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Amazon is paying $0 in taxes on $11+ billion in profit.

  • $0 for schools.
  • $0 for firefighters.
  • $0 for infrastructure.
  • $0 for research and healthcare.

Why should corporations that contribute nothing to the pot be in a position to take billions from the public?

https://twitter.com/AOC/status/1096194174301495296

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If that’s the case he can do what I said.   He’s doing this instead because he knows she can’t say yes or every dog-whistling idiot with a fan base would feel like they could buy their way onto t

Yea, making sure everyone has access to healthcare is just as disgusting as white supremacy.  

Republican Rep. Ted Yoho on Saturday resigned from the board of the Christian anti-poverty organization Bread for the World days after he verbally attacked Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

6 minutes ago, urbanhack said:

Amazon is paying $0 in taxes on $11+ billion in profit.

  • $0 for schools.
  • $0 for firefighters.
  • $0 for infrastructure.
  • $0 for research and healthcare.

Why should corporations that contribute nothing to the pot be in a position to take billions from the public?

https://twitter.com/AOC/status/1096194174301495296

Because AOC was against it...so no matter what, there will be a group that will now complain about it even if it goes against every principle they previously believed.

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1 hour ago, Dickies said:

I'd prefer if no city/county/state governments gave tax breaks and handouts to businesses.  Should be illegal for government to give discriminatory favors to businesses.  It's a drain on the country as a whole and a bad deal for local taxpayers.

I'm with you on this.  The government shouldn't be in the business of picking winners and losers in this regard and creating competitive advantages for a private entity.

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1 hour ago, Dickies said:

I'd prefer if no city/county/state governments gave tax breaks and handouts to businesses.  Should be illegal for government to give discriminatory favors to businesses. 

I admittedly haven't worked out the full implications of this, but I think I agree with you.  This is a mechanism by which governments strengthen firms that already have some market power to begin with by giving them competitive advantages over their rivals.  That's extremely bad public policy.  And that's before factoring in the social costs associate with rent seeking and inefficient industrial policy (which is what this essentially is).

On the other hand, if local governments had their hands tied and couldn't hand out special favors for chosen businesses, certain states and cities would have a really hard time attracting employers.  I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing in the aggregate.

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21 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

I admittedly haven't worked out the full implications of this, but I think I agree with you.  This is a mechanism by which governments strengthen firms that already have some market power to begin with by giving them competitive advantages over their rivals.  That's extremely bad public policy.  And that's before factoring in the social costs associate with rent seeking and inefficient industrial policy (which is what this essentially is).

On the other hand, if local governments had their hands tied and couldn't hand out special favors for chosen businesses, certain states and cities would have a really hard time attracting employers.  I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing in the aggregate.

This may sound harsh, but should these areas have these employers if they don’t meet the criteria without subsidies?  Perhaps there are employers better suited for these areas. What are the causes behind certain areas having a hard time attracting employers?  I keep hearing that NYC and the Bay Area are the areas most difficult to do business out of, yet they are the economic hubs of the country. 

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4 minutes ago, Dickies said:

This may sound harsh, but should these areas have these employers if they don’t meet the criteria without subsidies?  Perhaps there are employers better suited for these areas. What are the causes behind certain areas having a hard time attracting employers?  I keep hearing that NYC and the Bay Area are the areas most difficult to do business out of, yet they are the economic hubs of the country. 

I agree...Bezos will try to milk any community.  Truth be known another town will offer the same deal tomorrow.

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1 hour ago, sho nuff said:

Because AOC was against it...so no matter what, there will be a group that will now complain about it even if it goes against every principle they previously believed.

I don’t lik AOC but agree it’s BS to give Amazon this tax incentive.  If no state did they would be forced to pay for it. Like every other company. I mean come on.  This is the richest company in the world for goodness sake  

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6 minutes ago, boots11234 said:

I don’t lik AOC but agree it’s BS to give Amazon this tax incentive.  If no state did they would be forced to pay for it. Like every other company. I mean come on.  This is the richest company in the world for goodness sake  

Or Amazon might have chosen a headquarters in a low-tax state like Arkansas or Kansas or Oklahoma instead of New York.  (I'm not actually sure how those states' tax codes compare to New York's.  Just going off past practice here).  

