Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is doubling down on her stance that her native New York City is lucky that Amazon isn’t opening its HQ2 there, saying it would’ve hurt locals while blasting the tax subsidies granted to the tech giant.
“There’s NO WAY that this deal – one of the biggest giveaways in state history – could possibly have been bad, right? Surely there can’t be anything wrong with suddenly announcing a massive restructuring & pricing out of a community without any advance notice or input from them,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Tuesday, as part of a multi-tweet rant against Amazon.
The freshman Democratic congresswoman bashed the “fuzzy proposal” for offering few guaranteed jobs to locals, while also criticizing the “big-brother-esque potential” of Amazon, sharing a Washington Post article on the company potentially working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement last year to use facial-recognition software to spot undocumented immigrants.
Amazon canceled its plan to build a 25,000 employee hub in Long Island City, Queens last week, with the company pointing to “a number of state and local politicians” that “made it clear that they oppose our presence.”
Ocasio-Cortez also ripped pundits who said that she didn’t understand the $3 billion tax subsidies Amazon was set to receive from the state and city. “It’s fair to ask why we don’t invest the capital for public use, +why don’t we give working people a tax break,” she also said in a tweet.
It’s a line Ocasio-Cortez has repeated multiple times in the last week. Soon after Amazon backed away from its plan, Ocasio-Cortez said on CNBC that the tax breaks given to Amazon could’ve instead been used to pay for more teachers or improve the subway system.
Not sure how many pundits talking about Amazon even read the deal or where it was going.
$500+ million of the deal was *capital grants.*
$2.5 billion in tax breaks.
It’s fair to ask why we don’t invest the capital for public use, + why we don’t give working people a tax break. https://t.co/jUqaugUHYP
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 19, 2019
“We were subsidizing those jobs. So frankly if we’re willing to give away $3 billion for this deal, we could invest those $3 billion in our district if we wanted to,” Ocasio-Cortez also said in the same interview.
That thought process hasn’t been met with unanimous praise, however. Andrew Ross Sorkin, a financial columnist for The New York Times, adamantly criticized Ocasio-Cortez comments last week on CNBC, saying that the tax breaks would’ve been more than offset by Amazon bringing in more than $27 billion in tax revenue over the next quarter century.
“I don’t understand this,” Sorkin said. “There’s basic math here… it’s a subsidy only if you get nothing back for it. It’s one thing to win the war on Twitter. It’s another when it happens in real life and happens to real people with real jobs.”
Amazon said it wouldn’t look for a new East Coast hub in place of its New York City complex, instead focusing on its planned expansion in Northern Virginia.