Who needs math, economics, or basic facts when you can just make things up, instead? Or at least, that seems to be the ongoing mantra of one particular woman, whose tendency to just make crap up is starting to concern even some in her own party.
Socialist Democratic candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who's running for a New York congressional seat, claimed during a Thursday night interview with the Daily Show’s Trevor Noah that about 200 million Americans – or roughly “40 percent of this country” – make less than $20,000 a year.
“One of the biggest problems that we have is 200 million Americans make less than $20,000 a year. That’s 40 percent of this country," Cortez claimed.
"How can we have an economy that grows, how can we build wealth as an economy, if a large plurality of Americans are too poor to participate in it?” she demanded - just before pushing for the socialist's dream of mass wealth redistribution and higher minimum wages.
While poverty may be a problem, one of Cortez's biggest problems is that she consistently proves herself unable to do basic math. Let's break this down.
Firstly, if 200 million Americans equates to 40 percent of the country, that’d mean there are a whopping 500 million Americans in total. Except that there aren’t – there are about 328 million, meaning that 200 million would make up about 61 percent of the total national population, not 40.
Secondly, as of July 6, there were a record high 155 million Americans employed in the United States, meaning Cortez’s fictitious “200 million Americans” who make less than $20k outnumbers the total U.S. workforce by about 45 million.
Thirdly, Ms. Cortez’s claimed total of 200 million Americans making less than $20,000 is off…by about 170 million.
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, roughly 28 million American households live on total incomes of $25,000 or less – households that include working adults (those who “make” the money) along with children, the disabled, the elderly and the retired (those who “live” on that income).
Even if you assume each household includes roughly 2.5 persons (based on U.S. household data averages in 2017) and you agree to include non-working dependents in your grand total, that’s still only about 70 million people – a far cry from Cortez’s claim of 200 million, even by generous standards.
But to be fair, this is also the same woman who claimed less than two weeks ago that unemployment is low because "everyone has two jobs" and admitted she really doesn't know her head from a hole in the ground when it comes to Israeli-Palestinian relations.
Of course, Noah couldn't be bothered to challenge Cortez's erroneous claims about income -- which, sadly, many uninformed listeners are likely to believe.