Ocasio-Cortez Can't Answer How She Will Pay for $40 Trillion in Government Programs

September 16, 2018

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was unable to answer on Sunday on how she will pay for her progressive agenda, which some think tanks have estimated would cost $40 trillion.

"Various new programs including Medicare for all, housing is a federal right, federal jobs guaranteed, tuition free public college, canceling all student loan debt. According to nonpartisan and left leaning, tax policy center, the overall price tag is more than $40 trillion in the next decade," CNN "State of the Union" host Jake Tapper said. "You recently said in an interview increasing taxes on the very wealthy, [an] increased corporate tax rate, would make $2 trillion over the next 10 years. Where is the other $38 trillion going to come from?"

Ocasio-Cortez responded by stating Medicare for all would end up saving the country money.

"One of the things we need to realize when we look at something like Medicare for all, Medicare for all would save the American people a very large amount of money," the democratic socialist said. "The United Kingdom has a form of single-payer health care, [as well as] Canada, France, Germany. What we need to realize is that these investments are better, and they are good for our future."

"These are generational investments, so they are not short-term bandaids, but they are really profound decisions about who we want to be as a nation and how we want to act as the wealthiest nation in the history of the world," Ocasio-Cortez added.

"But the price tag for everything that you laid out in your campaign is $40 trillion over the next 10 years. I understand that Medicare for all would cost more to some wealthier people and to the government and to taxpayers, while also reducing individual health care expenditures," Tapper said.

"Forty trillion [dollars] is quite a bit of money. And the taxes that you talked about raising to pay for this, to pay for your agenda, only account for two [trillion dollars]. And we're going by left-leaning analysts," Tapper said.

Ocasio-Cortez didn't address Tapper's question about the concern and instead told a personal anecdote. She said she talked to a group of citizens and none had health insurance because of it being too expensive. She continued on to describe how millennials are unable to buy homes and cars, and she said it comes at a cost to the overall economy.

"So I'm assuming I won't get an answer for the other $38 trillion. We'll have you back and go over that," Tapper concluded.

In an earlier interview, Ocasio-Cortez also struggled to explain how she would pay for her agenda.