Most of the gold bars I own are only this long
Daylife/Getty Images used by permission

Largely insulated from the country’s economic downturn since 2008, members of Congress — many of them among the “1 percenters” denounced by Occupy Wall Street protesters — have gotten much richer even as most of the country has become much poorer in the last six years, according to an analysis by The New York Times based on data from the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit research group…

What is clear is that members of Congress are getting richer compared not only with the average American worker, but also with other very rich Americans.


You don’t really need that unemployment check!
Daylife/Getty Images used by permission

While the median net worth of members of Congress jumped 15 percent from 2004 to 2010, the net worth of the richest 10 percent of Americans remained essentially flat. For all Americans, median net worth dropped 8 percent, based on inflation-adjusted data from Moody’s Analytics.

Going back further, the median wealth of House members grew some two and a half times between 1984 and 2009 in inflation-adjusted dollars, while the wealth of the average American family has actually declined slightly in that same time period, according to data cited by The Washington Post in an article published Monday on its Web site.

With millionaire status now the norm, the rarefied air in the Capitol these days is $100 million. That lofty level appears to have been surpassed by at least 10 members, led by Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican and former auto alarm magnate who is worth somewhere between $195 million and $700 million…

While concerns go back decades about lawmakers trading on confidential information, the issue drew renewed attention with a new book on the topic, “Throw Them All Out” by Peter Schweizer, and a “60 Minutes” report in November. Both linked high-level briefings that Congressional leaders received on the 2008 financial crisis and on health care to their purchase and sale of certain stocks.

Members insisted that they never traded on information that was not public, and some Congressional leaders pointed out that their investments were in blind trusts managed by professional advisers. Nonetheless, the publicity led some 90 members of Congress to call anew for a ban on insider trading.

Confident our elected representatives in Congress will pass such a bill?



  1. Kent says:

    Ron Paul!

    • msbpodcast says:

      Actually, he the only congress critter who’s not getting rich at our expense, (though, to be fair, its the “insider trading rules” that are making all of the mere millionaires in congress and the senate into multi-millionaires.)

      The first thing I would do is get rid of that exemption by just selecting (not electing) representatives who would be representative.

      This can only be taken advantage of by people who already have enough money to spare (or ca beg, borrow and/or steal, or sell their vote for,) to take advantage of it.

      I would make the buying and selling of votes capital offenses and further leading to dis-incorporation and the releasing of all of a corporate property, including intellectual property, into the public domain*.

      The class system in the US is an unfortunate fact.

      The simplest fix is to get rid of the party system and get back to what this country was founded upon.

      *) Hey, Citizens United wanted corporations to become citizens, well then they’ll have to be a good citizen of all of their assets belong to us.

      • deowll says:

        Disincorporating sounded like a good idea for at least a half nano second.

        Problem is we the people own the shares or the funds that the modestly well to do have invested in own the shares. These people are hoping those investments well keep them off the side walks until they die. Somehow putting them on the sidewalks to die seems like a bad thing.

        Many of the too big to fails do need to be broken up.

        This article needed published but everybody who cared already knew Congress was absolutely corrupt and this article simply told us again how these people are exploiting their access to privileged information.

        • msbpodcast says:

          That half-a-nano second pause is precisely why its a good idea.

          I’m not worried about the US Gummint getting into competition using the IP we release into the wild, (after all, we’ve just taken the profit out of it, [the US Gummint is not in the business of making money, {the US Gummint is not even in the business of issuing and printing money, (we have the Fed and the Mint for that,)}]) but I am all for the patents being freed up; literally freeed up.

          As for the shareholders hurt by the decisions taken by the boards which led to the disintegration of their share value, sucks to have been led down the garden path by the dishonest bastards don’t it? (I didn’t hear you bitch at the destruction of Lehman Brothers, did I?)

          If the board members who are elected by the shareholders are dishonest, then the shareholders should have paid more attention to who they elected.

