- The Washington Times - Monday, February 25, 2019

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Another day, another Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez delusional rant.

This one, this time, comes in response to a Fox News discussion about the congresswoman’s decision to pay a minimum of $52,000 for her office staffers.

The flip side of that decision, as noted by one Fox News host over the weekend, is that she’ll have to cap her other office workers’ salaries well below the Capitol Hill top-pay average of $154,000, at about $80,000 — a sort of redistribution of wealth that was labeled, by Fox’s Pete Hegseth, as “socialism and communism on display.”

And in stark political views: He’s right.

Socialists take from the rich to give to the poor. They redistribute based on their personal ideas of fairness. That, in effect, is what Ocasio-Cortez is doing with her office staffing policy.



Ocasio-Cortez, on the other hand, has a right to distribute her office staffer funds as she sees fit. Lawmakers are given a set pot of money to pay for their staff; it’s up to each lawmaker to decide how to pay the individual salaries of office workers.

Either way: it’s all taxpayer dollars we’re talking here.

It’s not as if Ocasio-Cortez is dipping into her own pocket, paying her staff from hard-earned private sector monies.

But she had to weigh in on the Fox debate, regardless.

In a tweet, she wrote: “The GOP is so disconnected from the basic idea that people should be paid enough to live that Fox actually thinks me paying a living wage in my office is ‘communism.’ So the next time GOP screams ‘socialist,’ know that’s their go-to attack for any common-sense, humane policy.”

Lies.

And Ocasio-Cortez knows it.

Nobody on Fox expressed any issue with paying office staffers a living wage. Hegseth did not slam Ocasio-Cortez’s payment of a living wage as communism — rather, he pointed out the redistribution of wealth and the lowering of the top earners to meet the perceived needs of the low earners as unAmerican in bent.

And so it is.

Free people in general and conservatives in specific tend to think that hard work should be rewarded, and that the harder the work, the more important the work, the higher the reward. In a capitalistic society, such as ours, salaries are typically reflections of both hard work and demand, as determined by the free market.

That’s why, say, a doctor makes more than a trash collector. It takes more study, more effort, more expensive schooling to become a doctor than a trash collector; conversely, it’s more difficult to replace retiring doctors than trash collectors. The pool of talent is significantly smaller for doctors.

Socialists, however, believe in the principle of Government Knows Best — that government, more than the free market, more than society at-large, can best determine what’s fair, what’s equitable, what’s one person’s true value to a community versus another person’s true value. And those leftist so-called true values are often affixed by emotionally driven arguments based on social justice perceptions.

In Ocasio-Cortez’s mind, it’s fair to lower the salaries of the top earners in her office to provide for the others — even if the top earners have more experience, have more talent, have more to offer.

In a free person’s mind, however, it’s fair to adjust the salary levels based on talent and skill levels — and to use higher salaries as incentives for the lower earners to work harder, to one day reach the level of becoming worthy of a higher paycheck.

These are two decidedly different ways of looking at things.

Only one is the American way.

That Ocasio-Cortez thinks it’s her view that’s American is just one more deception she’s guilty of peddling.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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