Midterms 2018

Ocasio-Cortez Just Realized How Expensive It Is to Live in D.C.

New York's newly elected Democratic socialist laments high prices, says she can't earn cash until January

She’ll be earning approximately $174,000 as a member of Congress come January — but Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is 29, had a few compelling comments recently about her financial state of affairs.

Then she pushed back on others who chastised her for perhaps not planning ahead as well as she might have done.

“For a young, working-class congressional rookie like New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, getting an apartment in Washington, D.C., while technically jobless presents challenges,” is how Esquire put in, in part, in a piece about the issue.

The outlet added, “She told The New York Times that the period until she’s sworn in will be ‘very unusual, because I can’t really take a salary.'”

She also commented, “I have three months without a salary before I’m a member of Congress. So, how do I get an apartment? Those little things are very real.”

“She said she saved money before leaving her job at the restaurant [where she worked], and planned accordingly with her partner,” The Times also reported.

“‘We’re kind of just dealing with the logistics of it day by day, but I’ve really been just kind of squirreling away and then hoping that gets me to January.'”

Related: Five Things Ocasio-Cortez May Have Wished She Never Said

And when some people questioned why she wouldn’t have thought well in advance about all of this and come up with a solid plan to get herself through the rest of this year, she lashed out.

After a few folks at Fox News apparently had the gall — in her mind — to raise such an issue, she pushed back with this tweet:

Then she went this route:

For a larger perspective, here are some of the facts about her, all widely available but not often reported by the mainstream media.

As The (Westchester, N.Y.) Journal News has reported, Ocasio-Cortez was born in the Bronx to parents of Puerto Rican descent, but after the age of two was raised in Westchester County, New York, one of the most well-to-do and high-income areas of the country.

Ocasio-Cortez spent most of her life as a young person in Yorktown Heights; she graduated from Yorktown High School in 2007.

In 2011 she graduated from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in economics and international relations.

Her father passed away during her college years.

The self-described Democratic socialist has said her background was working class, and that she “relates many of her political positions to it,” as her Wikipedia page notes.

Her father died of lung cancer in 2008 without a will — and after that, “she became involved in a long probate battle to settle his estate. She has said that the experience helped her learn ‘firsthand how attorneys appointed by the court to administer an estate can enrich themselves at the expense of the families struggling to make sense of the bureaucracy.’ She credits seeing the treatment of her cousin by law enforcement, as well as her Catholic faith, for her desire to overhaul mass incarceration in the criminal-justice system.”

Ocasio-Cortez has said she is still paying off her student loans, at age 29 — and that until recently, she had no health insurance, as Forbes noted.

She worked as an organizer for 2016 presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders; ultimately she adopted a very progressive platform similar to his.

She believes in Medicare for All — which she has struggled to explain on several occasions — plus a $15-minimum wage, the federal legalization of marijuana, and the abolishment of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).

Related: Ocasio-Cortez Insists of Medicare for All, ‘You Just Pay for It!’

In her post-victory speech earlier this week after her victory, she said in part, “This is what is possible when everyday people come together in the collective realization that all our actions, no matter how small or how large, are powerful, worthwhile and capable of lasting change. Words cannot express my gratitude to every organizer, every small-dollar donor, every working parent and dreamer who helped make this movement happen.”

The young upstart who will be representing New York’s 14th District (parts of the Bronx and Queens) has made national headlines not just for her youth and extreme liberal views — but for some rather startling statements made during her campaign and public appearances.

She’s continued to struggle to articulate how she would pay for her pricey Medicare for All health ideas.

A study by the George Mason University Mercatus Center claimed that Medicare for All would cost $32.6 trillion in government spending over 10 years — but Ocasio-Cortez has seemed to flat-out ignore that or dodge it. During a recent interview with journalist Jorge Ramos, she confessed she felt “puzzled” that people have continued to ask her how the country can afford socialized medicine.

“People often say, like, ‘How are you going to pay for it?’ And I find the question so puzzling, because, how do you pay for something that’s more affordable?” Ocasio-Cortez responded, as The Daily Caller also noted.

The young Democrat’s claim that Medicare for All would be cheaper than the country’s current health system is simply not true.

“While the Mercatus Center study estimated drug prices would fall under Medicare for All, higher demand would still significantly drive up costs,” The Daily Caller noted.

“How do you pay for cheaper rent?” said Ocasio-Cortez. “You just pay for it. You’re paying more now!”

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