NEW YORK CITY'S DE BLASIO BLAMES AMAZON FOR CAVING ON DEAL FOR NEW HEADQUARTERS IN CITY
It comes after Ocasio-Cortez vigorously defended her role in sinking Amazon's move to New York City on Tuesday in the face of bipartisan criticism, claiming the deal would have been "one of the biggest giveaways in state history" and would have priced people out of the local community.
"Frankly, the knee-jerk reaction assuming that I 'don't understand' how tax giveaways to corps work is disappointing," she tweeted. "No, it's not possible that I could come to a different conclusion. The debate *must* be over my intelligence & understanding, instead of the merits of the deal."
The freshman Democratic New York congresswoman has faced days of criticism from normally friendly media voices and fellow Democrats over her role in Amazon's decision to pull back from building a $2.5 billion campus in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens.
"There was little in the fuzzy proposal that guaranteed jobs for actual NYers, yet lots of hard concessions from the public. Queens saw how the FoxConn/Wisconsin disaster is working out - a $4.5 billion nightmare - & asked Qs. The response? "This is above you, you won't get it."
Folks handling the failed deal treated community w/condescension+disdain for their legitimate concerns. I warned early to any & all that surging NYC costs + failing subways are creating major political forces to be reckoned with. But I don't know what I'm talking about, right?"
Amazon had cited the opposition of "a number of state and local politicians" in its decision to abandon the plans.
"If we were willing to give away $3 billion for this deal, we could invest those $3 billion in our district ourselves, if we wanted to. We could hire out more teachers. We can fix our subways. We can put a lot of people to work for that money, if we wanted to," Ocasio-Cortez said last week.
Mayor Bill de Blasio pushed back on that claim on Sunday. Even as he slammed Amazon for its decision, the mayor said critics wrongly suggested that tax breaks represented money that could be spent on other things. He said it wasn't "money you had over here. And it was going over there."
The Democratic mayor said: "That $3 billion that would go back in tax incentives was only after we were getting the jobs and getting the revenue."
Fellow Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., accused those who are against the deal, including Ocasio-Cortez, of being opposed to jobs.
"It used to be that we would protest wars. Now we are protesting jobs?" she said on CNN Friday, before criticizing the economic arguments of those opposed to the Amazon move.
"I'm a progressive too, but I'm pragmatic," she said. "We are $4 billion less than we usually get and yet we are kicking out a company that would have been projected [to pay] over 10 years roughly $27 billion in taxes."
Amazon announced in November that it had chosen the Long Island City section of Queens for one of two new headquarters, with the other in Arlington, Va. Both would get 25,000 jobs. A third site in Nashville, Tenn., would get 5,000.
The company planned to spend $2.5 billion building the New York office, choosing the area in part because of its large pool of tech talent. The governor and the mayor had argued that the project would spur economic growth that would pay for the $2.8 billion in state and city incentives many times over.