Chuck Todd, Bill de Blasio correct Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Amazon tax break: 'This is money that didn't exist'

Last Friday, Allahpundit pointed out that there was some sharp criticism of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who suggested that, with the Amazon deal scuttled, NY could now spend the $3 billion the city was prepared to give the company in tax breaks on other priorities. Sunday, Chuck Todd cued up a video clip of AOC saying just that for Mayor Bill de Blasio.


“I want to play you something from Congress-woman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez because I’m curious to see if maybe there’s a factual divide,” Chuck Todd said.

On video, AOC then said, “If we’re willing to give away $3 billion dollars for this deal, we could invest those $3 billion dollars in our district ourselves if we wanted to.” She continued, “We could hire out more teachers. We can fix our subways. We can put a lot of people to work for that money if we wanted to.”

Clearly, she imagines the $3 billion is sitting around somewhere waiting to be spent now that the Amazon deal has been scuttled.

Here’s how Chuck Todd gingerly handled AOC’s confusion: “It seems a lot of people think when you give a tax incentive that, somehow, that’s money you had over here and it was going over there. This is money that didn’t exist, this $3 billion dollars.”

“Correct,” de Blasio replied.

“Do you feel as if this is a problem in trying to explain how this deal worked?” Todd asked.

“This was a deal that was going to bring $27 billion dollars to the state and city for things like public education, mass transit, affordable housing and that $3 billion dollars of go-back in tax incentives was only after we were getting the jobs and getting the revenue,” de Blasio explained.


“There’s not $3 billion dollars in money that exists anywhere, correct?” Todd emphasized.

“Exactly,” de Blasio replied. He then went on to argue that progressives, like himself, can govern and are not all clueless about how tax deals work. He didn’t mention AOC by name, but he’s clearly pushing back on the idea that she represents what progressives are. He’s trying to insulate the progressive project from her ignorance.

Good luck with that. Bill de Blasio has about 140,000 followers on Twitter. AOC has 3.1 million. And she used that platform to send out multiple tweets Friday trashing Amazon after the deal was scuttled. This tweet suggests a slightly better grasp of what a tax incentive is (this was a day after the video below), though she’s still way off on the scale of the deal:


So de Blasio says the deal was $3 billion back on $27 billion in revenue to the state. But in AOC’s mind, that’s equivalent to $300 off 25 pizzas, i.e. something between half-off and a free ride for Amazon. That’s simply not what was happening here and once again she seems to be struggling to grasp what was happening here even as she’s cheerleading the deal’s demise.

Here’s the exchange on Meet the Press. This clip ought to make AOC embarrassed but rest assured, her legion of fans still think she’s an economic wizard:

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David Strom 3:21 PM on December 01, 2023