‘Swing and a miss!’
(Michael Barnes, Liberty Headline) Over the weekend, Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, failed basic arithmetic when she tweeted “that $21 trillion in ‘Pentagon accounting errors’ could have funded 66 percent of the Medicare-for-all proposal.”
The waitress-turned-socialist-congresswoman has shown a stunning lack of historic perspective and civic knowledge about the government she succeeded in working for.
Previously, for example, she compared her uncontested general election victory to the NASA moon landing and the Civil Rights Act of 1965.
But her latest gaffe casts serious doubts about even her basic competency.
The comment was intended to show that an anti-military stance could easily fund a $32 single-payer health care system, dubbed Medicare-for-all, which has become the left-wing media darling’s cause célèbre.
The problem, however, is that—far from the $21 trillion figure she cited—the Pentagon’s total combined budget for all military and defense related activities from 1998 to 2015 was only $9.2 trillion.
The reliably praiseworthy New York Times gently called Ocasio-Cortez’s comment “misleading.”
“Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the rising liberal star, cited a figure that refers to nearly two decades of internal financial adjustments, not actual spending,” wrote Times fact-checker Lucy Qui.
The Washington Post called the remarkably inept claim “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s $21 trillion mistake.”
The Post’s fact-checker, Salvador Rizzo, had some fun analyzing the low-hanging fruit. “Maybe the Pentagon has a few trillion dollars lying around somewhere, as Ocasio-Cortez implied? Let’s find out,” he wrote.
But in the end, Ocasio-Cortez earned an embarrassing “Four Pinocchios,” a fact-checking label reserved for the worst possible claims made by public officials.
Rizzo said Ocasio-Cortez’s understanding of Pentagon spending is “badly flawed,” and that the same article she cited on Twitter as proving her $21 trillion error actually says what he and other fact-checkers have since explained—but she apparently doesn’t understand.
“The tweet is still up, probably causing confusion,” Rizzo said.
“Swing and a miss!” The Post concluded.