According to a CRP study reported last week by CNBC, there are 261 millionaires currently serving in Congress. 1 in 5 had accumulated wealth of over $10 million and 8 of the 261 members were worth $100 million or more. Many members have investments in companies that were at the center of the financial crisis and are also heavily invested in health care drugs. During the period from December 2008 to December 2009, the wealth of their members increased by an average of 16%. Is it any wonder that our current Congress experiences a lack of urgency when it comes to repairing our economic situation? Or that many of our representatives stepped into the spotlight to talk about our blossoming economic recovery?
Perhaps Congress is “recovering.” The rest of us are not so lucky. Looking at these numbers, it is not hard to understand the fundamental disconnect between the hoi polloi suffering at near 10% unemployment or chronic underemployment and policy makers who enjoy great salary, health care, free travel and other fetching perks. Small wonder that members of Congress were mortified by furious constituents at town halls last year, railing at egregious spending, terrified about their own economic prospects. To many in Congress, the world looks pretty rosy.