A very recent headline is highlighting the fact that many of our representatives in both houses are rich! Further, their collective wealth increased by 16% during 2009 when most Americans took a financial drubbing. http://www.tampabay.com/incoming/members-are-well-off-enough-congress-cant-feel-our-pain/1134994
This is disturbing on the surface because the mere fact of it implies that well connected politicians can shield themselves in ways that the typical citizen can not. It conjures concepts of power abuse, elitest entitlement and the political equivalent of insider trading.
Disturbing as this is, and it IS disturbing, the greater story is how did virtual paupers, like Harry Reid, become millionaires while “serving the people”?
Let’s go through the facts and utilize a little grade school math (actually an interest and savings calculator http://www.csgnetwork.com/compoundsavingsintcalc.html.).
Senator Reid’s net worth, according to mandated disclosures is probably around $4.5 million. The “probably” comes from the Senate’s reporting rules which make real specificity somewhat optional. In order to have saved this much money over his terms of public service he would have had to put away around $3000/month, every month for the entire period of his working life,(assuming a 6% yearly interest rate and power of compounding). This level of savings from a public service salary seems unlikely, especially when also put 5 kids through college.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efTDxdC319A (got to get to minute 8 or so of the video) He’s been in politics since he was 27 years old! http://www.govnotes.com/Directories/_Nevada_Congressional_Directory.htm The preceding link outlines his career and there is simply nowhere in there, that I can see, the kind of income required to amass this kind of wealth. Unless, of course, he means by “good investments,” inside information that his various positions afforded him. And lest we forget, when and where was this “successful” law practice?
Now, I’m picking on Reid in great measure because he is a powerful Democrat and I am a registered Republican. However, I in no way believe that Democrats are the only ones enriching themselves through political connections. The point is that this stinks, it stinks a lot and it needs to be investigated further.