“We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work.”
~Henry Morgenthau Jr., Secretary of the Treasury and close friend to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and architect of the New Deal.
As California Globe reported early Monday, Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) held a press conference to announce the California Green New Deal Act. Bonta said the Act is needed “to boldly address the impacts of climate change and issues of equity throughout the state.”
“Science is telling us what to do,” Bonta said, and noted that his bill will be “big and expensive, but necessary.”
“The existential threat of climate change” is what led Bonta to draft this “big ambitious bill,” over concerns of the “limitless danger with climate change.”
“Just like FDR’s New Deal in 1932, this will meet todays greatest challenge – climate change,” Bonta said. “It’s an existential threat.”
FDR’s New Deal wasn’t the success that many claim it was. Henry Morgenthau Jr., Secretary of the Treasury and close friend to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the primary architect of FDR’s New Deal, admitted seven years later, “We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work.” Historian Burton Folsom, the author of “New Deal or Raw Deal?: How FDR’s Economic Legacy Has Damaged America,” said Morgenthau made this “startling confession” during the seventh year of the New Deal. I attended a speech Folsom gave about the New Deal, and bought and read his book.
Bonta’s bill is modeled after the Green New Deal bill proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York). However, as the Globe reported, last year, Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal bill was largely discredited when her chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti admitted that the Green New Deal was not conceived as an effort to deal with climate change, but is a “how-do-you-change-the-entire economy thing,” leading many to believe that the Green New Deal is nothing more than a bait-and-switch socialist takeover of the U.S. economy.
“Same name, same pillars addressing climate change as we promote equity, but this is California’s Green New Deal, so it’s different,” Bonta said.
And it was very clear Monday as Bonta and nine other Democrat Assembly members spoke in support of the California Green New Deal Act, that this bill was also a “how-do-you-change-the-entire economy thing.” Each lawmaker spoke of the “existential threat of climate change,” and California being home to “the most poverty in the country.”
Bonta gave the example of those residents “living near freeways and sucking in dirty air” because of “our fossil fuel economy.”
“We are falling behind in equity – that’s what this bill is about,” said Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego). “Not having clean water in poor communities…”
Assemblyman Devin Mathis (R-Porterville) has tried for several years to get his colleagues in the Legislature to pass his legislation to fund clean drinking water for the 10,000 very poor constituents in his district reliant on groundwater wells which wells went dry in the drought – to no avail.
“This bill was created to tackle inequality in this state,” said Assemblyman Robert Rivas (D-Hollister). “Man-made climate change — wildfire, floods, record heat waves, droughts – disproportionately impacts our lower income communities.”
Assemblywoman Eloise Reyes (D-San Bernardino) said her district “is one of the most disadvantaged areas in the state. It is clear that research studies show disadvantaged communities will benefit when we move forward with this. We must address poverty now.”
Reyes said that logistic industries in her district “bring in fossil fuels, and hurt my communities.”
“We must address the inequities and racial injustices, public health and environmental justice,” Reyes added. “They suffer from climate change more than everywhere else.”
The press conference offered no details on where the funding would come from for such an ambitions law, nor were there any specifics on how the high poverty and disadvantaged communities would be changed.
When asked about funding, Bonta replied, “When Congress goes to war, we don’t ask how much.”
At the press conference were:
Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland)
Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco)
Assemblyman Kansen Chu (D-San Jose)
Assemblywoman Eloise Gomez-Reyes (D-San Bernardino)
Assemblyman Ash Kalra (D-San Jose)
Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento)
Assemblyman Robert Rivas (D-Hollister)
Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego)
Sierra Club California,
Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)
Public Advocates, Courage Campaign
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