          That’s what accountability means. You fuck up, you DIE!

          Yes, there will be some dislocations, some unemployment, some lost profits, but the competitors who get the new market, the new technology and the new business just handed to them on a fuckin’ platter are going to be hiring (judiciously I hope,) and investing to take advantage of the new opportunities that the Gummint just opened up for ’em.

          Let the old shareholders go through the courts and sue the boards of the newly defunct for every cent they can recover.

    • Cursor_ says:

      He was one of those that got richer while others got poorer.

      Yeah let’s vot in another plutocrat and naively hope that he will make life better for all of us.

      Did you not learn from the last bout of hopenosis?

      Cursor_

    • Likes2LOL says:

      The Ron Paul who admits he’s a “leprechaun farmer who’s a gambler” ??
      The Ron Paul who threatens, “If you refuse, I’ll haunt your prostate…” ??
      http://youtube.com/watch?v=igQlbesF0zA

  2. Kent says:

    Oh yeah…and throw them all out, especially your own congress critter.

  3. orchidcup says:

    “To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”
    Abraham Lincoln

    “I have always thought that all men should be free; but if any should be slaves, it should first be those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on them personally.”
    Abraham Lincoln

    “The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. The banking powers are more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. They denounce as public enemies all who question their methods or throw light upon their crimes. I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is my greatest foe.”
    Abraham Lincoln

    “We the People are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts–not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”
    Abraham Lincoln

    • What? says:

      Great quotes.

      Too bad AL through out habeas corpus.

      Even he was corrupted by power.

  4. JohnnyBGoode says:

    Let’s just stick our heads in the reality tv/sports/porn sand and pretend we didn’t read this, ok? Ok?

  5. Buzz Mega says:

    I blame it on both the lobbyists and Photoshop.

  6. t0llyb0ng says:

    Is the moronic Dick Durbin still there?  Is it time for term limits yet?

  7. LibertyLover says:

    This is what happens when congress has the power to tax and spend without restriction.

    Go Ron Paul!

  8. msbpodcast says:

    We’ve become a government
    • OF the thousandaires (the 99%, that would be me and thee,)
    • BY the millionaires (the 1%, that would be the extremely insular privileged overlords and bosses,)
    • FOR the billionaires (the 12,400 individuals identified by the IRS as the people who count (though they don’t really count as they hire some thousandaires to run machines to do that.)

    I remember (in the 80s) the president being shown one of the “new” laser scanner supermarket cash register at a demonstration held by IBM and I could tell that the very concept of a cash transaction was utterly foreign to him.

    I may rail about it now, but the class system in the US has been happening since the 60s and getting more engrained and insidious since the election of Kennedy.

    The whole “Camelot” thing was a turning point in this US political era.

    • deowll says:

      I think it’s fair to say that 99% of the 1% have little to no influence in Congress.

      Take a look at the few hundred companies that pay no Fed Gov taxes and spend something over 600,000,000 a year lobbying Congress and you know who has the influence. If you are a mere millionaire/small business person you are _not_ on that list.

      • msbpodcast says:

        The 99% of the 1%?

        You’re mixing metaphors. Alway a dangerous thing to comprehension. 🙂

        The 1% are your congress critters or they are the business people who support them.

        I have known, not just have heard of or have seen but have known on a professional basis some of the mover and shakers, people with disproportionate appetites, in several financial services firms across this country and they brag about having/buying influence. (I built AI IT systems for them above and way beyond what they could get from corporate IT.)

        Odds are that’s not you, not your boss or even his boss (I don’t know how far up the corporate ladder you are, sorry,) but somebody who is handsomely paid for kissing, or being, the corporate butt is responsible for shoveling lots and lots of bucks up the politicians butts in the hopes (the certainty really since than always choose to support the other guy,) of getting legislation favorable to them passed.

        But they aren’t the really rich.

        That’s what is scary.

        They were still merely the well paid errand boys, despite being worth into the 7 and 8 digits (never mind their company’s income.)

