Certainly not me, but thanks to their recent efforts, it is becoming likely that Republicans and Democrats — while continuing to butt heads on just about every other issue — will take a short breather from the partisan circus. They may even start finding ways to join forces to stop the irresponsible, immoral governmental wealth transfers from taxpayers to billionaires that have become a staple of the political process.
It all started when Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter to call out the $2 billion in subsidies that Virginia and New York recently announced that it will provide to Amazon, a Fortune500 company, to build its new headquarters.
Cortez derided “the idea that it will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks at a time when our subway is crumbling and our communities need more investment.”
On his Fox News show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” later that evening after Ocasio-Cortez posted her tweet, Carlson went out of his way to applaud her “very good point,” expressing his similar distaste for “the richest man in the world [getting] $2 billion in taxpayer subsidies.”
What followed suit was a whirlwind of enthusiastic political agreement that couldn’t be ignored given the divisiveness that now seems to define the system. A slew of outlets on both the left and right reported on pair’s unexpected alliance, providing support and justification for their agreement.
In a news cycle typically filled with heated debates on immigration, healthcare, and taxes, most can agree on how refreshing it was to see mutual respect, agreement, and co-operation across party lines.
More important than the unifying philosophical discussion Ocasio-Cortez and Carlson fostered were the calls to action that it prompted members of both parties to propose.
From city officials introducing legislation to end Amazon’s subsidies to other analysts calling for re-consideration of mega-contracts the company seems poised to receive, it appears that this simple gesture of bipartisanship might make waves on the state and federal level.
Why should lawmakers stop at Amazon’s giveaways? These examples of vast bipartisanship agreement are rare and always fleeting, so it is critical that decision-makers fully leverage them to the country’s advantage before the window closes.
Democrats and Republicans should follow their protests of Bezos’ government funding with that of fellow billionaires who are more than capable of funding their businesses ventures on their own.
The obvious next target should be the $5-billion government empire of Elon Musk, a billionaire that both sides of the aisle have in recent weeks labeled a crony capitalist for his seeming penchant to spin the truth to keep the taxpayer money flowing.
While most are by now aware that the FBI has opened a criminal probe into whether Tesla misstated information about its production progress, few also realize that SpaceX ostensibly engages in similar behavior.
Beyond its perceived attempt to cover up its errors during a launch explosion, Bloomberg recently reported that in trying to raise cash, the company may have engaged in creative book-keeping, disclosing to potential lenders that it had positive earnings, even though it is allegedly negative when factoring in non-core research and customer pre-pay costs. If true, this means that taxpayers are propping up an unprofitable company, and that is not something that can be condoned.
Tucker Carlson and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are right: the American people deserve better than this. 40-percent of the country can’t even afford an unexpected $400 emergency expense, and yet billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are receiving billions from a pool of money coming from their pockets every year.
This takes robbing from Peter to pay Paul to a whole new level, and it needs to end.
It is comforting to see how many government officials have used the political alliance Carlson and Ocasio-Cortez to the country’s benefit in recent weeks, working together to rein in on these crony capitalist abuses. Now they just need to follow through and stay on the same trajectory come next session.