For First Time, Most Members of Congress Are Millionaires
In case you thought that Congress is out of touch with “real people problems,” you were right as a new report from the Center of Responsive Politics has found that more than half of Congress’ 534 members are millionaires for the first time in history.
The study found that 268 members of Congress have a net worth of at least $1 million, up from 257 members or 48 percent last year. The richest member of Congress is believed to be California Congressman and car alarm millionaire Darrell Issa, with an estimated net worth of $464 million.
In case you were wondering who the worst off member of Congress was, that’d be California Congressman David Valadao with an estimated net worth of negative $12 million after taking on loans to save his family’s dairy farm. That’s still better than the negative $19 million he reported last year so he’s getting his act together.
Overall, the average net worth of Democratic members of Congress is now $1.04 million while the average net worth of Republican members of Congress is exactly $1 million. Senators are generally far richer than House members, with an average net worth of $2.7 million compared to $896,000 for representatives. Senate Democrats have an average net worth of $1.7 million, while Republicans have an average net worth of $2.9 million.
Much of that money has come from investments. The current 534 members of Congress are estimated to have as much as $1.4 billion invested in real estate and more than 70 percent own shares of General Electric. In case you’re looking to Congress for stock tips, more than half of all members of Congress also own stock in Microsoft, Wells Fargo, and Procter & Gamble.
Of course, the influx of millionaires in Congress comes as both chambers have to mull issues like unemployment benefits, food stamps, and the minimum wage while they themselves reap fortunes.
(Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore)