The personal wealth of members of Congress increased by more than 5% between 2007 and 2010, on a collective basis, even as median household net worth in the United States dropped by 39%.
The wealthiest lawmakers saw their net worth rise by more than 14%, according to The Washington Post, which recently examined politicians' finances.I have long stopped identifying with a political party as I have come to realize that they don't identify with me. I still vote but I often write in my candidates and simply don't vote on any Judicial positions as I don't believe a Judge should run for office unless they are utterly exempt from private funding. We have long found our country either demonstrating the same hypocrisy or conflict of interest by demanding other countries pursue democracy while our own is eroding.
Key findings from The Post:
Lawmakers' wealth is held in a variety of ways: 127 legislators have their money primarily in real estate, 117 in institutional funds, 75 in their spouses' names, 51 in essentially cash, 36 in specific stocks and bonds, 32 in high-turnover trading, 30 in business ownership and 20 in agriculture.
- The number of millionaires in Congress dropped in the wake of the Great Recession; the 253 who have served during the current session represent the fewest since 2004. But the total population of millionaires is likely to be underestimated because lawmakers are not required to list their homes among their assets.
- Between 2004 and 2010, 72 lawmakers appeared to have doubled their estimated wealth.
- At least 150 lawmakers reported receiving more income from outside jobs and investments than from their congressional salaries of $174,000 for rank-and-file members.
- Representatives in 2010 had a median estimated wealth of $746,000; for senators, it was $2.6 million.
- Since 2004, lawmakers reported more than 3,500 outside jobs paying their spouses more than $1,000 a year. Members of Congress are not required to report how much the spouses are paid or how they earned the money.
My main concern is when does someone in the what is the majority step up to lobby or speak up and stand up for the majority? Are we all that afraid or simply bought off by cheap goods from Wal Mart, Target or wherever to assuage our anger? I don't know but its not sustainable. The parallels to a banana republic cannot be lost. And we find ourselves misdirecting our anger to anyone different which is all part of the larger idea. Divided you can be conquered. A study found that while most Americans live in urban areas they are more divided and less communicative about issues that matter. It's Stranger Danger grown up version.
The idea that the very people we elect to serve sign pledges to individuals to commit to one idea, concept or value is absurd. The only pledge any elected Official should do is Allegiance to the Flag. We have become a Nation largely disconnected from each other and its no shock those whom represent us are as well.