Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Rich Man Poor Man

There is nothing wrong with very rich people serving in congress.  Of the 535 congressmen and senators over 250 of them are millionaires. That is a very big number though. Senator Bingaman and Senator Udall are listed as millionaires.  Congressmen Martin Heinrich and Ben Lujan Jr. are amongst the poorest in the congress.  I am glad they are there but also wish they were doing better.  But at least they know what it is like to struggle as folks with little assets have to do.  Sure, they have good salaries at $174K a year.  But running two households on that is not easy.  $500K won't buy much in DC when looking for a  home.  It would not be a problem for the oil and gas mascot Steve Pearce.  He is worth up to $30 million and really doesn't need a congressional salary.

All of this spills over into campaigning and politics.  The very rich are essentially self funded by themselves.  They can pursue their own self interests without worrying about stepping on donor's toes. The poor must spend every breathing moment on the phone raising money for the next election cycle.  This puts them under the thumb of their contributors.

Unless this nation changes its approach to campaign funding then we will continue down a slippery slope of the rich running everything.  Think about the basic fact that close to 50% of our elected officials in DC are millionaires.  And think about the percentage of rank and file Americans that are millionaires.  Something needs to change.


Abq Dude said...

I have little sympathy for those who choose to run for Congress and face hardships because they don't earn enough money. Here's an interesting article on how members of Congress get rich and stay rich while the rest of America suffers.


Perhaps they run to become millionaires and not because they care about what is going on in America. No wonder they are at an all time low of 9% approval rating.

Rodney said...

I'm late to the game on this but, Congressman Heinrich does NOT maintain a house, condo, apartment or rented room in DC. Our congressman sleeps on a couch in his office. He did have a small efficiency appt when he first went to DC, but found that he spent maybe only 4 or 5 hours there A WEEK, spending most of his nights on his office couch anyway.