The so-called “Green New Deal
” is neither new, nor any kind of a deal — and the courts and federal regulators have decided as much before the “Deal” even gets off the ground. It’s a manifesto for government control. It’s what socialism looks like. We should take it seriously.
Six-time Socialist presidential candidate Norman Thomas said in 1944, “The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But, under the name of 'liberalism,' they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation without knowing how it happened...”
Economist F.A Hayek described the phenomenon of “creeping socialism,” whereby a nation slowly moves toward government control of the economy and social structures — except that the Green New Deal and its radical authors, led by self-described Democratic Socialist U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, advocate a full frontal assault.
The House Resolution goes far beyond even what the most aggressive U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulators imagined in 2010 under President Obama in the name of “climate change.”
During our successful U.S. Supreme Court challenge against the Obama greenhouse gas emissions, the EPA admitted that, if its measures were followed, there would be a net reduction in global temperature by the year 2100 of approximately .01 degrees Celsius — a figure so small that current technology would have trouble measuring it. The cost for compliance? The rules would cost more than $300 to $400 billion a year, and significantly raise the price of gas at the pump and energy in the home, and eventually churches, schools, restaurants, hospitals, and farms would be regulated. According to a range of economic studies, 2.5 million American jobs would disappear by 2030.
The EPA further admitted that its overreaching regulations would lead to "absurd results" and was "unenforceable." The Supreme Court agreed, rolling back the regulations as unconstitutional executive overreach and violation of separation of powers.
However, the Green New Deal is only partially about the environment. In fact, the “environment” is a pretext for complete social re-engineering around the tattered term “justice,” including justice against wealth and for universal income, justice against job-creating industry (yet its proponents claim that same “private sector” will step forward and create millions of new jobs, in a nod to the failed Obama policy of a “new green economy” — can you say Solyndra ?) This is the deal: promises of free college education, income if you are unwilling to work, and punishment for the insinuated evils of racism, classism, and regulated naturalization are the offer. In exchange, the Green New Deal demands that we simply hand over the keys to constitutional liberty, and all will be well.
The Green New Deal has its supporters — including presidential hopefuls U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Was President Trump off-base during the State of the Union address this week when he challenged socialism? It’s at our doorstep.
The nation saw this agenda in bits and pieces during the Obama years. Actively confronting in court the near-diabolical regulatory strategies of Obama regulatory czar Cass Sunstein, we saw:
- an Obamacare designed to fail and lead to single-payer universal healthcare;
- draconian environmental regulations like the so-called Clean Power Plan, which was the result of a noxious ploy used by radical environmental groups and their allies (and former employees) in the EPA called “sue-and settle”;
- the “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) expansion of regulatory power over 95 percent of all land in the continental United States, defeated in the Supreme Court;
- an explosion of regulatory power and illegal lobbying grants through an Office of Environmental Justice into nearly two dozen federal agencies, targeting companies that a Soviet-style political officer deemed “exploitative,” despite the fact that the companies complied with existing federal regulations;
- the “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” rule enacted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which takes federal control of local zoning to mandate undefined “diversity” and who should pay for it at the neighborhood level;
- By many estimates, the Obama regulatory regime added more than $750 billion in costs to American consumers and taxpayers, with no demonstrable improvement in any demographic or industrial segment.
Rolled out with breathless enthusiasm, the Green New Deal is a declaration of a new form of command-and-control government. By our count, the Deal outlines more than a dozen violations of the U.S. Constitution and existing federal law, depending on the scope of the actual legislation that will be introduced to fulfill its mandates. We are sharpening our legal knives as the New Green Deal manifesto takes form, which it will.
Todd Young serves as Executive Director for Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF), an Atlanta-based national constitutional public interest law firm founded in 1976. In his role at SLF, he has worked closely in an advisory capacity with former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese III, former Independent Counsel Judge Kenneth Starr, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and various members of Congress and state governors and attorneys general. To read more of his reports — Go Here Now.