        You have to look at the people worth into the tens to hundreds of billions of dollars before reaching the rarefied heights of being people who count.

  9. sargasso_c says:

    We get the leaders we deserve.

    • msbpodcast says:

      Sadly, no we don’t.

      We get the, ahem, leaders* we can out of the lot of greedy opportunistic scum that emerges from the cracks.

      Its now gotten so bad that we don’t want any of the choices we’re offered.

      That’s is going to be shown in the next election when almost nobody shows up to vote because there’s nobody worth voting for.

      We voted for hope and change but we got <same ol', same ol' and we got massively discouraged. We’re going to go from massive voter turn outs to virtually empty voting booths, for all the difference it makes.

      But don’t worry, even of nobody voted, the same ol’ electoral colegial system would pick some damn fool to steer the shipwreck of state onto the reefs of history, although he won’t be able to pretend to have any democratic legitimacy.

      Democracy is vastly over rated anyway. Its nothing but the tyranny of the masses.

      *) the term leader must be up for re-interpretation because followers are now up to what the leaders (and their commercial backers,) can afford.

  10. ECA says:

    I wonder..
    If they wish to run the government as a corp…
    LETS be the OWNERS..
    Any money earned by our employees, WHILE doing their job, is considered OUR MONEY..

    • msbpodcast says:

      Problem is what do you do with things that don’t earn money, like health-care* or social security or the military.

      These are the first things the accountants would demand that we get rid of, even as they recognize that everybody gets hurt, gets sick at some point and definitely everybody dies.

      *) Or as I like to call it health-don’t-care as its implemented here in the ‘States and third world countries. (I almost wrote down “and other third…)

      • ECA says:

        Thats not the point.

        If you are working for 1 company/group and you make money ANOTHER WAY…the corps have this small clause, that they can DECLINE paying you. As you were NOT doing the JOB you were hired for.

        NOW, if’ this was the OLD days, when they were pay’d an allowance ONLY..I wouldnt mind.(to much)
        BUT as of the 70’s when they Voted their OWN wages… NO.
        This is their JOB. we hired them to do 1 JOB. getting paid other wise is against the job description.

  11. John Q says:

    Wow, a situation that citizens can rally around regardless of party! Some common ground!!

    Suggestion: Members of congress that meet the 1% criteria should be reminded of this at EVERY public function and town hall meeting. (example: “As a 1%’er, what is your position regarding…”)

    Moreover, the CHANGE in net worth for elected officials (while in office and for 5 years after leaving office) should be tracked and posted on the Internet.

    Bottom line: You don’t get rich as a result of serving in congress. If you want to get rich, leave and rejoin the private sector.

    Sadly, legislative reform can’t happen until we elect enough citizens who aren’t in politics for the money. Let’s make it a sworn mandate for getting our vote.

    • msbpodcast says:

      I LOVE your suggestion:

      Confront every last one of these rich bastards with:

      As a 1%’er, what is your position regarding…

      Let them know that they don’t represent us in the least.

      Its time for a reset in the USoA.

    • msbpodcast says:

      Bottom line: You don’t get rich as a result of serving in congress. If you want to get rich, leave and rejoin the private sector.

      I am loath to quote myself but:

      If we want a representative government, we’ll have to RE-create it. (There were no parties in 1776.)

      If we want smaller government, we’ll have to take out the incentives for its growth too.

      That is the right way to think.

  12. AdmFubar says:

    time to limit pay for elected official, minimum wage for all of them, also they would have to give up any wealth they accumulated in their lives, should all go to charity, public housing for them as well, and their children would have to all go to public schools… lemme see did i forget any other requirements?

    • msbpodcast says:

      Just tightening up the investment rules would be enough.

      If we really had a representative government, instead of all these rich greedy bastards, that would help too.

      • ECA says:

        want a better idea?
        we cant return DC, to its original form..It was a SLUM and a SWAMP..

        so, lets move it.
        OUT in the middle of some desert. 50 miles from ANYTHING…and restrict all access to it.

