New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio suggested Sunday that Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) had no idea what she was talking about when arguing that Amazon pulling out of its deal to build a new office complex in Long Island City would’ve freed up money to fix the subway system and hire more teachers.
In an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, the host said the tax breaks offered to Amazon weren’t “money you had over here. And it was going over there.”
“Correct,” de Blasio replied. “And that $3 billion that would go back in tax incentives was only after we were getting the jobs and getting the revenue.”
To clarify, Todd said, “There not $3 billion in money…”
“There’s no money—right,” de Blasio said.
Todd played a clip of Ocasio-Cortez’s reaction to the news Amazon was backing out of its deal to build the complex.
“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 had said.
Amazon dropped its plans last week to build a $2.5 billion campus that would’ve provided 25,000 jobs over pressure from activists and some politicians.
In a statement, the company said the lack of support from the community was the reason for its decision."
"For Amazon, the commitment to build a new headquarters requires positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials who will be supportive over the long-term. While polls show that 70% of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City."
De Blasio argued, however, that "no one chased [Amazon] away...let's be clear about who made this decision," he said, noting that "what [Amazon] did was arbitrary and unfair to working people."