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US Congress & The Legislative Branch Discuss Members of US Congress Get Richer Despite Sour Economy at the Political Forums; AP Despite a long and deep recession, the collective personal wealth of congressional members increased by more than 16 percent ...

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Old 11-17-2010, 01:20 PM
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Arrow Members of US Congress Get Richer Despite Sour Economy

Quote:
AP

Despite a long and deep recession, the collective personal wealth of congressional members increased by more than 16 percent between 2008 and 2009, according to a study released Wednesday by the Center for Responsive Politics.

The steady also indicates that a significant number of members owned shares of major players in the health-care and financial-services sectors, which were the subject of major reform legislation during the period.

The findings—based on federal financial disclosure data released earlier this year—paint a wealthy bunch in Congress, with more than half of all members—261—were millionaires.

About one in five of those had average calculated wealth in 2009 of at least $10 million. Eight of the 261 were in the $100 million-plus range.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) ranked No. 1 in personal wealth—$303.5 million. (See related slideshow.)

In contrast, U.S. median household income dropped 3 percent to $50,221 between 2008 and 2009, the second straight decline, according to the Census Dept. In terms of millionaires, only about 1 percent of the overall population qualifies.

The CRP study comes amid a growing public outcry about the size of government and rising employee salaries when the economy—and most taxpayers—are struggling like never before, with unemployment stuck at 9.5 percent and wages and benefits flat in many sectors.

“Congressional representatives on balance rank among the wealthiest of wealthy Americans and boast financial portfolios that are all but unattainable for most of their constituents," said Sheila Krumholz, the Center's executive director.
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The first thing that needs to happen when the new congress comes in is to cut their salaries and staff by at least 25%.

Start the cutting in Washington before they start digging into our pockets for more taxes.
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