The Majority of Members of Congress Are Millionaires

By on

A recent report reveals that a number of U.S. Congress members are among the nation’s elite.

Says OpenSecrets.org, the website of the Center for Responsive Politics:

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 Center for Responsive Politics considers this “a watershed moment at a time when lawmakers are debating issues like unemployment benefits, food stamps and the minimum age, which affect people with far fewer resources, as well as considering an overhaul of the tax code,” reports CNNMoney.

Why are so many members of Congress so rich? CRP executive director Sheila Krumholz offered an interesting perspective: “Of course, it’s undeniable that in our electoral system, candidates need access to wealth to run financially viable campaigns, and the most successful fundraisers are politicians who swim in those circles to begin with.”

For now, U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., leads the pack “with a net worth that averaged $464 million in 2012 stemming from his car alarm business,” says CNNMoney.

You have to wonder: Can we count on these privileged and wealthy people to make decisions in the best interests of the rest of us? Share your opinion in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Sign up for our free newsletter

Like this article? Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you a regular digest of our newest stories, full of money saving tips and advice, free! We'll also email you a PDF of Stacy Johnson's "205 Ways to Save Money" as soon as you've subscribed. It's full of great tips that'll help you save a ton of extra cash. It doesn't cost a dime, so why wait? Click here to sign up now.

Check out our hottest deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,118 more deals!

Comments & discussion

We welcome your opinions, but let’s keep it civil. Like many businesses, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. In our case, that means those who communicate by name-calling, racism, using words designed to hurt others or generally acting like an uninformed bully. Also, comments that include links to email addresses or commercial websites typically aren't posted. This isn't a place to advertise your business.

  • Ralph Hedges

    It would be interesting to find out how many Rebubs and how many Dems are millionares. I note from the article that Repub Darell Issa is worth $465 million. I wouldn’t trust him with my mother-in-law!

  • AnIndependentwithabrain

    To answer the question, not a chance in hell.

  • Jack Mabry

    This is the way it’s always been. Most of our founding fathers were rich.

  • Ron Sakulin

    The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundance of the poor…..Voltaire

  • nitemare2

    Senate Democrats were the only group reporting a drop in their median net worth from the prior year — a decline that is at least partly because of the loss of two extremely well-off Senate Democrats from the list: now-Secretary of State John Kerry, who had been the wealthiest senator with a 2011 average net worth of $248 million, and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) who had an average net worth of $87.5 million before his death last year. 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. Harry Reid will not release his tax records but remember he was the one ranting about Romney releasing his even after he had and then said this “I’m a member of Congress now, I don’t make too much money,” said Reid, whose net worth was estimated at $10 million in 2010. Nancy Pelosi over $100 million, Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine). net worth for 2011 of $85.8 million. Diane Feinstein over $80 million. So before you liberals start throwing stones look inside your own party of millionaires and how they really can say they understand the middle or lower class. Remember Chuck Rangel was censured for not paying taxes as was other democrats, Kerry tried to move his yacht to RI to avoid paying taxes. You even had a D-Congressman from Florida impeached for failing to pay taxes. I note from the article that Moneytalks News again reports only enough to make it look like the GOP are evil and the liberals are our saviors. Ralph you don’t trust Issa I trust Reid and Pelosi even less they both called those who don’t agree with them Nazi’s and unpatriotic. Reid called the military baby killers and rapists. He runs the Senate with a total disregard for the people choosing which bills he will bring for a vote and which he will table and forget, and then try to blame the GOP or Tea Party for stopping bills.

  • Zach

    Yet another article that makes republicans look bad. I’m gerting really tired of seeing this crap here and I am very close to unsubscribing from money talks news.

    • lamac66

      Just making observations. Republicans don’t need any articles to make them look bad.

      • Zach

        Oh please. Republicans are not the ones trying to ruin this country.

    • http://www.moneytalksnews.com/ Stacy Johnson

      I don’t understand this comment. Not only did this article not mention Republicans, it made no judgement about the wealth of members of Congress.

  • The watcher

    The rich have always been making decisions for the rest of us. Are you better off or worse off. You don’t know because it has never been any other way. 40 million American are living below the poverty line. We rank 9th in the world regarding the quality of health care and 11th in infant mortality surpassed by some third world countries. They took SS reserves and used it to balance the budget and now are crying about funding it. How are they doing? Do you think that our congress is proud of this record?

  • bigpinch

    This article so misses the point… Making a statement like, “The majority of members of Congress are Millionaires,” is as meaningless as the equally true statement: half the readers of this article are of below average intelligence. Can you trust the opinions of those people whose I.Q. falls below the average?
    The possession of wealth is no indicator of moral fitness for any position of public trust. The accumulation of wealth may very well be an indicator of above average intelligence in a person who’s gotten their act together well enough to create wealth for themselves and others. The next time you need a job ask a poor person to hire you.
    Money and those who possess it are not inherently evil. Envy, on the other hand, indicates a lack of both intelligence and morals. So, in that sense, I would more likely trust a successful business person to faithfully execute the duties of public office than I would trust someone who envies the wealth of others and wants to tax it away from them.

  • sjanderson23

    I think that led to the fall of Rome.

  • Dominick Cuda

    Not concerned with the financial status of Congress. The electorate decides who they want representing them-may that be a Millionaire a Female a Male etc. MY CONCERN IS HOW DO WE AS THE PEOPLE GET TERM LIMITS ESTABLISHED ON CONGRESS? Every Congress person I have ever written to for help in establishing term Limits I HAVE NEVER GOT A REPLY! What is that telling you!!!!