While many Americans go hungry and are jobless, majority of Congress members are now millionaires
More than half are at least worth $1 million, report finds
The United States today is largely a fractured land: more people more than ever are on food stamps. Many have given up on the prospect on ever finding a job ever again. Unemployment checks have begun to run out. None of this reaches the U.S. Congress, where a recent study finds that more than half of the people there are worth more than $1 million.
Representative Darrell Issa of California, a Republican has a reason to smile. He has a net worth that averaged $464 million in 2012 stemming from his car alarm business.
The report cited disclosure forms that were filed last year. A year ago, the total stood at 257 members, or about 48 percent. The center says that the new figure "represents a watershed moment at a time when lawmakers are debating issues like unemployment benefits, food stamps and the minimum wage, which affect people with far fewer resources, as well as considering an overhaul of the tax code."
"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," CRP executive director Sheila Krumholz says.
This year's analysis was complicated by a change in reporting rules that allows lawmakers to report the worth of high-value assets and income as simply "$1 million or more," after previously requiring more specific values.
Who is the wealthiest? Interestingly, it is Representative Darrell Issa of California, a Republican. He has a net worth that averaged $464 million in 2012 stemming from his car alarm business.
In second place is another member of the California House delegation, David Valadao, who reported an average net worth of negative $12.1 million based on loans to his family dairy farm.
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