Does it matter? Is it concerning when more than half of Congress are millionaires, especially when only 9% of the people think they are doing their job?
The power and the money are all in one place. As we become more and more centralized with big government, the situation will only grow worse.
The findings of OpenSecret.Org are somewhat misleading, however. Some have not gotten richer while on the job and the million dollars includes their residences.
The liberal media is tying the wealth of Republicans into their refusal to raise the minimum wage and extend unemployment benefits, while ignoring the wealth of Democrats.
Endless unemployment benefits and minimum wage increases are tenets of the Democratic Party, not the Republican Party. It’s not what Republican voters want.
Republicans do not want to extend unemployment insurance again because there is evidence it slows peoples re-entrance into the job market. We have seen five years of extended benefits – when is enough enough? Mr. Obama said the economy is back. Republicans want to do it if something is cut. It was the Democrats under Harry Reid who came up with the rule that “Pay-As-You-Go” would apply.
Republicans are concerned about the negative impact on hiring that the minimum wage tends to foster. Republicans want to draw the line.
The Republican platform is unpopular with so many out of work.
The liberals fail to mention that Democrats are redistributing the money of the middle class to the poorer class while claiming they will only transfer money from the rich.
Middle Class wealth has shrunk each year since Mr. Obama has held office. This is for the first time since The Great Depression.
Under Mr. Obama, the average income has continually declined from $55,958 in January 2009 to $52,163 in November 2012. He has relied almost completely on government intervention and expansion but it has not worked. Our economic recovery is barely negligible and jobs have not kept up with the growth of the workforce. Presently 90 million Americans are out of the workforce.
The media averaged the net worth of every member of Congress which is a meaningless figure. A very rich and a very poor congress member skewed the results. One Republican is minus $12 million.
Since 2012, personal residences are included and with average homes in some parts of the country now worth a half million or more, it’s easy to have a worth of one million dollars. Again, averaging of Democrats net worth and Republicans net worth is meaningless.
The average net worth, meaningless though it is, for members of Congress in 2012 was $1,008,767. The number is up for the previous year where the average was “only” $966,000.
The richest in Congress:
The ten richest, three Republicans and seven Democrats
I have included the actual top 25 below and more can be found at OpenSecrets.Org
Some members of Congress, like Rep. Darrell Issa, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, and Sen. John Barrasso, and others, made their money before they entered Congress. Sen. John McCain and Rep. Nancy Pelosi married into wealth.
Another meaningless aspect of this reporting is that money doesn’t necessarily mean that the congressman is corrupt which is the insinuation. Rep. Issa is the one leading the charge against corruption!
It can mean they are corrupt however. People like Nancy Pelosi, married into wealth, but has gotten richer from her insider trading on a number of votes she cast, including the Affordable Care Act. Her husband has holdings in companies that have major financial stakes in the actions of Congress.
Speaker John Boehner has a portfolio of stocks in oil companies, financial firms, communication companies and pharmaceuticals.
Holdings among other lawmakers include farmland, real estate and investments in high tech companies.
The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, a law passed last year designed to prevent insider trading among lawmakers and government officials by requiring them to post disclosures of their financial transactions online was in part repealed. Internet disclosures were eliminated, but the 2012 STOCK Act requires securities transactions be reported 30-45 days after the trade takes place.
Eliminating the Internet disclosures makes it nearly impossible for reporters to see if they are engaging in insider trading.
Open Secrets conducts this study each year. The number of congressmen who entered the millionaire club has exceeded 50% this year.
They listed the reasons that it should matter:
- Thousands of companies are given billions of dollars worth of government contracts every year, and many will often lobby Congress directly. Some of these businesses may also find themselves the targets of congressional scrutiny for questionable business practices, accidents, even disasters. All the while, lawmakers themselves sometimes have stock holdings or other financial relationships with these corporations and associations, which can create possible conflicts of interest.
- About 1 percent of all Americans are millionaires. In Congress, that number regularly hovers between 40 percent and 50 percent, meaning elected leaders generally need not worry about the economic pressures many Americans face – from securing gainful employment to grappling with keeping a family financially afloat. Using the disclosure data, decide for yourself if your elected officials are adequately representing your financial interests.
- Some member’s personal wealth has expanded beyond rates of inflation, beyond what most Americans experienced. Use our data to better understand how these Members’s wealth expanded in the years they’ve been in Congress.
Many of the people in Congress are well-educated and earned money prior to becoming congressmen. These figures don’t tell the whole story. People need to examine each congressman’s record and determine if he’s corrupt or not. Being rich or poor is not a determinant.