On Wednesday, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), who came to Washington with the promise to Iowans of rooting out wasteful government spending and “Making ‘em Squeal,” is awarding her monthly Squeal Award to the so-called Green New Deal, which is estimated to cost $93 trillion over 10 years.In her remarks on the Senate Floor, Senator Ernst outlined exactly how unrealistic and outrageously costly this proposal is—pointing out that the $93 trillion price tag would:
- be over $10 trillion larger than the combined GDP of every nation on Earth in 2017
- exceed, by $10 trillion, the entire recorded spending of the United States government since the Constitution went into effect in 1789.
Watch her remarks below:
Below are Senator Ernst’s remarks as prepared for delivery.
“I rise today to join at least a dozen of my colleagues to speak in opposition to the so-called, Green New Deal.
“Merriam-Webster defines a deal as “a bargain” or “an agreement for mutual advantage.” By its name you’d think that Americans are going to derive some benefit from it, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
“The truth is this proposal is a raw deal for America, especially our rural communities.
“As many of you know, every month I give out a Squeal Award, which draws attention to outrageous examples of wasteful and reckless spending of taxpayer money. With a $93 trillion price tag—roughly $10 trillion more than the entire recorded spending of the US government since 1789—this month’s squeal award goes to the Green New Deal.
“Just think about that number…93 trillion dollars. To fund this radical government takeover, every American family would have to pay $65,000 annually, more than most households in Iowa make in a year.
“The ideas presented in the Green New Deal used to only garner support from the furthest fringes of the political left. Concepts like rebuilding every building in the country, outlawing fossil fuels, and guaranteed jobs, would never have made their way into mainstream discourse just a few years ago. Now, our Democratic colleagues are trying to make them mainstream.
“In fact, 100 of the 282 Democratic members of the House and Senate have signed on in support of this plan. This is the creep of socialism into America.
“If you work in a part of the energy industry that’s fallen out of favor, your job has no place in the economy envisioned by the Democrats. The Green New Deal states that one of its goals is to meet “100 percent of the power demand in the U.S. through clean, renewable, and zero emission energy sources.”
“Don’t get me wrong. Increasing our reliance on renewables is a good goal and one I support, but we have to be realistic about our current energy capabilities and needs.
“Private sector investment and innovation, coupled with government support and incentives, has contributed to significant advances in renewable energy.
“I’m proud to say that my home state of Iowa is one of the nation’s leaders in renewable energy, with wind providing nearly 40% of our electricity, more than any other state. With more wind coming on line, coal went from producing 76% of our electricity in 2008 to 45% of it in 2017.
“And I would note that this transition towards renewables happened largely as a result of state policies and community engagement, not heavy handed government regulation.
“Another one of the “goals” I find most interesting in this unrealistic proposal is that of providing “guaranteed jobs.”
“What may be lost on the Democrats is that the best guaranteed jobs program is not housed in a government building, it’s a strong economy like the one we’re living in now, one not bogged down by job-killing regulations and punitive tax rates.
“If you want proof of this, look no further than Iowa. Our unemployment sits at a low 2.4% and we have over 63,000 job openings and about 40,000 folks looking for work. That’s more job openings than people looking for jobs!
“Lastly, I would point out that as part of this proposal, our Democratic colleagues want to ‘overhaul transportation systems in the United States.’
“If you live in places like New York City you can walk to the grocery store, but in rural communities like my hometown of Red Oak, Iowa, it can take 30 minutes to drive to the nearest Walmart.
“Everything from combines, to fertilizers and trucks to transport grains to market, would be impacted. The Green New Deal is unrealistic, and would unfairly impact rural communities across the country.
“So, folks, we have a clear choice – we can continue to support rural America and pro-growth economic policies that boost our economy and create jobs, or we can allow socialist fantasies like the Green New Deal to creep in, take hold, bankrupt our nation, and devastate our rural communities.”