Way Too Many Multi-Millionaires In Congress For A Fair Grand Bargain
Both parties almost exclusively recruit millionaires as their candidates. And the party leaderships are made up of millionaires who feel comfortable around other millionaires, but not around normal people. The Democratic Party has sold out and the Beltway Establishment Democrats are essentially, almost as useless to the legitimate aspirations of working families as the GOP is.
Roll Call's annual list of the 50 richest Members (2012) includes 31 Republicans and 19 Democrats.
• Michael McCaul (R-TX)- $305.96 million up from $294.21 million last year and up from $12 million when he first entered Congress in 2005Changes this year mostly just confirm that old adage that the rich get richer, although "one theme that emerged on this year's list is that about half of Congress' wealthiest lawmakers reported having a lower minimum net worth than the year before. Though in most cases the difference was negligible, some lawmakers reported a precipitous drop. Issa's reported minimum net worth in 2011 was about $80 million less than in 2010. Rep. Kenny Marchant's (R-Texas) reported net worth dropped by more than a third. Some of the apparent lost wealth can likely be attributed to the new mortgage disclosure requirement.
• John Kerry (D-MA)- $198.65 million
• Darrell Issa (R-CA)- $140.55 million
• Mark Warner (D-VA)- $85.81 million
• John Rockefeller (D-WV)- $83.08 million
• Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)- $79.11 million
• Jared Polis (D-CO)- $72.09 million
• Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)- $56.80 million
• Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)- $41.78 million
• Jim Renacci (R-OH)- $36.67 million
• Vern Buchanan (R-FL)- $36.49 million
• Chellie Pingree (D-ME)- $28.58 million
• Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)- $26.43 million
• Diane Black (R-TN)- $24.79 million
• Rick Berg (R-ND)- $23.78 million
• Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ)- $21.73 million
• Bob Corker (R-TN)- $19.63 million
• James Risch (R-ID)- $19.09 million
• Gary Miller (R-CA)- $17.41 million
• Claire McCaskill (D-MO)- $15.57 million
• Mike Kelly (R-PA)- $14.95 million
• Ron Wyden (D-OR)- $14.47 million
• Nita Lowey (D-NY)- $14.34 million
• Richard Hanna (R-NY)- $13.69 million
• Nan Hayworth (R-NY)- $12.34 million
• Ron Johnson (R-WI)- $12.0 million
• Trent Franks (R-AZ)- $11.60 million
• Scott Rogell (R-VA)- $10.75 million
• Kenny Marchant (R-TX)- $10.33 million
• Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI)- $10.20 million
• Herb Kohl (D-WI)- $10.06 million
• Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)- $10.05 million
• Tom Harkin (D-IA)- $10.01 million
• Tom Petri (R-WI)- $9.53 million
• Shelley Berkley (D-NV)- $9.17 million
• Olympia Snowe (R-ME)- $9.01 million
• Miss McConnell (R-KY)- $8.95 million
• Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)- $8.94 million
• John Campbell (R-CA)- $8.93 million
• Tom Price (R-GA)- $8.81 million
• John Hoeven (R-ND)- $8.41 million
• Fred Upton (R-MI)- $7.69 million
• Blake Farenthold (R-TX)- $7.65 million
• Steve Pearce (R-NM)- $7.48 million
• Randy Neugebauer (R-TX)- $7.10 million
• Bill Flores (R-TX)- $6.94 million
• Rob Portman (R-OH)- $6.72 million
• John Yarmuth (D-KY)- $6.47 million
• Johnny Isakson (R-GA)- $6.28 million
• Ben Nelson (D-NE)- $6.14 million
"Though McCaul, Kerry, Issa, Warner and Rockefeller kept a lock on the top five spots, there was movement elsewhere on the list.
"One notable newcomer is Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), who saw her minimum net worth increase from about $500,000 in 2010 to $28.58 million in 2011 after her marriage to financier Donald Sussman.
"Others who broke into the top 50 this year were Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who even made it into the top half.
"Lawmakers who dropped off the list include Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.)."
In his new book, Twilight Of The Elites, Chris Hayes writes a lot about the concept of distance between elites and the rest of us. "A wide distance between the governors and the governed will produce a state that is predatory toward its own citizens, indifferent to their desires, and subject to the inbred whims and compulsions of its ruling class... [T]hose members of the elite who occupy the high offices of our pillar institutions and organizations are already psychologically disposed to close themselves off to the perspectives of others... Time and again, in radically different contexts, we saw those in charge be so blind to the interests of those outside their small circle that they pursued a course of action that would ultimately bring ruin and disgrace."
And these are the people who will craft an anti-democratic lame duck Grand Bargain whose ultimate goal is to begin the process of destroying Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Class war indeed. Never forget this George Carlin speech, one of the most important ones in our lifetimes: