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For The First Time Ever, More Than Half The Members Of Congress Are Millionaires

U.S. Capitol BuildingWealthy members of Congress are living the high life at taxpayer expense, while most of the rest of the country continues to suffer through one of the worst economic periods in our lifetimes.  According to an analysis conducted by the Center for Responsive Politics earlier this year, more than half of the members of Congress are millionaires.  This is the first time that this has ever happened in U.S. history.  In addition, the same study found that a hundred members of Congress are actually worth at least five million dollars.  We have a government of the wealthy, by the wealthy and for the wealthy, but as you will see below, that isn’t stopping members of Congress from wasting taxpayer money in some incredibly bizarre ways.  Millions of dollars are being spent on “office expenses” and on the hair care needs of Senators, but very little is being done to stop this abuse.  It is almost as if the American people have just accepted that this is how “big government” is supposed to operate.

No matter what your political affiliation is, it should bother you that we are overwhelmingly being represented by the very wealthy.  We are supposed to be a government “of the people”, but instead Congress is rapidly becoming a millionaire’s club

For the first time in history, most members of Congress are millionaires, according to a new analysis of personal financial disclosure data by the Center for Responsive Politics.

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 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 the previous year when it was $966,000.

And this is true on both sides of the aisle.  In fact, when you break the numbers down by political party, they come out almost exactly the same

Breaking the numbers down further, congressional Democrats had a median net worth of $1.04 million, while congressional Republicans had a median net worth of almost exactly $1 million. In both cases, the figures are up from last year, when the numbers were $990,000 and $907,000, respectively.

Of course wealthy people should not be prevented from serving in Congress.

All Americans should have that opportunity.

But when it gets to the point that only wealthy people are being elected, then we have a major problem on our hands.

Yes, a million dollars does not go as far as it used to.  But it still puts you in the upper stratosphere of American society.

And these days, there are nearly 200 members of Congress that are multimillionaires

Nearly 200 are multimillionaires. One hundred are worth more than $5 million; the top-10 deal in nine digits. The annual congressional salary alone—$174,000 a year—qualifies every member as the top 6 percent of earners. None of them are close to experiencing the poverty-reduction programs—affordable housing, food assistance, Medicaid—that they help control. Though some came from poverty, a recent analysis by Nicholas Carnes, in his book White Collar Government: The Hidden Role of Class in Economic Policymaking, found that only 13 out of 783 members of Congress from 1999 to 2008 came from a “blue-collar” upbringing.

Wow.

Shouldn’t we actually want to have some representatives that come from “blue collar” backgrounds?

So why do we have so few?

Has our political system failed?

Those are some important questions that we should be asking.

And then when all of these wealthy individuals get to Congress, they see absolutely no problem with spending U.S. taxpayer money like it is going out of style.  For example, according to the Weekly Standard, more than five million dollars has been spent on the hair care needs of U.S. Senators alone over the past 15 years…

Senate Hair Care Services has cost taxpayers about $5.25 million over 15 years. They foot the bill of more than $40,000 for the shoeshine attendant last fiscal year. Six barbers took in more than $40,000 each, including nearly $80,000 for the head barber.

All of this is just for 100 U.S. Senators?

Many of them don’t even have much hair left anymore.

But of course the waste doesn’t stop there.

In one recent year, an average of $4,005,900 was spent on “personal” and “office” expenses per U.S. Senator.

So the grand total would have been over 400 million dollars.

Nearly half a billion dollars should be able to buy quite a bit of paper for the copier, eh?

And even when they leave Washington D.C., members of Congress will continue to collect huge chunks of U.S. taxpayer money for the rest of their lives

In 2011, 280 former lawmakers who retired under a former government pension system received average annual pensions of $70,620, according to a Congressional Research Service report. They averaged around 20 years of service. At the same time, another 215 retirees (elected in 1984 or later with an average of 15 years of service) received average annual checks of roughly $40,000 a year.

I sure wish that I could collect a pension like that after working for only a few years.

Yes, members of Congress sure are living the high life at our expense.

Meanwhile, much of the rest of the country is really suffering right now…

-20 percent of all American families do not have a single member that is employed.

-One out of every eight men in their prime working years are not employed and are not looking for a job either.

-Due to a lack of economic opportunities, close to a third of all Americans 18 to 34 years old live with their parents.

-More Americans than ever before have been forced to turn to the government for assistance.  The following numbers come from my recent article entitled “18 Stats That Prove That Government Dependence Has Reached Epidemic Levels“…

#1 According to an analysis of U.S. government numbers conducted by Terrence P. Jeffrey, there are 86 million full-time private sector workers in the United States paying taxes to support the government, and nearly 148 million Americans that are receiving benefits from the government each month.  How long can such a lopsided system possibly continue?

