The Majority of Members of Congress Are Millionaires

A new report has found that for the first time ever, more than half of the members of Congress had a net worth of $1 million or more in 2012. What does that mean for us?

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.

Stacy Johnson

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