Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/27/2011 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Multi-millionaire lawmakers cut off from travails of ordinary Americans

Members of the U.S. Congress have grown increasingly wealthy, making the divide between the rich and the desperately poor in our nation all the more calamitous. According to Eric Lichtblau of the New York Times, congressional leaders have become the one percent that the Occupy Wall Street protesters have denounced as holding all the nation's riches and power. 

At least 10 members, led by Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican and former auto alarm magnate who is now worth somewhere between $195 million and $700 million.

At least 10 members, led by Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican and former auto alarm magnate who is now worth somewhere between $195 million and $700 million.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/27/2011 (2 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Congress, wealth, power, corruption, abuses


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Largely insulated from the country's economic downturn since 2008, members of Congress - many of them among the 'one 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," Lichtblau writes.

Lichtblau goes on to cite statistics on analysis from The New York Times, based on data from the Center for Responsive Politics, which is a nonprofit research group.

Historically, the U.S. Congress has never been a place for the poor. From plantation owners in the pre-Civil War era to industrialists in the early 1900s to ex-Wall Street financiers and Internet executives today, it has long been populated with the rich - "but rarely has the divide appeared so wide, or the public contrast so stark, between lawmakers and those they represent.

 "But with the American public feeling all this economic pain, people just resent it more," Alan J. Ziobrowski, a professor at Georgia State who studied lawmakers' stock investments says.

The costs of political campaigning may discourage the less affluent from even considering a candidacy. Loose ethics controls, shrewd stock picks, profitable land deals, favorable tax laws, inheritances and even marriages to wealthy spouses are all reasons for the rising fortunes on Capitol Hill.

In addition, 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 during that period.

At least 10 members, led by Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican and former auto alarm magnate who is now worth somewhere between $195 million and $700 million.

Issa has since faced outside scrutiny because of the overlap of his Congressional work and outside interests, including extensive investments with Wall Street firms like Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs, as well as land holdings in his San Diego district.

In another example of an abuse by the well-heeled, Senator John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat who is married to Teresa Heinz Kerry, set off an uproar last year when it was disclosed that he had docked his $7 million, 76-foot yacht not in his home state but in neighboring Rhode Island, which has no sales or use tax on pleasure boats.

Seeing this wide overlay of wealth, the New York Times contacted the offices of the 534 current members an informal survey, asking if they had close friends or family members who had lost jobs or homes since the 2008 downturn - and only 18 members responded.

"Half the respondents said they had close friends or relatives who lost homes, while the other half said their personal contact were limited to constituents who came for help.

"Two-thirds said they had close friends or relatives who had been laid off or had shut down a business during the downturn. The rest knew no one in that category personally," Lichtblau writes.

California Democrat Anna G. Eshoo, a California Democrat who took part in the survey says that several cousins she considers brothers and sisters lost their jobs recently. Without college degrees, none have found work, and they have emphasized to her the importance of unemployment benefits.

"Personal stories are very powerful because it's not a theory," Eshoo said. "It's not talking points of a party. These are people experiencing the harshness of what is an economic depression for them." Multimillionaires in Congress "view life through a different lens," she said.

Perhaps we as Americans are so focused on other countries political corruption, maybe we should focus on our own. If our own politicians are not corrupt with facts like above -- then what is?

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Let the Battle begin. China wants to control the Internet. Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Elected secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union, or ITU at a high-level meeting in South Korea this week, Zhao Houlin told reporters that while everyone supports the idea of freedom of speech, what constitutes censorship is open to ... continue reading


Obama's trusted senior advisor Valerie Jarrett revealed to be a key player in cover-up Watch

Image of Trusted senior advisor to the president, Valerie Jarrett, has been revealed to be a key player in the effort to cover up that Attorney General Eric Holder lied to Congress about the Fast and Furious scandal.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Trusted senior advisor to the president, Valerie Jarrett, has been revealed to be a key player in the effort to cover up that Attorney General Eric Holder lied to Congress about the Fast and Furious scandal. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Recently obtained ... continue reading


Are Ebola patients being 'disappeared?' Several sources warn 'yes' Watch

Image of What is the truth about this deadly disease and its presence in our country?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A news report published yesterday on the sensational website, "Infowars" asks if patients with Ebola are being "disappeared" to prevent panic in the United States. The claim cannot be dismissed because there are several matching reports from across the country. LOS ... continue reading


So this is how they win? Democrats caught red handed in Illinois voter fraud! Watch

Image of President Obama casting his early vote in Illinois for the 2014 midterm.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The city well known for its leftist-leaning voter corruption is at it again, after a Republican candidate found that all his votes were being handed to Democrats. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Jim Moynihan, a Republican state representative candidate, ... continue reading


Blank 'green Obamacards' - up to 34 MILLION - issued prior to promised amnesty Watch

Image of Obama's high numbers of illegal immigration

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thirty-four million blank work permits and "green cards," which authorizes illegal immigrants to live and work in the United States are currently in the works. In the meantime, the White House prepares to issue an executive order after the November 4 midterm ... continue reading


North Carolina's Tillis stumbles during televised debate Watch

Image of While Thom Tillis has a dominant lead among whites (50 percent to Kay Hagan's 37), he is getting trounced among black voters: just seven percent are in his camp, compared with 83 percent for Hagan.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Congressional candidate State Legislature Speaker Thom Tillis stumbled badly during a televised debate with his Democratic rival Senator Kay Hagen earlier this month. During the televised debate on October 7, Tillis appeared at a loss for words when it came to ... continue reading


Houston: First Amendment Does not apply to Christian ministers? Interview with Keith Fournier Watch

Image of As at the tower of Babel, the confusion spreads until no progress is possible.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Houston officials fired a shot across the bow of Christian ministers, pastors and priests who they think may be encouraging their congregations to oppose the city's controversial "bathroom bill." The request is chilling and violates the First Amendment, but it also ... continue reading


New York law strips 34,500 law-abiding citizens of their lawful right to bear arms with ZERO due process Watch

Image of A New York law could be too restrictive and features virtually no due process.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A New York law may be infringing on the rights of many Americans and undermining mental health efforts in that state. The law, known as the Safe Act, requires, as part of its implementation, for mental health professionals to report the names of any people who could be ... continue reading


Why build a school when you can buy a senator! North Carolina race tops $100 million

Image of America is no longer for sale, it has already been bought.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The nation's most expensive Senate race in history is topping $100 million as the entire nation looks to a critical election in North Carolina. The money poured into the race reveals that elections are coming down to money and outside influencers have substantial ... continue reading


167,000 convicted criminal immigrants walk free within the United States Watch

Image of Deportations from the interior of the United States declined 34 percent this year from last.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With both Islamic State and Ebola posing an imminent threat to the United States through people entering the country illegally, it's distressing to note just how lax the nation's deportation laws have become. According to Breitbart, there remain nearly 167,000 ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 4:7-16
7 On each one of us God's favour has been bestowed in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents Of David] I rejoiced that they ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:1-9
1 It was just about this time that some people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 25th, 2014 Image

St. Daria
October 25: There is very little known about them. Chrysanthus was an ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter