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Howard Schultz Slams Green New Deal as ‘Not Realistic’

Former starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who has indicated he might run for president as an independent in 2020, said a Green New Deal would be “not realistic.”

At a CNN town hall Tuesday night, Schultz some things like the proposed New Green Deal aren’t always the right thing just because they sound good on paper.

“Let’s be sensible about what we're suggesting, let’s not just throw things against a wall because it’s a good slogan or we get a press release. Let’s be truthful,” Schultz said. “When I see politicians start throwing things out that I know is not realistic, that is not being honest with the American people.”

The Green New Deal gained notoriety when New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey, both Democrats, introduced it last Thursday. It has drawn praise from Democrats and criticism from Republicans.

The proposed Green New Deal is a 10-year plan to make America carbon neutral, and it would use tax dollars for making the country more energy efficient, like upgrading every building for better efficiency and building greenhouse-gas neutral power stations. The plan also claims it will create millions of high-paying jobs and provide health care for most Americans.

So far, the plan has drawn support from 2020 Democratic presidential candidates Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, according to The Hill. Another top Democratic name, Al Gore, also backs the plan.

Democratic leaders have asked Schultz to not run as an independent in 2020, saying it would fragment votes from the anti-Trump left. Schultz, a long-time Democrat, has shrugged off their notions so far and continues his exploratory circuit to run.

Schultz said at CNN’s town hall he doesn’t equate the math of the Green New Deal, saying it would make the national debt skyrocket beyond the new high of $22 trillion the country reached earlier Tuesday.

“When I read the Green New Deal and I try to understand what they’re suggesting, I don’t understand how you’re going to give a job to everybody, how you’re going to give free college to everybody, how you’re going to create clean energy throughout the country in every building of the land, and then tally this thing up with $32 trillion on Medicare for All,” Schultz said. “That’s about $40 trillion plus, we are sitting…with $22 trillion of debt on the balance sheet of America."

Though Schultz didn’t call any Democrats by name, mainly Ocasio-Cortez, he said supporters of the Green New Deal are somewhat like him — having good intentions and wanting to save the planet. But ultimately, the former CEO has his eyes on the bottom line of that balance sheet.

“I think these are well-intentioned people and like me are gravely concerned about our planet, climate change and the things that we have to do,” Schultz said. “I think it’s immoral to suggest that we can tally up 20, 30, 40 $50 trillion of debt to solve a problem that can be solved in a different way. It’s not that they’re disingenuous, I think they’re well-intentioned. This is not personal, I just don’t agree that this is the right way to approach things.”

Once his segment aired Tuesday night, Schultz’s new opponents on the Democratic side of the aisle began piping their comments through social media.

One of them was Jennifer Granholm, a CNN contributor and former Democratic Michigan governor, who slammed Schultz when he had reportedly had no answer for what would be a fair tax rate. 

“Strange that @HowardSchultz on @CNN right now could not say what a fair marginal tax rate would be, just that he doesn’t like @AOC’s plan. You’d think he’d have a plan before going on this tour.”

Ocasio-Cortez, who’s about as quick on social media as any politician in Washington, quickly responded to Granholm by saying “Reminder that their plan = no plan. Why? Because for billionaires, things are already going fine.”

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