In a "no discrimination" world, high-tax states are potentially placed at a massive disadvantage relative to low-tax states.  The libertarian in me likes that on an ideological level, but I'm honestly not sure how that factors into the social cost/benefit calculation.  I honestly have no interest in compelling New York to be more like Arkansas, and I think such a policy might have that result. 

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10 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

Or Amazon might have chosen a headquarters in a low-tax state like Arkansas or Kansas or Oklahoma instead of New York.  (I'm not actually sure how those states' tax codes compare to New York's.  Just going off past practice here).  

In a "no discrimination" world, high-tax states are potentially placed at a massive disadvantage relative to low-tax states.  The libertarian in me likes that on an ideological level, but I'm honestly not sure how that factors into the social cost/benefit calculation.  I honestly have no interest in compelling New York to be more like Arkansas, and I think such a policy might have that result. 

High tax states, as a general matter, have a better educated workforce.  Some companies may think it's worth the cost.

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39 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

Or Amazon might have chosen a headquarters in a low-tax state like Arkansas or Kansas or Oklahoma instead of New York.  (I'm not actually sure how those states' tax codes compare to New York's.  Just going off past practice here).  

In a "no discrimination" world, high-tax states are potentially placed at a massive disadvantage relative to low-tax states.  The libertarian in me likes that on an ideological level, but I'm honestly not sure how that factors into the social cost/benefit calculation.  I honestly have no interest in compelling New York to be more like Arkansas, and I think such a policy might have that result. 

Isn't part of the allure of some cities the proximity to talent? Wal Mart obviously makes it work in Arkansas, but I would think Oklahoma would struggle to recruit for the high end jobs. No idea.

As every day goes by your physical location becomes less and less of a hurdle imo.

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55 minutes ago, boots11234 said:

 I mean come on.  This is the richest company in the world for goodness sake  

Let's not get carried away here.  Apple's cash stash (230B) by itself is bigger than Amazon's book value (170B) at the moment.

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5 hours ago, supermike80 said:

Oh come on.........Did they also poll them on whether they like their water wet?  How about whether roads should be free of potholes?   I suppose the next poll question would be do they think it's good that the sun rises every day.   These polls mean absolutely nothing.  I cant find a single person who would RATHER destroy the environment than use something cleaner and save the planet yadda yadda.  The argument, in my mind, has never been about whether people want to do these things, its more about how much they are willing to sacrifice them to get there.  So pish posh on those silly poll questions.

I bet they'd be willing to sacrifice our endless wars and regime changes.

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If Amazon is worth $3 billion (or whatever) to a municipality in terms of increasing employment, paying taxes, generating business for nearby restaurants, etc., then municipalities will compete against each other to offer up to $3 billion in various tax breaks and other benefits for Amazon to locate there. This is bad for municipalities. They end up with not much (or any) net benefit from landing Amazon because they've given it all away -- if one city doesn't offer that much, another will.

Municipalities should enter into a pact with each other not to compete against each other like that. They'd be much better off as a group if they all refused to offer any such handouts. An actual, literal pact among all municipalities would be impractical, but a federal law would do the trick. Congress should ban special, targeted subsidies, tax breaks, or other benefits given out by cities or states aimed at wooing specific, individual companies.

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59 minutes ago, Sand said:
1 hour ago, boots11234 said:

I mean come on.  This is the richest company in the world for goodness sake  

Let's not get carried away here.  Apple's cash stash (230B) by itself is bigger than Amazon's book value (170B) at the moment.

True, but Amazon has branched out into other things besides just books at this point.

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2 minutes ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

If Amazon is worth $3 billion (or whatever) to a municipality in terms of increasing employment, paying taxes, generating business for nearby restaurants, etc., then municipalities will compete against each other to offer up to $3 billion for Amazon to locate there. This is bad for municipalities. They end up with not much (or any) net benefit from landing Amazon because they've given it all away -- if one city doesn't offer that much, another will.

Municipalities should enter into a pact with each other not to compete against each other like that. They'd be much better off as a group if they all refused to offer any such handouts. An actual, literal pact among all municipalities would be impractical, but a federal law would do the trick. Congress should ban special, targeted subsidies, tax breaks, or other benefits given out by cities or states aimed at wooing specific, individual companies.

Kind of reminds me of an NFL team. 

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2 hours ago, Da Guru said:

I agree...Bezos will try to milk any community.  Truth be known another town will offer the same deal tomorrow.