#2 Ten years ago, the number of women in the U.S. that had jobs outnumbered the number of women in the U.S. on food stamps by more than a 2 to 1 margin.  But now the number of women in the U.S. on food stamps actually exceeds the number of women that have jobs.

#3 The U.S. government has spent an astounding 3.7 trillion dollars on welfare programs over the past five years.

You can read the rest of that article right here.

As for the rest of us, the fatcats in Washington D.C. see absolutely nothing wrong with taxing us into oblivion in order to keep the big government that they have created running smoothly.

Once upon a time, members of Congress were actually considered to be “public servants”.

If you tried to make that claim today, people would laugh at you.

Congress has become a club for the wealthy elite.  They don’t care about the rest of us, and unless you are able to donate large amounts of money to their campaigns, you will probably be treated with contempt by them.  They do pretty much whatever they want, and they have little fear of ever being held accountable because they know that incumbents have a re-election rate that is absolutely overwhelming.

Perhaps all of this helps to explain why the approval rating for Congress is sitting at just 13 percent at this point.

So what do you think about all of this?

Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…

  • DJohn1

    The Congress requires you to annie up a good sum of money to campaign. I am not surprised it has turned into a millionaire’s club.
    The people contributing to that campaign want something for their money when their candidate gets elected.
    The arena is mostly lawyers. That should say something right there.
    The “club” can be one of two parties. That is because the game rules were setup so only two parties could survive in this election environment. It wasn’t always this way.
    The current club voted over 300 members to support a security rule that does away with “due process” and that is bad. Because now you simply disappear if you become too much of a problem. Lawyers are in a clear majority in this Congress. Due Process is their bread and butter in civilain life. SO I am not surprised that they never return to civilian life but retire to a life of luxury and ease.
    They have one thing right. The American Public doesn’t seem to care what they do. The same people will get re-elected because there is no choice at the election booth.
    Lots of luck changing any of this.

    • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

      I don’t anticipate that this will change any time soon.

      That is why I am encouraging people to get prepared on an individual, a community and a family level for what is coming.

      A political solution to our problems is nowhere on the horizon.

      Michael

  • Richard

    “Shouldn’t we actually want to have some representatives that come from “blue collar” backgrounds?’

    “So why do we have so few?”

    “Has our political system failed?”

    Who is supposed to be answering these damn-fool questions?

    STOP IT ALREADY, WILL YOU?

    • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

      I thought that they were pertinent questions myself.

      Michael

    • Semiore Butts

      The questions are there to create discussion you Moron.

  • K

    Michael the system is dead. People are being bought before they even enter office. A truly honest man could not raise the money needed to run. The powers that be, only contribute to the ones they have already purchased. Even if a honest man somehow got in. The powers in D.C. would at the least, freeze him out of any important position. More likely, float a rumor to destroy him, if not just outright kill him. If you ever looked into the high number of odd deaths, around the powers in D.C. The numbers would stagger you.

    • Johnny Palestine

      535 wealthy parasites run the US government who serve as a front for the Rockefellers. This cannot nor should not last. Will the people revolt against this revolting situation? Doubt it. Who can afford to?

    • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

      It’s true – it’s all about raising money these days.

      Michael

  • gwanaambi

    Garbage in, garbage out….

  • Solardiamond

    Since the people you speak of, are the only ones who can change the laws, I’m certain they will change to please us peasants. WHEN PIGS FLY!!!

    Some confused people still think there are two parties; however,there is only one PARTY. It happens to be a really big “party” at our expense. (pardon the pun)

    Do not expect it to change!

    • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

      Sadly, most Americans don’t realize that the Republicans and the Democrats are just two heads of the same entity.

      Michael

  • Charlie Red

    It will only change when the nation really starts to feel the hurt and gets out and votes by policy, not by party. Until then, let the biggest wallet win!

  • TruthIsAll

    We are reliving the last days of the Empire. When the average citizen is full on circus and games, the military is made of foreigners, and your politicians are so detached from reality it is inevitable. Just wait until the cheap grain stops flowing from Egypt.

    Our circumstances are unnervingly similar to western Rome.

    • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

      Very good point. But I believe that our downfall will be much swifter.

      Michael

  • MichaelfromTheEconomicCollapse

    By the way, if you enjoyed this political article I hope that you will check out my news website. You can find the section with all of the stories about politics right here…

    http://themostimportantnews.com/archives/category/politics

    Michael

  • Allan Elliott

    Until we get the money out of politics nothing changes. Period!

  • K2

    Looks like they took the 50 cents song to heart eh?

    ”Get rich or die trying..!”

  • Cronos17

    Yawn, no inflation accounting, limited sample size and a million dollars is about what you need to retire properly.

  • Gavin Smith

    Time for the pitchforks.

  • LibertyLinda

    We can no longer afford them, so lets stop paying our taxes.