Sheer Brilliance: AOC Points Out That Raising the Poverty Line Would Show That More Americans Live in Poverty

AOC Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., addresses The Road to the Green New Deal Tour final event at Howard University in Washington, Monday, May 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) says she’s on a mission to tackle poverty in America, but that to understand the full scope of what we’re dealing with some big changes in the poverty line must be made.

In an interview she did Wednesday on CNN, the freshman Congresswoman was asked by Prime Time host Chris Cuomo about a new legislative package of six bills she introduced earlier this week. The bills, she asserted in a statement at the time, will help us “once again recognize the breadth and consequences of poverty in this country and work together to ensure a path forward to economic freedom for everyone.”

She told Cuomo on Wednesday that when it came to poverty, it was time to “push the bounds” (and, of course, to forcibly share prosperity):

And we have to establish an advanced society here in the United States of America. What that means is that we have to push the bounds. We have to start treating housing as a right. We need to start protecting renters. We need to start updating the federal poverty line.

Our last – our – our calculation for the federal poverty line is based on 1955 spending habits that assumes one income earner, a stay-at-home mom, and that’s why we don’t talk about child care. That’s why we don’t talk about geographic differences in cost of living.

So, we need to update our poverty line. We need to address the housing crisis in this country. We need to stop treating people who duly paid their debt to society, the formerly incarcerated, as – as – as outcasts for the rest of their lives.


The problem we have here in America, according to AOC, is that people are making a lot of money but not enough of it is cascading down to everyone else. In fact, she suggests the problem is so bad that if we raised the poverty line, it would actually show that even more people were living in poverty (really!):

The problem is that America is at its wealthiest point that we’ve ever been. And yet, we’ve – we are at one of our most unequal points that we’ve ever been. You would not know that our country is posting record profits because 40 million Americans are living in poverty right now.

And if the poverty line was real, if it was at around what some people think it should be, about $38,000 a year, we will be shocked at how much the richest society on the planet is – is allowing so much of its people to live in destitute.

Watch AOC make this brilliant deduction below:

Well, um, yeah. I mean, if you raised the poverty line to $60,000 that would add even more to the poverty rolls.

Good grief.

Beyond the ridiculousness of her comment, lets take a look at a few stats:

Here are the poverty guidelines for up to a family of three (which Twitter users also pointed out):


So what AOC is proposing is to triple the poverty rate for a single person from what it is now to $38,000.

A family of two, three, four can live on $38,000 a year if they live within their means.

A family of seven is considered living in poverty in America if their household income is around $38,000, which actually makes more sense than AOC’s wild calculations:

I’d like to think AOC didn’t actually run the numbers on this before she proposed it, but I’m sure she did and went with it anyway. Because when it comes to “spreading the wealth”, no dollar amount is too high to Democrats.

— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –


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