by Chet Hardin
As was first reported by opensecrets.org, our Congress just got a whole lot richer.
Ninety-four new senators and House members joined the 113th Congress. But if voters felt the last group of lawmakers was out of touch with "real America," the new class may not be better. In fact, according to a new analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics, the median estimated net worth of the incoming freshmen is almost exactly $1 million more than that of the typical American household.
According to data collected from personal financial disclosure forms filed by all members of Congress and candidates who succeeded at the polls in November, the median net worth of the 94 incoming lawmakers at the end of 2011 was $1,066,515. The most recent numbers available from the U.S. Census show that the median net worth of the typical American household is $66,740.
The top 10 wealthiest members of Congress consist of seven Democrats and three Republicans, including sens. John Kerry and Jay Rockefeller. Also in the list is Colorado's own Jared Polis, whose net worth, opensecrets.org estimates, is anywhere from $83,065,361 to $346,827,997.
That range, from $83 million to $346 million, opensecrets.org says, is because members of Congress are "allowed to list the value of their assets and liabilities in broad ranges. In practical terms, that obscures exactly how much each member of Congress is worth. And the larger the value of the asset, the broader the allowable range. To account for those ranges, CRP's researchers establish a minimum and maximum net worth, and then an average net worth, for each member of Congress."
Regardless, Congress is clearly a club for the rich kids.