Fact checkers bust Ocasio-Cortez for false claim about Pentagon spending

Henrietta Strickland
December 4, 2018

Democratic congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez compared migrant caravan members who clashed with USA border agents, to Jewish families fleeing Nazi Germany and other targets of genocide. "One study by a libertarian economic think tank found that "Medicare for all" legislation by Senator Bernie Sanders, independent of Vermont, would cost the federal government $32.6 trillion over 10 years", adds the author.

"$21T in Pentagon accounting errors". Medicare for All costs ~$32T. "And that's before our premiums", she wrote in the tweet that has been retweeted 25,000 times.

"For starters, the combined Pentagon budget from 1998 to 2015 was $9.2 trillion".

Vox sympathized with Ocasio-Cortez's frustration with mammoth military spending but concluded: "T$3 here's no $21 trillion pot of gold that can be raided to pay for a comprehensive health insurance program, even though the United States really does spend an very bad lot on the military".

"It's the sum of all transactions - both inflows and outflows - for which the Defense Department did not have adequate documentation", its analysis said.

The Washington Post took issue with the estimate.

Putting the number in context, the newspaper pointed out that according to the Congressional Budget Office total defense spending from 1998 to 2015 was almost $9 trillion. And it estimates $7 trillion in spending on defense from 2019 to 2028.

While that may seem like a legitimate argument, the Post slammed Ocasio-Cortez with a whopping four pinocchios for a "badly flawed" tweet that's "probably causing confusion".

Soon-to-be Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gave a speech Friday in which she told her audience that "we've done what we thought was impossible", citing her election and that of many other Democrats, reports Fox News.

The newspaper concluded: "Swing and a miss".

The problem, he contended, was that Ocasio-Cortez made it sound as if trillions of dollars were just floating around available for use, when in fact, complex bookkeeping makes it tough to ascertain exactly what they were used for.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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