From the start of and political campaign last season up until now, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ability to serve in Washington has constantly been questioned with many of her cohorts and critics questioning her credibility and pointing to her “inexperience” and previous work as a bartender. This is despite the fact that in the past four years, our country has been led by a man with no political experience at all. Now, in the wake of, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s announcement for a 2020 presidential run, the Puerto Rican politician from New York is calling into question why it is so many of us overlook the experience and competence of those who run for positions in politics because they come from extreme wealth.
In a recent post to her Twitter account, the congresswoman questioned the motives of those who support campaigns of moneyed aspiring politicos who lack experience.
Why don’t people ever tell billionaires who want to run for President that they need to “work their way up” or that “maybe they should start with city council first”? https://t.co/3d8Nenrvl5
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 30, 2019
The tweet came in response to a comment on the social platform that questioned why Ocasio-Cortez had not run for a city council instead of for a seat in Congress. “Why didn’t anyone tell this bartneder that maybe she should have started with the city council first” the user asked. Ocasio-Cortez- fired back with a tweet that explained “‘This bartender’ has served in a Senate casework office, organized and educated 1000s of young people, earned relevant degrees w/ honors, worked on field campaigns, and the only reason I wasn’t told to run for city council was because I was consistently told not to run at all.” Soon after she came in with a response to the user saying “And by the way, it’s ‘Congresswoman.'”
Ocasio’s exchange highlights a perplexing double standard and overall issue with our political system, where so many of those with the wherewithal to run do so in an effort to protect their extreme wealth from taxes. In fact, a recent interview featuring Schultz saw the former Starbucks CEO who intends to run on an Independent ticket, that he had “respect” for the Democratic Party but no longer felt “affiliated” with it because he no longer feels that the party’s views “represent the majority of Americans.”
“I don’t think we want a 70 percent income tax in America,” he said, referring to Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal of a 70-percent marginal tax rate on income above $10 million. Just a reminder, in 2016 during the last full year Schultz served as CEO of Starbucks, his total compensation amounted to over $21.8 million.
While Ocasio-Cortez’s lack of political experience has been consistently scrutinized since the early days of staking her claim in the midterm elections, men like Schultz and Donald Trump — both of whom never previously worked as public servants — are rarely if ever questioned on their background and motives.
Schultz said in a televised interview that he has “respect” for the Democratic Party but no longer feels “affiliated” with it because he doesn’t feel that their views “represent the majority of Americans.”
“I don’t think we want a 70 percent income tax in America,” he said, referring to Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal of a 70-percent marginal tax rate on income above $10 million.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, who agrees with Ocasio-Cortez that the rich deserve a tax increase, tweeted: “What’s ‘ridiculous’ is billionaires who think they can buy the presidency to keep the system rigged for themselves while opportunity slips away for everyone else. The top 0.1%, who’d pay my #UltraMillionaireTax, own about the same wealth as 90% of America. It’s time for a change.”
Ocasio-Cortez isn’t allowing Schultz (or anyone else) to trip her up. She’s already busy working on another proposal along with female Democrats.
"@AOC, Pelosi roll out bill to close the gender gap in salaries"
— Nancy Pelosi (@TeamPelosi) January 30, 2019
The women introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act that for transparency with workers salaries in order to have equal pay for all.
“The Paycheck Fairness Act would help to close these punishing gaps by eliminating loopholes in the Equal Pay Act, helping to break harmful patterns of pay discrimination and strengthening workplace protections for women,” the lawmakers’ purpose. “It is a reasonable and comprehensive bill that would combat the wage discrimination that has plagued the nation for decades.”
READ: In California, Latinas Make Less Than Half Of What White Men Do For The Same Job