This week freshman Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez made an announcement that she was not going to pay anyone on her staff less than $52,000 a year so that no one working for her is making less than a living wage in D.C.
Members of Congress are given a budget to cover their office and staffing expenses and the freedom to allot that money how they see fit. Ocasio-Cortez stated that her commitment to making sure her staffers have a living wage would necessitate scrimping in other areas.
And, to no one's surprise, the talking heads over on Trump's favorite propaganda network were flipping out over it this weekend. Fox is already obsessed with AOC, and they're already running hourly segments fear-mongering over how these Democratic socialists are going to turn America into a socialist hellhole like Venezuela, so they got a two-fer with this one.
Here's former Gov. Mike Huckabee, along with Fox & Friends hosts Griff Jenkins, Katie Pavlich and Pete Hegseth carrying the mantle for the poor oppressed rich in America, and making the same arguments you hear on the network constantly every time the topic of minimum wage arises to attack Ocasio-Cortez for wanting to make sure her junior staffers can afford to live in the high cost of living area of Washington DC. Notice the huge heaping helping of projection going on here when Huckabee talks about politicians who have a messianic complex when these same people seem to love those qualities in Trump.
PAVLICH: Just to follow up on that, what do you say to people who say Venezuelan socialism could never if happen here, this is not the style someone like Bernie Sanders is proposing for America. What is your response to that?
HUCKABEE: Well, I wish that were true, but the fact is there have been a lot of strong nations across the world including Venezuela that was economically strong and robust that went the way of socialism, so it can happen anywhere where people are foolish enough to embrace it and naive enough of to listen to the nonsense that leaders will present when they say we can all have, you know, the dream, we can all have the same, and we'll go after these rich people.
But going after rich people doesn't make the poor people rich, it just makes the rich people poor. I don't know why anybody thinks that's something to celebrate, because when the rich people get poor, they can't give jobs, they can't give bonuses, they can't travel and create jobs. I mean, look, I get it, some people have more money than they need, perhaps, but it's their money. They can do whatever they want to with it, and it's not a crime to earn money.
That's capitalism, and thank god there are some people who have earned a lot, because they're the ones who have given to libraries and schools and hospitals and universities, and they have richly blessed all of us with things we wouldn't have if it had not been for their charity and benevolence.
HEGSETH: Well, it's not a crime yet, governor, but if some get their way, other socialists, including a freshman newly elected, is deeming herself the boss of the Democratic party. Take a listen. […] She's the boss.
HUCKABEE: If we could purchase what she knows and sell it for what she thinks she knows, we would all be rich across the entire world. The irony of all of this is that she thinks she's the only one, and there's nothing, frankly, more frightening than a leader who believes I'm it, I'm the only one. Nobody else is quite like me. Nobody else is as smart as I am. Nobody is trying as hard as me.
That is a level of arrogance that we rarely see in public officials... well, let me put it this way, it's rare that they actually express it in public. […] That's what's rare. There's a lot of them have the messianic complex, but most of them don't publicly declare it.
JENKINS: Well now governor, that's just not fair. She's leading already. She's absolutely leading already. He is redistributing the salaries in her office. She's going to make sure that every entry-level staffer gets $52,000, a big hike for entry-level 20-somethings, but she's going to have to do it at the cost of the more senior people, the chief of staffs that would normally make over $150,000 can only hope to get $80,000.
There's an article in the press yesterday that said at least one senior staffer saying, well, we're going to have to do this, so it's okay. Interestingly enough, by the way, or she makes over $170,000.
HUCKABEE: Yeah. Why didn't she take her salary and split it up instead of taking away her chief of staff, who I bet works harder than she does? Here's a couple of observations. Number one, of course she can give raises, it's not her money. She's giving away somebody else's money.
When she owns a business and she has to make payroll out of her own bank account as I've had to do and others who own businesses have to do, then come tell me about how raises ought to be guaranteed, because she's not using her money. She's using ours. And secondly, if $52,000 is a good salary, why stop there? Why not make it $100,000 or $200,000? […]
I mean, this is the thing of socialism. They not only believe that they have the ideas, but they also get to set the amounts and determine what is fair. […] Beautiful word, what's fair.
PAVLICH: Well, Margaret Thatcher used to say the problem with socialism is you ultimately run out of other people's money.