    • ECA says:

      how about a return to the Original format..
      it was an allowance..
      Their basic living and transport costs were Paid, ONLY while needed. THEn they went home to work.

  13. observer says:

    The congressional approval rating in the US is around 10% but a big majority of incumbents will be reelected anyway. As comedian Ron White says, “You can’t fix stupid.”

  14. ECA says:

    They have nullified the contract of employment.
    remove all wages and benefits…
    that will scare the HELL out of them.

    They are HIRED employees..
    they SIGNED a contract to get the job.

  15. So what says:

    Hey even in a down economy prostitutes still make money, so makes sense its business as usual in congress.

  16. NewFormatSux says:

    Having Congress get paid a lot as long as they cut spending is better than incompetents who get paid 100-200K then spend trillions. Obama is about to borrow another 1.2 trillion dollars.

    • ECA says:

      but,
      who is paying them?
      Avg. Tax payer payment is about $180k
      the other 800k, is the BAD part.

  17. NewFormatSux says:

    People on this site were very disapproving of attempts to reduce salaries of public employees in Wisconsin and Ohio.

    • ECA says:

      NFS,
      this was tried in Oregon.
      Cut wage and benefits, of state employees..
      But, 90% of them are Low wage workers.
      the TOP 10% make LOTS more then the lower workers.
      Iv seen top wages over $100k, for state workers.

      • So what says:

        There is a significant difference between state employee and state worker.

        Employee=management/political appointee and runs 90K and up.

        Worker=worker and runs 40k and down.

  18. Animby says:

    I’ve always maintained, Congress should not be a career. Sadly, as long as the Congress writes the laws, we’ll never see term limits.

  19. orchidcup says:

    We need to see a political organization that represents the 99%.

    That organization needs to be incorporated in the state of Delaware so that it will be recognized as “a person” under the rule of law.

    Each natural person that becomes a member of that organization would be required to “donate” a minimum of $1.00 per month, or $12.00 per year, for the purposes of lobbying Congress to pass legislation that is favorable to the 99%.

    Let’s assume there are 200 million eligible voters that comprise the 99%, and all of them contribute to the slush fund.

    There would be 2.4 trillion dollars available each year to pass around both houses and get bills passed that favor the 99%.

    Hire Jack Ambramoff as the consulting lobbyist, and canvass the Federal Prisons to find lobbyists that would surround Capitol Hill with escort services and plane tickets to various golf clubs and resort destinations.

    Now all we need is a name for the political organization that represents the interests of the 99%.

    Any ideas?

    • orchidcup says:

      I like “The Disenfranchised Voter Super Political Action Committee.”

      But that is a long name.

    • ECA says:

      i MAY BE OLD, BUT YOUR MATH IS off..
      100
      1000
      1,000,000(million)
      1,000,000,000(billions)
      1,000,000,000,000(Trillions)

      ALSO,
      we already paid them.
      We give them benefits BEYOND what you and I could ever get..

  20. Dr Spearmint Fur says:

    Wasn’t congress caught leaving a gay sex shop last week?

  21. Harry says:

    These bastards are out of touch for the most part with the struggling day to day life of the average American. They hang out with the rich and do the bidding of the rich and are not exposed to the general public all that much. I have been trying for months to get in and see my congressman to ask him to look at HR 1322 the retirees health care protection act and unless I come with a check he wants nothing to do with me.

  22. Jim G says:

    I have seen the enemy and they is us!

    • msbpodcast says:

      We have seen the enemy and they are the 1%er millionaires.

      We have never seen the real enemy and they are 12,400 billionaires who won the class war, by stealth.

      There are currently more people in prison than there are 1%ers.

      The crimes committed by people like us cost us far less than the crimes committed in Washington (Of course the elected crooks and lawyers, but I repeat myself, get to define what is a crime. [How is that for fisting you up the ass wearing gloves covered with sandpaper and broken glass.])

