AOC is Right to Complain About Congressional Wages...and Wrong About the Solution

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez @ SXSW 2019 by nrkbeta, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Original

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez @ SXSW 2019 by nrkbeta, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Original

After being roundly ridiculed for the notion, Congress has shelved a plan to give themselves a nearly $5000 pay raise. With current salary and benefits most Congressional members already earn around $286,000 annually.


There’s a possibility the move could have flown under the radar but America’s Socialist Next Door couldn’t keep her mouth shut. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – who talks like every spoiled rich kid you’ve ever known and tweets like Donald Trump – railed against critics of the pay raise, scolding average Americans for daring to suggest our congressional reps should prove they deserve a raise just like in any other job.

AOC is right on this point. It isn’t unreasonable to ask for a raise considering that these people serve in one of the most expensive cities in the union. It seems crazy that this woman from New York City would be so taken aback by the cost of living in D.C. but for whatever reasons she’s having trouble adjusting. That is not odd. Washington D.C. is a terribly expensive place to live and many reps can’t afford comfortable housing that is close to work.

But this is precisely the reason voters are so disgusted every time congress asks for a raise. It’s hard to get behind AOC’s legitimate complaints about Capitol Hill costs when the whole reason it costs so much to live there is because the government practices of both the district and Congress artificially inflate the cost of living to unbearable levels. AOC and company say they need/deserve bigger salaries but taxpayer dollars are flying around D.C. in disturbing amounts. Our government subsidizes housing, buys up valuable land, grossly overpays contractors, grossly overpays employees which leads to the ability to grossly overpay for items, etc. etc. etc. To coin an unseemly phrase, it’s a big circle jerk – a self-fulfilling problem. Living is expensive because government keeps growing which makes living more expensive which…you get the idea.


AOC has been mocked for suggesting that the only way to keep our loyal and honest, humble public servants from becoming corrupt is to pay them more. Once again, she isn’t wrong. The harder life gets the more incentive people have to act dishonestly. This is only one of the reasons socialism/communism can never work. When people are struggling to provide the basics they can easily justify turning to illegal activities to provide some level of comfort. That is a fair (if not embarrassing) assessment of human nature.  However, once again it should be pointed out that part of why government is so corrupt is that there is so much of it, and so much of our money flowing through it.

It is rightfully laughable to hear AOC talk about corruption when it is corruption that is the very reason it costs her so much to live where she does. Of course, she and the rest of the political class can’t be taken seriously on issues of pay raises because of their daily and yearly contributions to the corruption that is making life unaffordable. Americans look at the cushy lives of their representatives and the gridlock, say-lots- do-nothing culture of Congress and they find it untenable and wholly unreasonable to be asked to fork over more of their own cash in order to help their politicians avoid corruptly taking more of their cash.


Give us more of your money so we don’t have to steal more of your money!

AOC unwittingly makes a great case for term limits and a shortened congressional calendar. The cost of living in the D.C. metro area and the tax structure in general would look very different if our representatives only lived and worked in D.C. for a few weeks a year and then returned home to real jobs to live under the laws they’ve affected and enacted.

And who wants to offer a raise to an employee who hasn’t earned it? Imagine the fry-flipper at McDonald’s asking her boss for a significant raise so she isn’t tempted to spit in the fries and raid the cash drawers every day. Then on top of that she hasn’t been flipping the fries properly since she started. They’re always frozen in the middle and burned on the outside.

Congress is asking us to reward their crappy fry-flipping skills and the response was fully heartening. It is good to know that as a divided America we can still come together to mock our politicians for suggesting they’ve earned more perks.

The American people might be more game to talk about raises if Congress seemed game to fix the system that makes their lives so expensive in the first place.


I’m sure life in the D.C. metro area is not easy even for the likes of AOC, but instead of asking for more money from the people Congress should try making their own lives (and by extension, ours) less expensive by shrinking the thing that is crushing us all – government.


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