An attempt by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) to put $125 in the American people’s pockets has backfired rather spectacularly and may have instead cost them thousands of dollars. Of course, this wouldn’t be the first time she’s cost Americans oodles of money (or jobs).
The consumer credit reporting agency Equifax Inc. reached a $700 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission last week over a 2017 hack that reportedly compromised the personal information of over 140 million Americans.
As part of the settlement announced last Monday by the FTC, the agency must provide these 140 million Americans with compensation.
According to a CNBC story that AOC read Friday afternoon, one of the compensation choices available to affected consumers is a straight $125 check from Equifax.
After reading this story, the young, impetuous congresswoman enthusiastically shared the story with her followers and urged everybody to “go get your check from Equifax!”
Everyone: go get your check from Equifax!
$125 is a nice chunk of change.
Get that money and pay off a bill, sock it away, take a day off, treat yourself, whatever you’d like – but cash ?? that ?? check! ??
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 26, 2019
There’s just one problem …
“Fine print reveals why a lot of people won’t get the full $125,” The Washington Post has reported. “They are only going to pay out that amount until the requests hit a $31 million cap. After that, the payouts will be lowered and distributed on a proportional basis. The total pool for restitution is $380.5 million.”
There is, however, another option. Those Americans who haven’t rushed off to “get your check from Equifax,” as AOC requested they do, can instead opt for up to ten years of free credit monitoring. And FYI, Equifax’s credit monitoring services are pretty extensive. In fact, CNET notes that ten years of credit monitoring services would usually cost between $1,200 to $3,600.
This means that Ocasio-Cortez’s impulsive tweet may have just cost millions of Americans between at least $1075 and $3475 …
*slow round of sarcastic applause*
In fairness to AOC, she eventually issued a correction Friday evening:
Okay everyone UPDATE on Equifax: for most people the better deal is 10 years of free credit monitoring.
There’s apparently a run on settlements so there’s anxiety people are going to get 16 cent checks. But if you choose 10 years of credit monitoring, Equifax *must* cover it.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 27, 2019
But it’s unclear how many Americans had already read her tweet and gone off to collect a possible $125 (or much less) check.
Some have even already taken to Twitter to complain about losing money:
??♂️??♂️??♂️ gezzzz I already registered from your original post, now you cost me alot of money because like always facts are not important to you.
— PrePare2Crye (@NepstadThe) July 27, 2019
too late I thought it was an either or choice so I chose cash instead of the monitoring so that means I get a 16 cent cash card great
— J.Russell (@DEMOCRAZYAGAIN) July 28, 2019
Thanks for tweeting this and lowering my payment to 16 cents, AOC
— LPH (@danielray83) July 27, 2019
Too late! Those of us that followed your first tweet, just got screwed out of 10 years of free monitoring by filing! Don’t put out info when you don’t know what you’re talking about. How many Americans just got screwed by you??? @AOC @SpeakerPelosi https://t.co/ll1vk4i1L4
— ❌Trump or Bust❌ (@ddendz) July 27, 2019
Can people who already chose the 16 cents change to the 10 year plan?
— ben e hill (@Ben_E_Hill) July 27, 2019
“Apparently there’s a run on settlements”… in part, thanks to you!
If only you could go back to bartending.
— Ray Phillips (@okibmeubu) July 28, 2019
Well done, AOC.
At least her heart was in the right place, though, right?
The problem is that good decisions aren’t based on emotions but on logic and reason — and more often than not, AOC’s decisions are rooted in neither of these.
Take her decision earlier this year to wage war on Amazon and protest its plans to set up a new headquarters in New York City in exchange for a relatively paltry $3 billion in tax breaks.
AMAZON CANCELS PLAN TO COME TO NEW YORK
“After much thought and deliberation, we’ve decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens” – Amazon spokeswoman Jodi Seth
— J. David Goodman (@jdavidgoodman) February 14, 2019
Her argument at the time was that those tax breaks were “subsidies.”
“[W]e were subsidizing those jobs,” she said triumphantly after Amazon pulled out of the deal. “The city was paying for those jobs, so frankly, if we were willing to give Amazon three — if we were willing to give away $3 billion for this deal, we could invest those $3 billion in our district ourselves if we wanted to. We could hire out more teachers, we can fix our subways, we can put a lot of people to work for that money if we wanted to.”
Her argument was entirely emotional and completely illogical.
That $3 billion in so-called “subsidies” were just a break on taxes — it wasn’t magic money rotting away in the state’s coffers. Moreover, that $3 billion was paltry because it paled in comparison to all the revenue and jobs that Amazon’s presence in NYC would have produced.
It had been expected that Amazon would bring 25,000 jobs to the city. Those jobs would have meant 25,000 additional Americans paying taxes into the system. Those 25,000 Americans’ presence in the city would have likewise required the creation of new jobs — new restaurants to feed them, new dry cleaners to clean their suits and ties, etc. But all that was sacrificed at the altar of whatever it was exactly that AOC had sought.
Again, it’s not that her heart isn’t in the right place — it’s that her brain … well, it’s oftentimes nowhere to be found.
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