Ocasio-Cortez and the New Guard Enter Congress

Representative+Ocasio-Cortez+has+come+to+represent+the+progressive+%E2%80%9CNew+Guard%E2%80%9D+of+freshmen+congress+representatives.+%28Courtesy+of+Flickr%29
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Ocasio-Cortez and the New Guard Enter Congress

Representative Ocasio-Cortez has come to represent the progressive “New Guard” of freshmen congress representatives. (Courtesy of Flickr)

Representative Ocasio-Cortez has come to represent the progressive “New Guard” of freshmen congress representatives. (Courtesy of Flickr)

Representative Ocasio-Cortez has come to represent the progressive “New Guard” of freshmen congress representatives. (Courtesy of Flickr)

Representative Ocasio-Cortez has come to represent the progressive “New Guard” of freshmen congress representatives. (Courtesy of Flickr)

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By Nicholas Zaromatidis

At the age of 29, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was officially sworn into Congress on Jan. 3. In September, she beat incumbent Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley in arguably one of the largest upset victories this election cycle. She represents the 14th Congressional District of New York, which includes areas in northern Queens and the northern Bronx. Moreover, she is member of the Democratic Socialists of America. This party strives to represent working class families in a socialistic manner. In other words, the party seeks to reduce a capitalistic order, hereby denouncing staggering inequalities of wealth and power, sexual, gender and racial discrimination and more.

In September, Ocasio-Cortez presented a $40 trillion proposal. This monstrous proposal was only supported by a $2 trillion budget. This proposal includes initiatives, such as Medicare for all, free college programs, paid family leave and Social Security expansion. These initiatives are necessary for the United States; Medicare for all can revolutionize our healthcare system.

However, these initiatives all come with a large price tag, which creates a budgeting issue for the U.S. Government. With a $38 trillion disparity, our nation cannot afford to continue the descent into debt. Taking into consideration the current government shutdown and all the other budgeting issues that our nation is facing, there is no need to continue the descent into crippling debt. Ocasio-Cortez’s solution to this enormous disparity lies in taxpayer-funded programs, which would theoretically increase over the next 10 years due to more people working for greater salaries, higher taxes on higher income tax brackets and greater corporate taxes.

Apart from her financial plan, Ocasio-Cortez is attempting to push hot-button social issues. One huge issue that Ocasio-Cortez is spearheading is diversity in company’s hiring practices, specifically in the technology industry. Given the relatively recent influx in the technology and software industries, maintaining diverse staffs is crucial for ensuring the continued success in these fields of work. By encouraging diverse hiring practices and following in the footsteps of Gov. Jerry Brown of California, who implemented Senate Bill 826 which calls for a gender quota in publicly traded C-Suite officers, our nation’s greatest industries will continue to thrive.

This financial plan is all theoretical and absolutely not practical. Our nation continues to climb into debt, and a $38 trillion disparity would almost double our national debt. This could cause the U.S. to default on loans, lower national credit ratings and inadvertently raise interest rates on U.S. loans, thus increasing our debt at a catastrophic exponential rate.

Annually, politicians grapple with the question; how much debt is too much debt? We must come to this sad realization of economic misfortune to further progress our social standards and financial standings. However, Ocasio-Cortez is one of 36 new members of Congress in this election cycle that allowed the Democratic party to take the majority. These new members, commonly referred to as new bloods, should bring in new ideas that typically align with younger generations. This presents many idealistic policies that could work with some tweaking, but Ocasio-Cortez’s agenda seems to be the epitome of this idealism.

However, there are many career politicians that are less ambitious in their goals and become, as the years go in, set in their ways. Most do not propose much legislation; their voice is solely their vote, and they act as a slave to their respective political parties. Typically, career politicians are well-liked by their constituency, winning them re-elections, but lack any propositions in Congress. Career politicians are also more likely to have been exposed to some degree of political corruption. Most look at the bottom line of a scenario, which is usually the numbers and immediate benefit, not the overall circumstance and betterment of the nation.

Overall, our nation must start to weed out these career politicians and bring more new blood into Congress; however, new blood must gain more realistic ideas that can be swiftly implemented in our country. There must be a balance between the number of career politicians and newly-elected politicians in Congress.

Although there would be no regulation for this, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is just one of many newly elected politicians who must step up to the plate and implement realistic, progressive solutions.

Nick Zaromatidis, GSB ’21, is an applied accounting and finance major from Franklin Square, New York.