Far-left Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) believes it’s difficult for a “regular person” from a working or middle-class background to raise a family when they work in Congress, citing salary as a source of problems.
The comments appear to come from an Instagram story posted by former Washington Examiner reporter, John Gage.
In this portion of the story, AOC points out that only 10 women have ever given birth while serving in Congress, calling it “a very hostile place to have a baby.”
She goes on to note sources of such hostility, including having to attend scheduled votes and travel – in other words, the basics of the job.
But she also mentions several expenses necessary as a congresswoman.
Ocasio-Cortez argues that lawmakers are forced to pay $25,000 in out-of-pocket work expenses and there is no housing allowance and no avenue for student loan forgiveness.
Members of Congress like AOC, excluding the Speaker of the House and the Majority and Minority Leaders, earn $174,000 a year in salary.
The average annual wage in 2020 in the United States, according to the Social Security Administration, was $53,383 and the median annual wage was $34,612. Most people do not get a housing allowance and haven’t had their student loans ‘forgiven.’
— John Gage (@johnrobertgage) June 22, 2022
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The Rent is Too Damn High, and AOC’s Salary is Too Damn Low
Factoring in the $25k in out-of-pocket expenses, AOC and other “working and middle class” members still earn almost three times what the average American salary is.
She’s also engaged to web developer fiancé Riley Roberts who, some sites suggest, has a fairly high net worth.
AOC’s story also suggests much wealthier members of Congress refuse to vote for pay increases in order to score political points, making the little people like her suffer.
“I actually wish it were [true that Congress was voting themselves pay increases] because it would allow more regular people to have and keep this job,” she said.
I’ve worked 30+ years to get where I have, and don’t earn that. Yet, we homeschooled both our kids, paid all our taxes, kept all financial obligations, and basically did it off one income. She’s clueless.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. https://t.co/RqlAjo5LS4
— Rick N (@R_Whiskey) June 23, 2022
This isn’t the first time Ocasio-Cortez has lamented not getting a pay raise. House Democrats in 2019 nixed a proposed pay raise for Members of Congress due to optics, while she complained that the amount wasn’t really all that much.
“It’s not even like a raise,” the New York socialist said of the proposed $4,500 increase at the time.
— Molly 🌿 (@mollyfprince) June 11, 2019
Last year, AOC cited her own $17,000 in student loan balances in a speech arguing in favor of canceling student loan debts.
“I’m 32 years old now,” she said. “I have over $17,000 in student loan debt, and I didn’t go to graduate school because I knew that getting another degree would drown me in debt that I would never be able to surpass.”
Considering her gross monthly paycheck is over $14,000, her claims of poverty seem at least off-base.
“This is unacceptable,” she added before declaring, “Come on! … Let’s get real, let’s cancel it.”
Let’s stop advancing this narrative that student loan debt is for the privileged.
Do we really think a billionaire’s child is taking out student loans?
First-generation college students are twice as likely to report they are behind in making student loan payments. pic.twitter.com/KyGnrJCjNq
— Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@RepAOC) December 3, 2021
Where AOC Got it Right
It’s unclear on what planet one has to reside where AOC finds it acceptable to complain about her $174,000 salary.
Americans currently experiencing financial misery at the grocery store and the gas station probably won’t be able to sympathize.
In her diatribe on salary, Ocasio-Cortez gets one thing right – She accuses “huge numbers” of lawmakers of being “independently wealthy” and adds they don’t have to rely on paltry salaries to make ends meet, they simply “engage in stock trading.”
In December of 2021, she made an argument against the practice.
“It is absolutely ludicrous that members of Congress can hold and trade individual stock while in office,” she tweeted.
“The access and influence we have should be exercised for the public interest, not our profit. It shouldn’t be legal for us to trade individual stock with the info we have.”
It is absolutely ludicrous that members of Congress can hold and trade individual stock while in office.
The access and influence we have should be exercised for the public interest, not our profit. It shouldn’t be legal for us to trade individual stock with the info we have. https://t.co/Z3UZej2eC2
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 8, 2021
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the time countered by giving a full-throated defense of lawmakers trading stocks, despite the obvious conflicts in lobbying and insider knowledge.
“We’re a free-market economy,” Pelosi told reporters during a press briefing. “They should be able to participate in that.”
REPORTER: “Should members of congress and their spouses be banned from trading individual stocks while serving in congress?”
PELOSI: “No…We are a free market economy. They should be able to participate in that.” pic.twitter.com/2SNqSCwFEU
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) December 15, 2021
AOC often thinks no matter how high the price tag, the amount of money is never enough. So it’s no surprise that she’d be complaining about her salary.
The Democrat argued that the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus in 2020 only provided “crumbs” to the people.
— The Hill (@thehill) March 27, 2020
Many analysts agree that the multiple COVID relief packages increased inflation by at least a few percentage points.
Maybe it wouldn’t hurt so bad if we all made as much money as members of Congress.
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