For those of you who don’t remember (or who try to forget) the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the Democratic “squad” — as well as “squad”-adjacent left-wingers — saw the ravages of the coronavirus as an opportunity to push for as much “free stuff” as possible.
Not to say there weren’t plenty of government goodies to go around, but consider that, at one point, all four members of the “squad” — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan — joined with Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont to propose wiping out at least $30,000 in student debt.
That didn’t happen. Neither did another “squad”-proposed bill — one that would eliminate rent and mortgage payments. Not a moratorium, mind you. According to an April 2020 news release by the sponsor, Rep. Omar, the legislation would “institute a nationwide cancellation of rents and home mortgage payments through the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The bill would constitute a full payment forgiveness, with no accumulation of debt for renters or homeowners and no negative impact on their credit rating or rental history.”
They tried again this March with a bill that would do the same thing — although, as before, Omar said in a news release that “the legislation will establish a relief fund for landlords and mortgage holders to cover losses from the cancelled payments.”
HAPPENING NOW: I’m joining Rep. @Ilhan Omar and fellow colleagues for a press conference on the Rent & Mortgage Cancellation Act. Our residents need help during this ongoing pandemic & this legislation seeks to provide that help to ensure our neighbors have the housing they need. https://t.co/RABr5VBpG4
— Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (@RepRashida) March 11, 2021
Tlaib was a co-sponsor of both bills, as were all of the other “squad” members.
“I’m proud to stand here and support a very important legislation, and as somebody that represents the third poorest congressional district in the country that has been directly harmed from this pandemic,” Tlaib said at a March news conference.
“You were already in survivor mode prior to it, and now it’s gotten much worse.”
While she was trying to prevent landlords from collecting rent, however, Tlaib was making plenty of money off of a rental property in Detroit.
According to a Fox News report Tuesday, a 2020 financial disclosure form filed on Friday showed that Tlaib earned between $15,001 and $50,000 in rental income from a property worth between $100,001 and $250,000.
When contacted for comment by Fox News regarding whether Tlaib gave her tenants the option to “cancel” their rent payments, Tlaib’s office didn’t immediately respond.
Amazingly, Tlaib isn’t the only “squad” member who’s making money from rental property. Pressley also reported income between $5,000 and $15,000 in 2020 from a Boston property in her husband’s name in her financial disclosure form, according to the U.K. Daily Mail.
Meanwhile, she tweets stuff like this.
Keeping families housed is a matter of public health.
We must cancel rent, extend eviction and foreclosure moratoriums, provide rental assistance, and offer legal representation for those at risk of eviction. This is a public health emergency.https://t.co/jmHEmfVjVa
— Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (@RepPressley) December 1, 2020
It’s worth noting that both Tlaib and Pressley remain voluble supporters of the (likely unconstitutional) eviction moratorium extension announced by President Joe Biden earlier this month. Again, no word on whether or not they’ve been financially hit by the moratorium like so many mom-and-pop rental-property owners have been.
Given that Fox News noted that Tlaib reported the same level of rental income in 2019, in the pre-pandemic days, one gathers that’s probably not the case.
Legislators are supposed to model the behavior they want to impose on others, particularly when that behavior is as radical as suspending rent or upholding an eviction moratorium that should have expired long ago.
Years ago, we would call this hypocrisy. Now we just call it politics.
Whatever the case, one would think this would be a time for the far-left “squad” members to keep in mind an Adam Smith quote appropriated by Karl Marx for his own use: “The landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for the natural produce of the earth.”
Instead, the squad members bring to mind the timeless Orwell quote: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
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