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Times Square billboard slams Ocasio-Cortez for loss of Amazon deal
a katz / Shutterstock.com
“Thanks For Nothing, AOC!”
That was the supersized message intended for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) for her role in squandering a deal with the tech giant Amazon that would have earned New York City billions of dollars in revenue and generated tens of thousands of high-paying jobs.
Located in Times Square and paid for by the nonpartisan Job Creators Network, the massive black and white billboard serves as a fitting indictment of Ocasio-Cortez, whose opposition to a second Amazon headquarters in Long Island City has been likened to “political malpractice.” Fox News anchor and conservative podcaster Laura Ingraham shared an image of the oversized advertisement for Americans who don’t have the benefit of seeing it in person:
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) February 20, 2019
Take these jobs and shove it!
A self-described Democratic socialist with a degree in economics from Boston University, Ocasio-Cortez slammed the Amazon deal as anti-union and criticized the proposed $3 billion in tax subsidies offered to the company to promote growth and local expansion.
Citing this hostile business climate, Amazon spokesperson Jodi Seth placed the blame squarely on Ocasio-Cortez’s shoulders. “If you talk to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, it’s, ‘Never Amazon,'” Seth told NBC News last Thursday when Amazon withdrew its offer.
More than 230 cities jostled to capture Amazon’s attention by offering tax breaks and financial incentives after the internet retail giant announced intentions to open up a second headquarters somewhere in North America. This fierce competition ended when Amazon settled on splitting its offices between NYC and Northern Virginia.
But before the ink could dry on the proposed arrangement, which promised to bring some 25,000 jobs to the city with an average salary of more than $150,000, Ocasio-Cortez helped sabotage the deal by pressuring Democratic state senators to oppose the move. By nominating state Sen. Michael Gianaris, a vocal opponent of the Amazon deal, to a development oversight panel which required unanimous consent, the State Assembly effectively guaranteed the project’s demise.
After facing widespread criticism for her role in killing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for New York, a defiant AOC lashed out at her critics, insisting that the $3 billion in tax breaks offered to could be better spent in other public investments. Apparently, the anti-capitalist economics major doesn’t understand the difference between a tax break and tax revenue.
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
Besides upsetting the Job Creators Network, a consortium of entrepreneurs led by business leaders like Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, Ocasio-Cortez’s economy-killing blunder has invited criticism from some unexpected corners. “Morning Joe” contributor Donny Deutsch was among several progressives who turned on the freshman congresswoman.
“Basically she has a Twitter following that’s her power base, to basically come out and say what a great thing it is, we can take that money and give it to teachers. It doesn’t exist. It’s an abatement: $27 billion, we put down 3. That’s business. That’s what happens,” Deutsch said
Craig’s New York Business editor Erik Engquist, who normally defends Ocasio-Cortez as an intelligent legislator, agreed with Deutsch’s assessment. He tweeted: “I’ve been telling @AOC critics that she is smart, but what do I say when she says nonsense like ‘we could invest those $3 billion in [@amazon tax breaks] in our district. We could hire more teachers. We can fix our subways, we can put a lot of people to work for that money.’”
Nobody offered a sharper rebuke of Ocasio-Cortez’s misguided actions than New York’s ultra-liberal Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who roasted AOC and her Democratic allies for placing “their own narrow political interests above their community — which poll after poll showed overwhelmingly supported bringing Amazon to Long Island City — the state’s economic future and the best interests of the people of this state.”
“The New York State Senate has done tremendous damage. They should be held accountable for this lost economic opportunity,” Cuomo concluded.
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