New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was recently fact-checked by the Washinton Post and the results are not looking good.
Her claim that “everyone has two jobs” was just plain wrong. Her claim that the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency having bed quotas was a bust. Another claim about the upper middle class in America disappearing is bonkers. She also made a major mistake in talking about the legality of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
Check it out:
No, not “everyone” has two jobs, only 5.2 percent of Americans do, the Washington Post reports:
“Unemployment is low because everyone has two jobs. Unemployment is low because people are working 60, 70, 80 hours a week and can barely feed their family.”
— interview on PBS’s “Firing Line,” July 13, 2018
This is an example of sweeping language — “everyone has two jobs” — that can get a rookie politician in trouble. She may personally know people who have two jobs, but the data is pretty clear that this statement is poppycock.
First of all, Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that the percentage of people working two jobs has actually declined since the Great Recession — and been relatively steady at around 5 percent since 2010. The percentage bounced around a bit but it was as low as 4.7 percent in October 2017 and was 5.2 percent in the July jobs report, the most recent available. That hardly adds up to “everyone.”
The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency does not have or enforce a quota:
“ICE is the only criminal investigative agency, the only enforcement agency in the United States, that has a bed quota. So ICE is required to fill 34,000 beds with detainees every single night and that number has only been increasing since 2009.”
— in an interview with the Intercepted podcast, May 30
As our friends at PolitiFact documented, this is an urban legend. There is language in the 2016 appropriations bill that requires ICE to have 34,000 beds available — ICE “shall maintain a level of not less than 34,000 detention beds through September 30, 2016” — but it is not required to fill them. The main point of such language, a version of which dated to 2009, is to make sure the money is not spent on something else.
In 2014, in an exchange with Republican lawmakers, then-Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson testified that he did not view it as a mandate to fill the beds. “That’s beds, not people,” Johnson said.
In any case, the language was eliminated in the 2017 and 2018 appropriations bills. So it’s not even an issue anymore.
The upper middle economic class in America has actually grown, it hasn’t “disappeared,” the Washington Post reports:
This upper-middle class is probably more moderate but that upper-middle class does not exist anymore in America.”
— interview on “Pod Save America,” Aug. 7
Here’s some more sweeping rhetoric. In knocking the current leaders of the Democrats, stuck in “ ’90s politics,” Ocasio-Cortez said the “upper-middle class does not exist anymore.”
But the data show that while the middle class overall may have shrunk a bit, the upper-middle class has actually grown. In a 2016 paper published by the Urban Institute, Stephen J. Rose documented that the upper-middle class has grown substantially, from 12.9 percent of the population in 1979 to 29.4 percent in 2014. His analysis showed that there was a massive shift in the center of gravity of the economy, with an increasing share of income going to the upper-middle class and rich.
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Ocasio-Cortez proved she did not really understand the Supreme Court’s ruling on the legality of the Affordable Care Act either:
“The reason that the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act is because they ruled that each of these monthly payments that everyday American make is a tax. And so, while it may not seem like we pay that tax on April 15th, we pay it every single month or we do pay at tax season if we don’t buy, you know, these plans off of the exchange.”
— interview on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time,” Aug. 8
This appears to be an example of not understanding policy nuances.
In the 5-4 opinion written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., the Affordable Care Act was deemed to be an appropriate exercise of the government’s taxing power. But Roberts was not referring to the monthly premium payments, as Ocasio-Cortez claims. Instead, Roberts was referring to the individual mandate to buy insurance — and the requirement to pay an annual penalty when filing a tax return if one did not buy health insurance.
Fact-checking Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez:
“Everyone has two jobs”
(Only 5.2% do)
ICE required to detain 34,000 ppl each day
Upper-middle class doesn’t exist
(It’s grown 16%)
Medicare for all is cheaper
(It would cost $33 trillion over 10 years)https://t.co/veoFEC4ppX
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) August 11, 2018
So, time after time the new Democrat golden girl has run hard into a wall of facts. How does she respond? By blaming sexism, of course.
1st time female candidate makes small slip on a budgetary figure during extemporaneous interview: “This girl is SO uninformed! She needs to stay quiet until she knows everything!”
Incumbent male Congressman brings a snowball to Congress to “disprove” climate change: 🤷🏼♂️ https://t.co/ApKiqnEPQp
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) August 11, 2018
Not quite a “small slip” and has nothing to do with her gender.
Has nothing to do with you being female, imma just leave this herehttps://t.co/Z5Tmu2xoUl
— Mujahed (@kebejay) August 11, 2018
“Just last year we gave the military a $700 billion budget increase, which they didn’t even ask for.”
Except that $700 billion is the *total* military budget, not the *amount the budget was increased by*. Not a “small slip” — you were off by ~$700 BILLION.🤷🏼♂️
— Jeremiah Stephan Dunleavy IV (@JerryDunleavy) August 11, 2018
It’s more than one slip: pic.twitter.com/uyh3HPqSDP
— John Sexton (@verumserum) August 11, 2018
This one enjoys playing the poor, put upon female card. What happened to empowering women? You’re not scoring any points. https://t.co/SEJ5lkv6Ox
— Jennifer O O’Connell (@asthegirlturns) August 11, 2018