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Democrats, You're Turning Into Republicans

Catherine Rampell says 'lazy sloganeering' is replacing nuanced debate on policy
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2019 12:06 PM CST
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., arrives to hear President Trump deliver his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – Catherine Rampell of the Washington Post thinks Democrats are starting to look like the Republicans of 2016, and she doesn't mean that as a compliment. They're "emphasizing empty slogans instead of evidence-based policy, rejecting experts in favor of cranks, handwaving away questions about implementation, and promising that an expensive policy will magically 'pay for itself' through economic growth," writes Rampell. And one of those she calls out is a fellow millennial, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, specifically over the Green New Deal championed by the new congresswoman. That policy promises to save the environment by achieving carbon-emission targets that far exceed anything on the table so far, but the plan skips over the details on how to get there, along with any sacrifices that Americans would have to make.

AOC dismisses this kind of criticism by saying the plan will pay for itself by creating jobs, but that's not nearly good enough, writes Rampell. She finds the same kind of "lazy sloganeering" present in "Medicare-for-all," and thinks it's a mistake because it comes at the expense of "vibrant, nuanced debate" on health care, tax policy, and climate policy. As for the 2016 comparison, it's true that President Trump won the White House with some "empty slogans" of his own, writes Rampell. But "right now, Democrats still retain a monopoly on expertise and evidence-based policy," she writes. "They should not relinquish it easily." Click for the full column, in which Rampell takes issue with the Modern Monetary Theory that's been gaining in popularity. (Read more Democrats stories.)

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