It would have been accretive to the state and the city.  From a mathematical point of view shutting Amazon out wasn't a great financial move.  People do lots of things that aren't good for them, so this kind of move isn't terribly surprising.

So someone else will get this boon.  Austin probably has a good shot.

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31 minutes ago, timschochet said:

You know, AOC fans have been pointing out to me lately how desperate the right is to attack her for anything. I didn’t take that too seriously, but now I think they may have a point...

So pointing out an absurd AOC hot take that was even panned by the most Liberal posters here as probably a hoax right after the news broke is attacking?  Oh.

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4 hours ago, urbanhack said:

Amazon is paying $0 in taxes on $11+ billion in profit.

  • $0 for schools.
  • $0 for firefighters.
  • $0 for infrastructure.
  • $0 for research and healthcare.

Why should corporations that contribute nothing to the pot be in a position to take billions from the public?

https://twitter.com/AOC/status/1096194174301495296

They aren’t taking money from the public.  It’s a tax break.  New York doesn’t now have 3B to invest in infrastructure. 

But what they don’t have are the 25k high paying jobs that would have provided a ton of benefits to the state.

This isn’t difficult.  Tax breaks are given because it’s good for these companies to come to the area. Jobs are good.  Richer citizens are good.  Other industries spring up around an area with 25k jobs.  It’s a massive lost opportunity 

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1 hour ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

If Amazon is worth $3 billion (or whatever) to a municipality in terms of increasing employment, paying taxes, generating business for nearby restaurants, etc., then municipalities will compete against each other to offer up to $3 billion in various tax breaks and other benefits for Amazon to locate there. This is bad for municipalities. They end up with not much (or any) net benefit from landing Amazon because they've given it all away -- if one city doesn't offer that much, another will.

Municipalities should enter into a pact with each other not to compete against each other like that. They'd be much better off as a group if they all refused to offer any such handouts. An actual, literal pact among all municipalities would be impractical, but a federal law would do the trick. Congress should ban special, targeted subsidies, tax breaks, or other benefits given out by cities or states aimed at wooing specific, individual companies.

This does not sound like a libertarian idea to me. :thumbup:

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31 minutes ago, Widbil83 said:

So pointing out an absurd AOC hot take that was even panned by the most Liberal posters here as probably a hoax right after the news broke is attacking?  Oh.

Who says it’s a hoax? He was on Good Morning America today. Sounded legit to me. 

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8 hours ago, timschochet said:

Who says it’s a hoax? He was on Good Morning America today. Sounded legit to me. 

Looks like Nashville and Virginia  will get the Amazon jobs as well as expanding other offices.

 

 

Amazon has ditched its plan to build a new headquarters in New York City, opting instead to proceed with its “HQ2” site in Northern Virginia and additional expansion in Nashville and 17 corporate offices in the U.S. and Canada.

The decision means an estimated 25,000 jobs, generating $27 billion in economic benefit over multiple years, will not be coming to the New York area. The pullout came after fierce opposition by activists and politicians at the local and national level, who objected to a selection process they felt was far too secretive and a $3 billion tax-incentive package they saw as far too generous.

One key figure in the fight against the company’s proposed entry into the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens is Rep. Alexandia Ocasio-Cortez, a newly elected Democrat from New York.

In recent days, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (a potential 2020 presidential candidate) joined forces to try to push back at opponents. Cuomo said the potential loss of the largest job-creation project in the city’s history would be “a blow” to New York that could have lasting impact.

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Think you responded to the wrong quote, Da Guru. 

Anyhow, I heard an interview with AOC on this issue this morning, and like other interviews with AOC, I found her fresh, charming, intelligent...and mostly wrong. 

One of the main points she made is that rather than subsidize private businesses to hire people, it would be better for government to hire those people itself- “We should use the same money to hire teachers, fix roads, help people.” There is a basic disconnect here IMO- she doesn’t seem to understand what creates wealth. She doesn’t understand investment. Frankly, she doesn’t get capitalism. 

And again, this sort of attitude just plays into the Republican argument: the New Democrats are socialists: they don’t understand wealth. They want everything handed to them. 

 

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15 hours ago, Henry Ford said:

So what if other locations offered more?

It's ridiculous that the largest, highest-value company in the world, a company that paid zero federal profit taxes last year should get $3 billion in corporate welfare to build its headquarters in a particular location.

