Thursday, January 9, 2014

It's about CA$H: More millionaires in politics

Posted By on Thu, Jan 9, 2014 at 2:54 PM

click to enlarge Lamborn: Not loaded.
  • Lamborn: Not loaded.
When it comes to politics, you can't say the word without dollar-signs coming to mind.

So it's probably not a shock to learn that, for the first time, more than half the members of the House of Representatives are millionaires, according to the Center for Responsive Politics' website, which analyzed net worth of members based on filings they must make with the government.

"Of 534 current members of Congress, at least 268 had an average net worth of $1 million or more in 2012, according to disclosures filed last year by all members of Congress and candidates," the center reports. "The median net worth for the 530 current lawmakers who were in Congress as of the May filing deadline was $1,008,767 — an increase from last year when it was $966,000."

Last year only 257 members, or 48 percent, had a median net work of $1 million or more. 

From the Center's website:
In some ways, lawmakers' finances look a lot like those of many Americans. They include diverse portfolios of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and real estate. They have bank accounts, credit cards and mortgages. The difference: Politicians generally have more money and — unlike most people they represent — they must make their investments public. Another difference: Politicians, during the course of their official duties, routinely have access to non-public information. The STOCK Act, which passed in April of 2012, sought to clarify ambiguous insider trading regulations. 
Our own Doug Lamborn, a Republican, remains in the bottom half, ranked 383rd, with assets worth $455,000 or less. The number isn't precise, because of how members are required to report asset and liability values. Lamborn, a lawyer, reported no income other than his congressman's salary of $174,000 a year.

By the way, that's a far cry from the pay received by those serving in Congress from 1789 to 1815, which was $6 per day. The two years after that, it was $1,500, perhaps a seemingly handsome figure for the times, but actually the equivalent of $22,727 in 2013, according to the online calculator we used. reports that seven of the Top 10 wealthiest House members are Democrats, a bit of a surprise, since it's usually Republicans that are the staunchest advocates for the rich. I guess both parties can be associated with the elite class.

The richest House member is Darrell Issa, California Republican, with a maximum value of $597.8 million, which is more than twice the budget of the City of Colorado Springs.

Second is Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, with $418.7 million, and third is Colorado's Jared Polis, $326.1 million, also a Democrat.

Here's a complete Top 10 list.

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