When you think of Congress, you sometimes believe that these people are all very modest, humble servants of the public good.
That they don’t make so much money that they’re going to betray the American public and our interests when it comes to dealing with lobbyists, PACS or influence groups.
None of these beliefs is true.
Most members of Congress are pretty well-heeled, either through their private funds, real estate investments, or blind trusts.
Most come to Congress with substantial backing, and they only get richer as time goes on.
Then is it no wonder that some of them are very frightened of OWS? They should be, because by any measure of income, they’re the 1% that OWS is targeting.
Proof? This is the annual report (last done in 2010) for the richest members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, both houses:
1. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.): $188.37 million
2. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.): $160.05 million
3. Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.): $152.62 million
4. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.): $81.50 million
5. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas): $73.75 million
6. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.): $70.19 million
7. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.): $56.49 million
8. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.): $55.47 million
9. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.): $49.70 million
10. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.): $46.07 million
11. Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.): $31.41 million
12. Rep. Harry Teague (D-N.M.): $25.52 million
13. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.): $21.74 million
14. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.): $19.90 million
15. Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho): $19.69 million
16. Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.): $19.37 million
17. Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas): $18.41 million
18. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.): $18.28 million
19. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.): $15.73 million
20. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.): $14.90 million
21. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine): $12.54 million
22. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.): $12.12 million
23. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.): $10.90 million
24. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.): $10.52 million
25. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa): $10.45 million
26. Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.): $9.73 million
27. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.): $9.30 million
28. Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.): $9.11 million
29. Rep. Chris Lee (R-N.Y.): $8.74 million
30. Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.): $8.51 million
31. Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.): $8.48 million
32. Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.): $8.34 million
33. Rep. Parker Griffith (R-Ala.): $8.29 million
34. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas):$8.03 million
35. Rep. John Spratt (D-S.C.):$7.94 million
36. Rep. John Linder (R-Ga.): $7.90 million
37. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.):$7.71 million
38. Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.): $7.33 million
39. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): $7.10 million
40. Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.): $6.90 million
41. Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.): $6.83 million
42. Rep. Steve Kagen (D-Wis.): $6.77 million
43. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.): $6.74 million
44. Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.):$6.67 million
45. Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) :$6.66 million
46. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.): $6.31 million
47. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.): $6.22 million
48. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.): $6.07 million
49. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.): $5.66 million
50. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.): $5.34 million
51. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.): $5.06 million
Remember this list next time Congress passes their annual pay raises-automatically, or refuses to give consideration for any economic reform bills, banking reform bills or even election reform legislation.
They don’t need to care.
They’re already rich enough.
Why should you be?