Much like if Jeff Bezos can't stand up to AMI, who can, if NYC can't stand up to that kind of corporate welfare, who can?

That’s your opinion.  Obviously many New York democrats disagree with you which is why they offered 3b while amazon invested 2.5b and 25,000 jobs.  It’s the narrow mindness of aoc that partially disrupted this deal.  I guess no one in her district needs a job that would average 75k per year...

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15 hours ago, sho nuff said:

She wasn’t the only one against it...nor do you have any idea if it would have benefited them overall vs the tax giveaway.

That’s like saying billy threw the first rock so I’m not guilty of throwing rocks.  Come on man..  No but she was the most prominent one.  I know the people of her district would have benefitted greatly with 25k jobs averaging 75k each.  

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1 hour ago, timschochet said:

Think you responded to the wrong quote, Da Guru. 

Anyhow, I heard an interview with AOC on this issue this morning, and like other interviews with AOC, I found her fresh, charming, intelligent...and mostly wrong. 

One of the main points she made is that rather than subsidize private businesses to hire people, it would be better for government to hire those people itself- “We should use the same money to hire teachers, fix roads, help people.” There is a basic disconnect here IMO- she doesn’t seem to understand what creates wealth. She doesn’t understand investment. Frankly, she doesn’t get capitalism. 

And again, this sort of attitude just plays into the Republican argument: the New Democrats are socialists: they don’t understand wealth. They want everything handed to them. 

 

Agree with Tim.  

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16 hours ago, Juxtatarot said:

Yes.  For several reasons (cow farting among them) I think our government should provide economic incentives for us to reduce our consumption of meat.

I'm not sure I'm onboard with this.  Would need to research further the impacts but we need to reduce our consumption of sugar first and then corn/wheat (especially HFCS and refined wheat) - I'm sure it's a complex equation on the environmental impact vs. the direct health impact to all of us. 

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11 hours ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

High tax states, as a general matter, have a better educated workforce.  Some companies may think it's worth the cost.

This doesn't appear to be correct. 

For Example Mississippi has a combined tax rate of 12.21%, which is 13.5% higher than the national average, and ranks very low in educational attainment. 

Below are the top ten in highest taxes and highest % of population with a Bachelors Degree (in many cases the areas with high rates of bachelor degrees have lower rates of high school grads.)

 

Highest Taxes:  IL, CT, NE, NY, RI, WI, OH, IA, NJ, MI, PA, KS

Highest Education Rate:  DC, MA, CO, MD, CT, NJ, VA, VT, NH, NY, MN

Link Taxes

Link Education

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9 minutes ago, AAABatteries said:

I'm not sure I'm onboard with this.  Would need to research further the impacts but we need to reduce our consumption of sugar first and then corn/wheat (especially HFCS and refined wheat) - I'm sure it's a complex equation on the environmental impact vs. the direct health impact to all of us. 

Why not do both?

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36 minutes ago, stlrams said:

That’s your opinion.  Obviously many New York democrats disagree with you which is why they offered 3b while amazon invested 2.5b and 25,000 jobs.  It’s the narrow mindness of aoc that partially disrupted this deal.  I guess no one in her district needs a job that would average 75k per year...

Just to be clear- you think that most of the people that would get the higher-paying Amazon jobs like software engineering would be the largely working class residents of the Bronx and Astoria? Not recent college grads or transfers from elsewhere who would move in and spike the cost of living for those working class residents?

 

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1 hour ago, timschochet said:

Think you responded to the wrong quote, Da Guru. 

Anyhow, I heard an interview with AOC on this issue this morning, and like other interviews with AOC, I found her fresh, charming, intelligent...and mostly wrong. 

One of the main points she made is that rather than subsidize private businesses to hire people, it would be better for government to hire those people itself- “We should use the same money to hire teachers, fix roads, help people.” There is a basic disconnect here IMO- she doesn’t seem to understand what creates wealth. She doesn’t understand investment. Frankly, she doesn’t get capitalism. 

And again, this sort of attitude just plays into the Republican argument: the New Democrats are socialists: they don’t understand wealth. They want everything handed to them. 

 

If that's actually what she said, she also doesn't understand how tax abatement works.  When Amazon bailed on NY, that didn't create any additional money to spend on teachers or roads, because governments don't collect tax revenue on economic activity that doesn't occur.

