For a congresswoman who has served for less than a year, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has put together an impressive list of radically socialist “greatest hits”—and she has never been afraid to share her thoughts. A democratic socialist, she is extremely popular for her ideas of economic redistribution, government-funded college, open borders, and socialized health care in the name of “basic levels of dignity so that no person in America is too poor to live.”
Buoyed in popularity by her own perceived naivety, the congresswoman has even suggested living in a luxury apartment building should be a “basic right” for everyone. She sure knows how to make socialism sound great, but when asked to explain how she intends for America to provide and maintain these ideals, things get shaky.
Her best suggestion so far for funding Medicare for people under 65 was to use an extra $21 trillion she thought the Pentagon had after skimming an article in The Nation magazine. Other classic zingers include, “unemployment is low because everyone has two jobs,” or the “upper-middle class does not exist anymore in America,” or this masterpiece of critical thinking, “Why aren’t we incorporating the cost of all the funeral expenses of those who died because they can’t afford access to health care? That is part of the cost of our system.”
So, when a funding bill came up this week that would have increased congressional salaries by $4,500, it stands fair to reason that someone who is such a fighter for economic equality, government-funded programs, and social justice would be against the pay raise. But after House Democrats pulled the line from the bill that would have implemented a 2.6 percent pay increase for lawmakers, Ocasio-Cortez was not pleased. She said:
This is why there’s so much pressure to turn to lobbying firms and to cash in on members’ service after people leave because, because precisely of this issue, so it may be politically convenient and it may make you look good in the short term for saying, ‘oh, we’re not voting for pay increases,’ but we should be fighting for pay increases for every American worker. We should be fighting for a $15 minimum wage pegged to inflation so that everybody in the United States with a salary, with a wage gets a cost of living increase.
Members of Congress, retail workers, everybody should get cost of living increases to accommodate for the changes in our economy and then when we don’t do that it only increases the pressure on members to exploit loopholes like insider trading loopholes to make it on the backend.
Ocasio-Cortez and almost all other members of Congress make $174,000 annually. That is nearly four times the national average of $47,000. The jettisoned $4,500 pay increase to her earnings, which, according to AOC, is “not even like a raise” is nearly 10 percent of the average national income.
Suddenly, Ocasio-Cortez went from the darling of socialism and economic equality to suggesting that voting against congressional raises would “increase the pressure to exploit loopholes and legal loopholes to kind of lean on other ways to enrich oneself through service.” She’s implying that earning four times the average salary isn’t enough to stop her and her colleagues from resorting to cronyism and graft.
She seems a world away from fighting for the people in Queens and touting $15 an hour as being a “living wage.”
This is the true face of socialism. It is a people promised that more government and more control over their lives would lead to prosperity. It is the government representatives telling you that your support will mean greater equality, dependable housing, and open access to health care and education.
As those promises turn to ash, the people like Ocasio-Cortez promising you the world ascend to the ruling class. That is why $174,000 is not enough for someone who believes in socialism as she does—she does not view herself as an equal, but as a leader.
Socialism is not free colleges, free doctors, and luxury condos for everyone—it is a contraption of pretzel logic and self-contradiction. As we have been recently reminded by HBO’s “Chernobyl,” regimes built on the Marxist foundation can’t survive without fact twisting and lies. And the result yields two sides.
There are those in power, like Ocasio-Cortez, who hold the purse strings and convince the people that the ever-creeping and expanding control the government has on its people is for their own good. Then there are the people, once promised a utopic life of government-funded care and amenities, thus crippled by a system that controls their money, their property, and their freedom.