Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., posted a false claim about Pentagon spending, The Washington Post reported.
Ocasio-Cortez in a Dec. 2 tweet claimed a $21 trillion mistake could have paid for about 66 percent of the cost of a Medicare-for-all bill.
“$21 TRILLION of Pentagon financial transactions ‘could not be traced, documented, or explained.’ $21T in Pentagon accounting errors. Medicare for All costs ~$32T. That means 66 percent of Medicare for All could have been funded already by the Pentagon. And that’s before our premiums,” she tweeted to her 1.46 million followers.
The Post said the $21 trillion did not include assets and liabilities.
Ocasio-Cortez pulled the information from The Nation, a left-leaning magazine.
The line about the missing $21 trillion comes from research by Michigan State University economics professor Mark Skidmore.
“Ocasio-Cortez is not the first Twitter user to mangle information from a news report,” the Post wrote. “But it’s unconvincing to try to pass this off as a rhetorical point being misread. She cited the $21 trillion figure and said ’66 percent of Medicare for All could have been funded already by the Pentagon.’
“That’s a direct comparison. It’s badly flawed. The same article she referenced on Twitter would have set her straight. The tweet is still up, probably causing confusion. So, we will award Four Pinocchios to Ocasio-Cortez,” they wrote.
Ocasio-Cortez’s spokesman later said the point “was more about how we care so little about the ‘how do you pay for it’ when we are talking about war and military spending. It’s only when we are talking about investing in the physical and economic well-being of our citizenry that we become concerned with the price tags.”