Though socialist congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez earned immediate praise from the left this week when she announced that she intends to pay her congressional interns, others responded more critically by pointing out that she doesn’t plan to pay them with her own money.
“Time to walk the walk. Very few members of Congress actually pay their interns. We will be one of them,” she tweeted Tuesday in response to a report confirming she intends to pay her interns $15+/hour.
Time to walk the walk.
Very few members of Congress actually pay their interns. We will be one of them. https://t.co/BuKCDSai0K
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) December 5, 2018
While this seems like an example of her abiding by her own socialist-light principles, many were quick to note that she intends to pay her interns via money drawn from a congressional budgetary fund.
In a spending bill signed earlier this year, Congress designated $8.8 million for House intern pay and $5 million for Senate intern pay. That means that every House representative will receive $20,000 for interns starting next year. Ocasio-Cortez admitted as much in a tweet Wednesday.
“The fund is $20,000 per member for interns (we can have 4 interns max at a time – DC & district),” she wrote as criticism against her began mounting. “That’s $20k for 4 people if you want full staff, anything more l requires MRA supplementation.”
This is true! The fund is $20,000 per member for interns (we can have 4 interns max at a time – DC & district).
That’s $20k for 4 people if you want full staff, anything more l requires MRA supplementation. https://t.co/uv5PTKXpgf
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) December 5, 2018
The congresswoman-elect and her adoring supporters believe her decision to pay her interns proves she’s not a hypocrite, but others say otherwise given the existence of the intern fund.
They argue that it’s easy to live by socialist principles when you use other people’s money to pay for your socialist expenditures. It’s much harder to use your own money.
Were Ocasio-Cortez a business owner — versus a congresswoman-elect whose salary and job will be funded entirely by the government — she’d likely not be as generous with her money.
Twitter users agree:
— Ed Naill⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@ed_naill) December 6, 2018
— Liam Giancana (@realLiamGiancan) December 6, 2018
you’re paying them with other people’s money.
— trolletariat (@authoritarian44) December 6, 2018
Lol taking credit for creating nothing. SO brave to pay interns with other people’s money.
— Nationalist “N”word – 🐉⚡ – 🇺🇸 1st (@17MAGA76) December 5, 2018
@Ocasio2018 You are very free with other people’s money.
— Peter Rowell (@PJRowell1) December 5, 2018
Easy to do, since she is paying with other people’s money–taxpayers money
— Dennis Dutterer (@uppercove) December 5, 2018
Being generous with other people’s money how kind
— Dean (@Broom_2) December 5, 2018
Conservatives oppose Ocasio-Cortez’s socialist policies because they’re designed to snatch wealth from those who’ve earned it and redistribute the money to the less fortunate via minimum wage increases, tax hikes and other economically disastrous policies.
The number one criticism of these policies has been that the people advocating for them have no business experience. In some cases they’ve never even held a real job. And more often than not the same people pushing for wealth redistribution are hoarders who refuse to share their own money.
Ocasio-Cortez is quick to slam Republicans for not supporting a minimum wage hike of $15/hour. But a closer look at a recent report shows her anger would be better suited aimed at her Democrat colleagues.
It is unjust for Congress to budget a living wage for ourselves, yet rely on unpaid interns & underpaid overworked staff just bc Republicans want to make a statement about “fiscal responsibility.”
If that’s the case, they can cut down on staff to pay them well. Or raise the MRA.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) December 3, 2018
A report last year found that a significantly higher percentage of free market Republicans in Congress pay their interns versus their socialism-loving Democrat peers.
“A report in 2017 from nonprofit group Pay Our Interns found that in the House, just 8% of Republicans and 3.6% of Democrats pay interns. It found that in the Senate, 51% of Republicans and 31% of Democrats pay their interns,” Business Insider notes.
Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet is thought to be the catalyst behind an update Chuck Schumer made (shortly after her tweet) about a paid intern position.
update: Schumer's office says that their job posting for an unpaid internship was "made in error," and that "Starting in January, Senator Schumer’s office will offer a stipend to eligible interns." https://t.co/rtTFISymee
— Paul Blest (@pblest) December 4, 2018
It’s often been argued that conservatives would take the left’s pro-socialist arguments more seriously if Democrats would live by their own standards. But they rarely do. And that includes Ocasio-Cortez’s mentor, socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Judging by both Ocasio-Cortez’s refusal to pay her interns with her own money and her reported spending habits, chances are high she too is a lousy tipper.
In fact, according to social media users, she really is a lousy tipper:
You didn’t even equably share your tips at the bar you worked at. 🙄
— ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ (@twitswits) December 6, 2018
That won’t happen. She didn’t even split her tips with her coworkers, just stole the money.
— John Pelow (@JohnPelow) December 4, 2018
She’s not a socialist. When it came time to split her tips with bar back, hostess, etc.. she refused. Socialism works for everyone else, but not @Ocasio20I8 She’s a typical liberal/socialist. Just like millionaire Bernie who got rich while in government. So will she.
— JWS⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@JWSNMNJ) November 12, 2018
Oh, good point, Alexandria!
Is that why you refused to split your $500 tip with your coworkers when you were bartending? Even though they had a tip-share policy?
You are a true embodiment of your socialist ideals!!
— CTHULHU (@nihilnovi) November 9, 2018
@Ocasio2018 did you stiff one of your coworkers on their fair share of split tips? Is it socialism, but just not socialism with money you think is more rightfully yours?
— 🌸Sw33tDeee🌼 (@Sw33tDeee) November 9, 2018
At the end of the night when it came time to split the $560 in tips she had gotten at the bar Ocasio-Cortez gave the waitress only $50. After the waitress complained to her manager her take was doubled to $100 a source said.
“It says so much about her character,” said my source.
— Just Looking (@TossTheTea) September 18, 2018
Their claims are correct: During her stint as a bartender prior to running for Congress, the congresswoman-elected reportedly tried to stiff waitresses of their tips.
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