impurity. The Jewish People Policy Planning Institute explains that in Iran, “under the influence of Zoroastrian traditions, the Jews were considered physically impure and untouchable (najasa). Jews were also prohibited from inheriting from Shiites, whereas the opposite was allowed. A Jew who converted to Islam was entitled to the entire inheritance. Shiites were not allowed to marry Jewish women, except for in temporary marriage (mut’a), which is an inferior and exploitative type of concubinage.”
It is also a little-known fact that the country name of Iran is derived from the ancient Persian word Arya, a linguistic predecessor of the modern European term Aryan. Further, Armenian Nazi collaborator Garegin Nzhdeh (1886-1955) is the founder of the racist Tseghakronism movement, whose ideology is reminiscent of the Aryan supremacy espoused by Nzhdeh’s Nazi comrades. Today, Nzhdeh’s brand of Aryan and anti-Semitic ideology is palpable in both Armenia and Iran, neighboring countries where the Anti-Defamation League has documented that more than half of the populations hold a series of anti-Semitic views — at even higher rate in Armenia (58 percent) than in Iran (56 percent).
At the same time, it is important to note that the majority of Iranians are secular and the regime does not necessarily represent them, or their values. In fact, the Iranian government persecutes its Azerbaijani, Arab, and other citizens from minority populations.
Yet a stark contrast with Iran is found in its Shi’a-majority neighbor, Azerbaijan, which has strong relations with Israel and protects its Jewish citizens as well as other religious and ethnic minorities.
Southern California-based evangelical pastor Johnnie Moore has elaborated on the telling differences in the realm of religious tolerance between Azerbaijan and Iran, noting that Azerbaijan is “a country where Sunni and Shi’a clerics pray together, where Evangelical and Russian Orthodox Christians serve together, and where thriving Jewish communities enjoy freedom and total security in their almost entirely Islamic country.” He has also called Azerbaijan “a model for peaceful coexistence between religions.”
During my own visit to Azerbaijan, I observed and documented this first-hand. I believe that Azerbaijan is a nation that bears the torch, and burden, of bringing religious freedom to its less tolerant neighbors in the region, like Iran.
Perhaps the most dramatic indicator of Azerbaijani tolerance is the post-Soviet state’s special relationship with its Jewish community and with Israel. Last November, Azerbaijan unveiled a statue in honor of the nation’s Jewish war hero Albert Agarunov (1969-1992). Although Agarunov was killed in battle, his legacy remains a powerful symbol of Jewish integration and pride for his Muslim-majority country.
Israel and Azerbaijan have closely cooperated for more than a decade in the realms of security, energy, and tourism. Most recently, Azerbaijan sent its Finance Minister Samir Sharifov to this year’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference, where Sharifov said that the country’s “cooperation with Israel is not limited to oil supply; we are interested in widening cooperation in defense and the transfer of technology.”
Sharifov also read remarks from a letter to AIPAC by Mehriban Aliyeva, the first vice president of Azerbaijan, who wrote, “It is gratifying that our former compatriots of Jewish origin, living nowadays in the United States and Israel, have maintained close ties with Azerbaijan and contribute to the strengthening of our relations with these countries. We are grateful to them.”
How can Azerbaijan govern and act so differently from its Shi’a neighbor? Iran is a theocracy that mixes religion and state more thoroughly than any other country in the world. In contrast, Azerbaijan’s constitution affirms the country as a secular state and ensures religious freedom for its citizens. Azerbaijan is also facing its own human rights issues and working on progressing as a nation. However, the fact of the matter remains, though Iran and Azerbaijan share a border, the similarities between their governments largely end there. Not all Shi’a-majority nations are the same.
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