According to a new report in The Washington Post, the median net worth of the current Congress rose 5% during the recession while it fell 39% for the average American. The wealthiest one-third of lawmakers saw their net worth rise 14%.
The Washington Post disclosed these statistics in a recent story on the wealth gap between Congressional members and the American public.
"These are supposed to be our representatives," says The Daily Ticker's Aaron Task. "If they're not living the same lives or understanding the lives that the average American is living, how can they really represent our interests?"
The Post analyzed the financial disclosure forms and public records for all Congressional members from 2004 to 2010. Some key findings of the report are:
By 2010, the median estimated wealth for members of the House of Representatives was $746,000; for senators it was $2.6 million.
There was virtually no difference between the wealth of Republicans and Democrats in 2010. Just six years earlier, the net worth of Republicans was 44% higher than the net worth of Democrats.
28% of Congress, or 150 members, reported earning more income from outside jobs and investments than from their Congressional salary of $174,000.
27% of Congressional members saw a decline in their net worth between 2004 and 2010.
I don't see how the correlation between public service and getting rich in congress could possibly be denied. The greed and cronyism is what sustains them while the payoffs and backroom deals is where it pays off. These slime bags are not worth the time of day to consider as public servants but should be convicted and sentenced to treason for their selling out the American voter.
We the voters are just as responsible as we keep feeding on the lies and crap coming out of their mouths to only find that nothing changes. The top keeps helping those at the top and negative contracts keep them all so safe.
Publicly Financed Campaigns,
These are our only hope and salvation for our country.
It is a fact that most those in Washington who pretend to government us do not have a clue how the rest of us live. Get the big money out if politics and redistricting so that there are fair elections would fix most of the problems.
Yes, I read this and am totally incensed about it. As I have reiiterated, politics is a game. The average politician is in politics for the fame and adulation they are going to receive. Also, politics is a surefire way for a person to become wealthy if the person is elected to a high level political office such as mayor, senator, vice president, and/or president. Both Democrats and Republicans play this game. Many politicians are not in politics to help and/or serve humanity, they are in politics for the LONG TERM GAINS so to speak.
Wouldn't it be cool if politicians declined a salary, especially during tough times?
Hey, it happens. Look at Romney. He didn't take salary as governor, and he apparently paid his own personal and political travel costs. It happens, and we should encourage more of it.
For Romney a governor's salary is less than loose change so he can easily afford to play "generous" for the "good of the state" while keeping his money overseas and barely paying taxes on his fortune
Ok, let me get this straight.
It's bad for politicians to draw salary when Americans are suffering.
But if one of them doesn't, then that doesn't really matter?
Don't point out their skewed logic it makes them angry.
I just wish there were more habee's in the world.
Notice that Romney gets NO credit from the left for:
Donating 10-20 hours a week for a decade to his church.
Taking over the Olympics for his own personal glory(no pay).
Working as governor for no pay.
-balancing the budget as governor.
-reducing unemployment as governor.
-keeping his campaign promises as governor.
-taking the state from 50th to 28th in job creation as governor.
-making the state 1st in education as governor.
Earning his fortune himself, after donating his inheritance to a university.
Saving dozens of companies from closing down.
Paying more taxes in one year than most people will in 300 years.
They can put a negative spin on anything he does or has done.
The left can put a negative spin on puppies. It's sick.
On a somewhat relevant side note, it's too bad the Republican establishment had such a grubby grasp on Romney because outside of party influence (as an R, I'm sickened by the party), I would love to see him as President.
I appreciate the things he's done.
Does that make you feel better?
No one is all bad afterall.
I still wouldn't vote for him... but he has done some good stuff.
Sure is better than nothing, but let's remember that Romney and the rest of our "trusted" politicians DO NOT live in luxury from their salary, but from the deals they make using their connections (inside trading, unusually advantageous real estate acquisitions, lobbyist and special groups under the table donations - just to name a few)
Yeah, I'm pretty sure Romney made his fortune in business.
How did Romney make his money from inside trading, unusual real estate acquisitions, lobbyists, or special interest groups?
So basically all rich people break the law. Even though they're the ones that make the law. Interesting.
I think it's more realistic to say that through connections they had with other wealthy people, they successfully became wealthy themselves through perfectly legal means in an economic system where some get ahead and others do not. Nothing wrong with being wealthy.
I'd just like to see them live on what the average, working American family is bringing home. And, THEN, make this a country where everyone can actually live equally. You'd quickly see the 'median' income of Americans go up in that case, I think.
It's like this . . . our founding fathers were wealthy elite who sacrificed (or at least risked) their fortunes to create government by and for the common citizen. Nevermind that they unlawfully confiscated the land from the original inhabitants, and owned slaves, they invested in an ideal. Now, I guess the common citizen makes sacrifices to invest in the ideal for the elite.
Hi Petra..... Apparently the new Shark Repellant will be released next year after having been trialled on Stingrays, Sand Sharks and Retired Politicians.... see... there is ho-ho-hope after all
The salary is a pittance, and none of them would care if they didn't get it. The perks are where the value is, and the lifetime retirement and benefits and, most of all, access to politicians when they go back to money-making careers.
The system is completely broken and won't be fixed until a major catastrophe comes along. That's just how it is. The middle class is too busy trying to hold on to what it has left to make the waves necessary to fix anything. And what else can they do? To make the waves necessary to fix it will destroy them, so, in essence, they'd have to bring about the catastrophe themselves.
It's sort of like you live in a house with really old and really bad wiring. You know its bad, because you've blown out two computers and have had to flip breakers when the power went out during the last few big parties you had. You are afraid that at some point it's going to start a fire that will gut the house. You also know the only way to fix it is to pretty much gut the entire house, ripping out all the walls and rerunning all the electrical. Both choices, do something or do nothing, have the same problem: the gutting of the house. So rather than fix it, you buy a surge protector and stop throwing parties. Maybe you'll win the lottery or something and can afford the repair with no inconvenience, or just move out.
That is America. The sad patches on our healthcare system and bank bailouts are the surge protectors, and education represents the parties we no longer have. For some cities, cops and firefighters are also parties we no longer have. Nobody is going to vote for tearing it all down and rewiring it, so instead we are going to wait for it to burn.
Salary may be a pittance but its only Republicans that ever seem to give it up.
Could you name a few of those republican "patriots"?
Michael Bloomberg - Mayor New York City
Democrat (until 2001)
Annual Salary: $1.00
http://www.paywizard.org/main/VIPPayche … ansalaries
Can we please remember that the recession was caused by a housing bubble which lead to a lot of home loan defaults... in other words, many people (enough to supposedly almost crash the economy) had a huge portion, if not the majority of it, of their worth disappear.
So yes, naturally there was a large decrease in net worth of the average American when there was a huge drop in property ownership, a huge jump in unemployment, all on top of a general shrinkage of the economy... this statistic is not surprising, nor alarming.
The recession was actually caused by loose lending standards of our financial institutions which in turn repackaged these loser loans(they knew it) into investments that took everyone associated with them down. With the exception of the banks that issued them, that's why AIG went under. We bailed out AIG so the big banks could get paid on their bets at 100 cents on the dollar. The banks bet on the fact they would fail. The myth that the Govt forced the banks to loan the money is just that a myth. The banks never saw a fee they didn't like. To this day the only people to pay for this mistake is the general population. Let the screwing continue
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