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2 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

If that's actually what she said, she also doesn't understand how tax abatement works.  When Amazon bailed on NY, that didn't create any additional money to spend on teachers or roads, because governments don't collect tax revenue on economic activity that doesn't occur.

Good point. Yes that’s exactly what she said. 

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4 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

If that's actually what she said, she also doesn't understand how tax abatement works.  When Amazon bailed on NY, that didn't create any additional money to spend on teachers or roads, because governments don't collect tax revenue on economic activity that doesn't occur.

 

Quote

The agreement comes with a number of incentives: Specifically, Amazon will receive $897 million from the city’s Relocation and Employment Assistance Program (REAP) and $386 million from the Industrial & Commercial Abatement Program (ICAP). It will receive an additional $505 million in a capital grant and $1.2 billion in “Excelsior” credits if its job creation goals are met. That brings the total amount of public funds granted to $2.988 billion—in other words, the city and state will pay Amazon $48,000 per job.

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2 minutes ago, TobiasFunke said:

Just to be clear- you think that most of the people that would get the higher-paying Amazon jobs like software engineering would be the largely working class residents of the Bronx and Astoria? Not recent college grads or transfers from elsewhere who would move in and spike the cost of living for those working class residents?

 

I never said most, please reread as I said I guess no one in her district needs a job.  What there’s no college grads in Bronx, Astoria, queens etc?   Im sure a certain percentage of jobs would come from transplants..  so in summary some jobs are better then no jobs..

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1 hour ago, stlrams said:

That’s your opinion.  Obviously many New York democrats disagree with you which is why they offered 3b while amazon invested 2.5b and 25,000 jobs.  It’s the narrow mindness of aoc that partially disrupted this deal.  I guess no one in her district needs a job that would average 75k per year...

Once again...it wasn’t just AOC. And of it was you must then admit she is pretty damn powerful.

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13 minutes ago, Dooook said:

This doesn't appear to be correct. 

For Example Mississippi has a combined tax rate of 12.21%, which is 13.5% higher than the national average, and ranks very low in educational attainment. 

Below are the top ten in highest taxes and highest % of population with a Bachelors Degree (in many cases the areas with high rates of bachelor degrees have lower rates of high school grads.)

 

Highest Taxes:  IL, CT, NE, NY, RI, WI, OH, IA, NJ, MI, PA, KS

Highest Education Rate:  DC, MA, CO, MD, CT, NJ, VA, VT, NH, NY, MN

Link Taxes

Link Education

That's interesting, I'm surprised by that list of high tax states.  

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56 minutes ago, stlrams said:

That’s like saying billy threw the first rock so I’m not guilty of throwing rocks.  Come on man..  No but she was the most prominent one.  I know the people of her district would have benefitted greatly with 25k jobs averaging 75k each.  

You don’t know who would be getting those jobs.

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7 minutes ago, stlrams said:

I never said most, please reread as I said I guess no one in her district needs a job.  What there’s no college grads in Bronx, Astoria, queens etc?   Im sure a certain percentage of jobs would come from transplants..  so in summary some jobs are better then no jobs..

No, you said no one in her district needs a job that would average $75K a year.  That average is pulled up by the software engineers coming in from elsewhere making a lot more than that, which would have a negative effect on those who make less than that in the form of spikes to cost of living.  And of course there's college grads in the Bronx and Astoria ... but the ones who would be qualified for the higher-paying jobs at Amazon almost certainly already have jobs or can get them very easily. They don't need Amazon.

I don't know how this would ultimately play out for any of the relevant parties. Nobody does.  What I'm saying is that there's a reason that the government officials who wanted this are city and state-wide ones, while all the opposition was from people attuned to local interests. And your post was a misleading oversimplification of the costs and benefits for the community.

ETA: also here you seem to imply that all of the 25K jobs would go to her district or other locals, which obviously isn't close to the truth.

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Just now, IvanKaramazov said:

Thanks.  I didn't follow the Amazon deal very closely, and I was under the impression that the incentives NY offered were mainly tax breaks.

I think they are. The employee relocation program might be a tax credit too, for all I know. I'm a nerd, but not enough of a nerd to dive into the weeds on that. But at a minimum it looks like the city would have spent about $500 million out of pocket.

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25 minutes ago, sho nuff said:

Once again...it wasn’t just AOC. And of it was you must then admit she is pretty damn powerful.

I recommend next time she uses her power for what’s good for her district. After all that’s who she represents.  

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