Skip to comments.Report: 237 millionaires in Congress
Posted on 11/06/2009 8:11:20 PM PST by guitarplayer1953
Talk about bad timing.
As Washington reels from the news of 10.2 percent unemployment, the Center for Responsive Politics is out with a new report describing the wealth of members of Congress.
Among the highlights: Two-hundred-and-thirty-seven members of Congress are millionaires. Thats 44 percent of the body compared to about 1 percent of Americans overall.
CRP says California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa is the richest lawmaker on Capitol Hill, with a net worth estimated at about $251 million. Next in line: Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), worth about $244.7 million; Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), worth about $214.5 million; Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), worth about $209.7 million; and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), worth about $208.8 million.
All told, at least seven lawmakers have net worths greater than $100 million, according to the Centers 2008 figures.
Many Americans probably have a sense that members of Congress arent hurting, even if their government salary alone is in the six figures, much more than most Americans make, said CRP spokesman Dave Levinthal. What we see through these figures is that many of them have riches well beyond that salary, supplemented with securities, stock holdings, property and other investments.
The CRP numbers are somewhat rough estimates lawmakers are required to report their financial information in broad ranges of figures, so its impossible to pin down their dollars with precision. The CRP uses the mid-point in the ranges to build its estimates.
Senators estimated median reportable worth sunk to about $1.79 million from $2.27 million in 2007. The Houses median income was significantly lower and also sank, bottoming out at $622,254 from $724,258 in 2007.
But CRPs analysis suggests that some lawmakers did well for themselves between 2007 and 2008, even as many Americans lost jobs and saw their savings and their home values plummet.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) gained about $9.2 million. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) gained about $3 million, Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) had an estimated $2.6 million gain, and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) gained about $2.8 million.
Some lawmakers have profited from investments in companies that have received federal bailouts; dozens of lawmakers are invested in Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America.
Among executive branch officials, CRP says the richest is Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary L. Schapiro, with a net worth estimated at $26 million.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is next, worth an estimated $21 million. President Barack Obama is the sixth-wealthiest, worth about an estimated $4 million. Vice President Joe Biden has often tagged himself as an original blue collar man. The CRP backs him up, putting his net worth at just $27,000.
Hes hardly the worst off.
Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), freshman Rep. Harry Teague (D-N.M.), Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.), Rep. John Salazar (D-Colo.) and Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.) each a net worth of less than zero, CRP says.
One caveat on those numbers: Federal financial disclosure laws dont require members to list the value of their personal residences. That information could alter the net worth picture for many lawmakers.
Even so, Levinthal said, It is clear that some members are struggling financially.
Over a calendar year, ones wealth can change drastically. Many peoples investments took a nose dive over night in the last year, he said.
A number of lawmakers are estimated to have suffered double-digit percentage lossed in their net worth from 2007 to 2008. The biggest losers include Kerry, who lost a whopping $127.4 million; Warner lost about $28.1 million; Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) lost about $11.8 million; and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) lost about $10.1 million.
I see a whole lot of Ds in this article.
Well, I highly doubt that the $27,000 figure for Biden is accurate. He’s as elitist as his boss.
Beyond that, I don’t think it’s a big deal— given that campaigns are so blasted expensive and that many politicians start out as lawyers or businessmen, it’s not surprising that many who make it to Congress would be rich.
Nowadays, if you don’t have a million in financial assets, you’re not even in the upper middle class.
Sooooooooo is anyone concerned about the 70 or so Progressive Caucus Commies in the House, or just who has some big bucks in the bank?
and how many became millionaires after getting to Congress?
Heh, you're wrong, he ain't worth a ....
Hillary worth $21 million? I strongly doubt it. I’m pretty sure that the clintons have several billion stashed away in Swiss numbered accounts.
Clinton is the likeliest candidate to have stolen $100 million from the Mena drug operation, and he had connections with the drug cartels for most of his life.
Vince Foster was their bag man. Then when they got rid of him, hillary herself took the stuff over for those annual conferences she attended in Basel.
Were they rich when they got there or after words?
YEP...that’s the million dollar question!
Mena...that’s a name I havent heard in a while...
You’ve been paying attention...
That's the better and more salient question. Personally, I hope that we're picking the people that have been most successfully in their business lives. After all, the founding fathers were some of the most successful entrepreneurs of their day. But, as your question points out, I bet more than a fair share of our current legislators became rich after they entered so-called public service.
Thats what irks me .... The Charlie Rangels who went in with nothing and end up with everything ..... They make a decent wage, but I can't see how they can accumulate so much.
I believe when Clinton showed up at the Govs mansion they owmed a 64 mustang. They have done quite well.
“I would like to know what they had when they started and how they made all the buck if it was all made in Congress off law or inside trading knowledge.”
Understood, but I believe this is one of those rare circumstances in which one can assume it’s why the bastards run for office in the first place.
I assume regardless of the old cliche that is their motivation. It happens all the time.
A major concern of mine, more so than the standard monetary modus operandi of Political aspirants is the damned brazen Commies making laws for me and thee, but not for their superior Leftist hind-asses.
It’s the old Fox guarding the Hen House routine in real life.
I’m less concerned with millionaires in congress that the ones that became millionaires after getting there.
It’s a lot easier when you cheat on your taxes and take bribes.
I couldn’t care less what someone is worth...if they followed the constitution and acted accordingly. If they did, none of this crap would see the light of day.
It does show however why these isolated asshats want to stay in their jobs...there’s gold in them thar hills!
Oh, and I would bet that they haven’t included in their estimation of congress critters wealth the value of their VERY lucrative pensions, paid for by...you guessed it, US.
Harman: wife of a businessman (Hi-Fi devices).
Kohl: heir to a family business (Retail stores).
Warner: opportunistic businesman with knowledge of telecom industry (gained in large part by being a Dem staffer to Chris Dodd and fundraiser).
Kerry: opportunistic gigolo.
Yeah. Alcee "Buckwheat" Hastings' net worth is quite appropriate....less than zero.
Do you understand now why the passing of term limits legislation will never become possible?
How is Biden only worth 27K? He makes 170,000/year as a seantor. And he’s been there since ‘72. He should be worth millions, not including graft.
I forgot to add that Biden makes 208K as veep, so he’s obviously worth more than 27K unless he’s spending it all on hookers and beer.
Don’t forget LBJ was poor when he entered congress, but was a multimillionaire by the time he became president.
I’m sure all assets are in spouse’s name!
Well, it’s probably not from philanthropy, unless he counts the Obama campaign as a charity. My guess would be that he’s either blatantly lying on his documentation or that he’s funneling the money to various tax shelters to avoid detection.
Those crooked, self serving bastards. They have the audacity to refuse to accept their #%$@*($() health care bill they want to try to impose on us. The line in the sand has been drawn. I am done with them, done, done and done. It passes, people don’t rise up and refuse to participate, I’m out of here. I’ll take my $ and go elsewhere where they will never get a cent from me ever again.
I hear you Ks is passing a bill to opt out of the health care crap.