  23. Skeptic: Post # ≥1 says:

    Give me one practical, executable, plan that could possibly fix what’s wrong with America in, say 20 years or less.

    IMO, the monster that government/society has become is on a road to collapse to hellish anarchy, or by hellish revolt.

    • msbpodcast says:

      It could be done without bloodshed, without revolution, without dislocation by just getting rid of political parties.

      (Of course I expect bloody screaming and the army at my doorstep before that ever happens. The people with power and money will reduce us to violent, crushing slavery before they ever give up a diminishing slice of a rapidly consumed pie.)

      The internet can handle a democracy, people can’t.

    • Dr Spearmint Fur says:

      1. Put some reasonable governance and oversight in place for financial institutions. Basically they can’t mix commercial and investment.

      2. Use the large number of veterans as an excuse to refocus education towards the service sector. The US needs to shift from manufacturing for it’s growth.

      3. Wait for the baby boomers to die.

    • Jim G says:

      Let me see:

      Discointune welfare and entitlements.

      Decentralise the Federal government. Just close D.C. and call the “United States” a defunct buisness like so many others.

      Bail out the people from their debts.

      Embargo all foreign imports

  24. Grandpa says:

    It never hit the 1% who benefit from the Bush tax holiday over the last ten years either.

  25. NewFormatSux says:

    No, the recession did hit them. The wealthy are not as well off under Obama, which is why he’s having trouble meeting his campaign target of one billion dollars in donations.

  26. General Tostada says:

    Ah, so what. Successful people with the gift of business sense have been with us all along, and so have those who don’t, and the ones who have it will continue to look after themselves and their offspring far into the future, while the less gifted will forever resent them. The only hope is that there are enough winners who can see that spreading their excess wealth around (with no gratitude expected or wanted) is something they should do for advancing civilization in general.

    “The working class can kiss my ass

    I’ve got the foreman’s job at last.”

    – Edward Abbey

    • msbpodcast says:

      “The working class can kiss my ass

      I’ve got the foreman’s job at last.”

      – Edward Abbey

      Edward Abbey was a tool; nothing but a tool.

      Easily disposed of on a work bench.

      • General Tostada says:

        Tool? Sorry, but I just don’t get that one.
        Oh he was certainly off base in much of what he said, with plenty of balderdash for sure…but what kind of “tool” was he? Strange response there.

  27. ECA says:

    yOU REALLY WANT THE SOLUTION?

    EASY.
    Threaten to kick the REST of the corp out of the USA, to go live with the OTHER PART(S) of its company..the parts doing the work. In other countries IF’ you dont pay taxes, you end up NOT owning the company, or having a head chopped off.

    Another point would be FAIR PRICES.

    We are the only country with National and international prices, that we sell to OTHER nations, are the same. Which means that we sell at the highest point possible to other nations, and also charge those prices to OUR own people.
    Selling scrap metals to China is funny. AS we up the prices for all the Scrap cars, that we cant get money for on a trade-in. The same metals we GOT from Japan/china/india/pakistan…
    MOSt of the metals used in the USA, arent FROM the USA.
    We ship wood to china, then add a 25% tax on imported from canada..
    The 1 major import from Canada, is Canola oil. we label it vegetable oil. We cant even leave the PEANUT OIL in peanut butter. we have to sell it to others…for MORE MONEY.
    There is NO fair trade in the USA.

  28. Glenn E. says:

    Let’s face it, the only real perk to “working” in Congress, is to take advantage of all the business connections and insider trading tips, one can possibly get away with. Why not propose the having highest tier of income taxing, for Congress members. Simply because it’s a given, that they use all they know, and who they know, to get richer, on the tax payers’ dime. Ah, DIME! On the tax payers’ hard earned paychecks, investments, and retirement incomes. None of which is safe from the governments ability to sap try. But Congressmen’s everything, IS!!


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