What’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s net worth and how high is her salary?
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has lived life under the GOP’s microscope since the moment she launched her first campaign. Now, as the NY-14 representative celebrates her landslide Democratic primary victory, AOC’s potential second term has renewed interest in her personal and financial history. Yet, while the self-proclaimed “Democratic Socialist” has battled countless rumors about her education, AOC’s bank account looked much like those of her constituents’ until she ran for office.
With an annual salary of approximately $174,000, AOC is worth an estimated $100,000 (per Celebrity Net Worth). However, as Financial Samurai notes, AOC’s actual net worth is more likely $0 right now, because her student loan debt outweighs her current savings and she doesn’t own any property or stocks. Before AOC landed her healthy congressional paycheck, she earned an estimated $26,600, so she has intimate knowledge of what it’s like to be financially insecure.
“When I was waitressing, I used to jerk awake in the middle of sleep worried that I may have forgotten if a bill cleared, or if I had enough [money] to pay a [doctor] in cash,” AOC tweeted in May 2019. “Was that [because] I was ‘irresponsible?’ No. It’s [because] I wasn’t being paid a living wage as cost of living skyrocketed.” As part of her “income transition,” AOC noted new perks, such as health insurance, afforded her many new freedoms that every American citizen deserves. With this in mind, however, the freshman Democrat made it her mission to ensure her staff never struggles to survive.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pays entry-level staff members more than D.C.'s typical 'living wage'
For Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, living paycheck to paycheck used to be the norm. She understands what it’s like to struggle when the rent comes due. Thus, once she officially took her place in the U.S. House of Representatives, AOC shocked Capitol Hill with her promise to pay her staff no less than $52,000/year in an effort to promote and normalize the living wage. “Leadership starts with our choices,” she tweeted in February 2019. “It’s likely one of the highest entry-level salaries on the Hill. We pinch pennies elsewhere, but it’s worth every dime to pay a living wage.”
AOC added that, while congressional members are allotted funds for disbursement, GOP leaders haven’t increases said budgets in years, which means many of the people who help run the country must settle for an entry-level salary around $30,000/year — well below the estimated $36,940.80 needed to sustain a single adult who lives in Washington, D.C., according to Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s living wage calculator (via Yahoo! Finance).
With an estimated $1 million Members Representational Allowance left to her discretion, AOC added that interns will earn $15/hour and senior staff salaries would be capped at $80,000/year. “It is unjust for Congress to budget a living wage for ourselves, yet rely on unpaid interns [and] underpaid overworked staff just [because] Republicans want to make a statement about ‘fiscal responsibility,'” she tweeted in December 2018. Now that’s leadership!
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez 'had to do something that was nearly impossible' to pay off her student loan debt
As someone who owed tens of thousands of dollars in student loans, NY-14’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has become a champion for debt forgiveness. In support for the College for All Act, AOC revealed that “it was literally easier for me to become the youngest woman in American history elected to Congress than it is to pay off my student loan debt.”
AOC told CNBC reporters, “In order for me to get a chance to have healthcare, in order for me to get a chance to pay off my student loans, I had to do something that was nearly impossible. And I don’t think that that is the bar through which a person should be able to access education, healthcare and a bevy of other things that should be considered human rights.”
She added that student debt could grind the economy to a halt because those of the 30-year-old’s generation cannot purchase homes because they’re buried under debt. “What we tell 17-year-olds all the time is that you are not old enough or responsible enough to drink, you are not old enough or responsible enough to vote, you are not old enough or responsible enough to serve in our military, but you are old enough and responsible enough to take on a quarter million dollars worth of debt,” AOC explained. It’s time to flip the script!
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