By Jack Davis
A politician who makes more money than a little over 80 percent of Americans is singing the blues about how tough life has become.
The comments came on the Instagram account of Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who makes $174,000 a year as a member of Congress, along with the perks of office.
“It’s insanely expensive, there is no stipend or per diem for it, and you’re not allowed to write it off even though your job forces you to have it,” she said, according to BizPac Review.
“This creates real class dynamics in the House. Many sleep in their offices, but if you are caught, it could get bad for many reasons,” she said in a post that appeared to be deleted.
She said it was tough to rent in two expensive cities to meet the requirements that she has to have a residence in Washington, D.C., as well as one in her district, according to the Denver Gazette.
“I rent in both cities. It’s so so much. We have to find a new apartment in NYC soon and I’m STRESSED. Rent is wild and the idea of [apartment] searching and moving while legislating and campaigning is yikes,” she said.
The complaints touched off a reaction.
“It’s always a concern that that’s a perception. I’ve never had any control over the fact that that kind of phenomenon started the moment I was elected,” she said. “If anything, that’s why it’s really important for me to continue to be here in the community.”
As noted by the Washington Examiner, congressional salaries are indexed to the cost of living, but Congress has rejected all raises since 2010.
Last year, she said she received a “living wage” in a statement calling for raises for House staff members.
“It is unjust for Congress to budget a living wage for ourselves, yet rely on unpaid interns and underpaid, overworked staff just because some conservatives want to make a statement about ‘fiscal responsibility,'” she said in a statement on her website.
“The lack of diversity on the Hill can be traced directly to our failure to pay staff a living wage. Low-pay also contributes to the undue influence of money in politics, with experienced Hill staffers frequently leaving to work for lobbyists and other special interests. This investment will create a stronger Congress and better policy for the country.”
According to the website Statista, only 18.3 percent of Americans make more than $150,000 a year.
A tweet asking for a response from the office of Ocasio-Cortez had not received a reply as of Sunday afternoon.
Author: Jack Davis