While a study issued by CareerBuilder January 2011 found that 77% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and have a negative net worth, the same cannot be said of those who represent us. The average wealth of our Senators is $13.6 million and the average wealth of the House of Representatives is $3.4 million.
As I’ve said before: this discrepancy between the incomes of the majority of Americans and those who represent us does not have to be that way. There are approximately 3,000,000 millionaires in the USA. We have 146, 311,000 registered voters. Any year we decide to and actually put out the energy to find candidates to replace them we can do it.
Why should Americans care about the personal finances of their federal lawmakers? The Center for Responsive Politics provides a few good reasons:
Thousands of companies and special interests groups have business before Congress each year or lobby Congress directly. All the while, lawmakers themselves sometimes have stock holdings or other financial relationships with these corporations and associations, raising the specter of conflicts of interest.
About 1 percent of all Americans are millionaires. In Congress, that number regularly hovers between 40 percent and 50 percent, meaning elected leaders generally need not worry about the economic pressures many Americans face – from securing gainful employment to grappling with keeping a family financially afloat. Decide for yourself if these congressional millionaires are adequately representing your financial interests.
Congressional members’ personal wealth keeps expanding year after year, typically at rates well beyond inflation and any tax increases. The same cannot be said for most Americans. Are your representatives getting rich in Congress and, if so, how?
Personal financial disclosure reports tell you a lot, but not everything. For example, they’re only filed once every year, meaning the information contained may already be stale the day it’s made public. Likewise, lawmakers are only required to disclose their assets in broad ranges, meaning a truly accurate snapshot of a lawmaker’s wealth is difficult to ascertain. Legislation has been already put forward to improve disclosure. Contact your member of Congress and let your voice be heard if you don’t consider this level of disclosure adequate.
Further complicating matters: Members of Congress file their personal financial disclosure reports on paper, not by computer. This reduces their timeliness and makes analyzing the documents significantly more challenging than it would otherwise be. Ask your member of Congress to join the 21st century and demand, in the name of transparency, that these documents be filed electronically. In the meantime, support the Center’s work making this information more accessible.
HERE IS A LIST OF THEIR FAVORITE INVESTMENTS from both Houses IN CASE YOU ARE WONDERING WHY SOME OF THEM VOTE THE WAY THEY DO HERE IS A SUMMARY FOR YOU. Go here to see the complete list. SOURCE YEAR 2009
#1 GENERAL ELECTRIC – 106 total Investors 52 Democrats and 54 Republicans
Wonder why GE did not pay a dime of federal income tax in 2009 and 2010 despite billions of dollars in profit? Congress doesn’t give a rats behind. They got that money back in dividends. Wonder why GE’s CEO Jeffrey Immelt is one of President Obama’s financial advisors? I don’t know about you but I don’t like the idea of the CEO of rich income tax evading corporation having the President’s ear.
#2 Procter & Gamble 78 total Investors 35 Democrats and 43 Republicans
#3 Cisco Systems 73 total investors 34 Democrats and 39 Republicans
#3 Bank of America 73 total investors 35 Democrats and 38 Republicans
#5 Microsoft 70 total investors 33 Democrats and 37 Republicans
#6 AT&T 65 total investors 25 Democrats and and 40 Republicans
#7 Pfizer Inc 63 total investors 31 Democrats and 32 Republicans
#11 ExxonMobil 51 total investors Wonder why ExxonMobil did not pay a dime of federal income tax in 2009 and 2010 despite billions of dollars in profit? Congress doesn’t give a rats behind. They got that money back in dividends.
#11 JP Morgan Chase & CO 51 total investors.
#13 Wells Fargo 50 total investors
#24 Abbott laboratories 32 total investors
#25 Bristol-Myers Squibb 31 total investors
#25 CVS/Caremark Corp 31 total investors
#25 Wal-Mart Stores
#28 Citigroup 30 total investors
#28 Monsanto 30 total investors – Their corporate leaders should be in prison as their corporation is directly responsible for the deaths of million of people worldwide every year. And we have 30 people who are supposed to represent us owning stock in this monster?
#30 BP 29 total investors – Their corporate leaders should be in prison as their corporation is directly responsible for causing extensive damage to the ecosystem and economy of the Gulf of Mexico because the were too cheap to take the extra precautions to secure their well. And we have 29 people who are supposed to represent us who own stock in this monster? Further more, one of them, Rep James Sesenbrenner who a the time owned over $200,000 in BP stock refused to recuse himself from a committee that was investigating BP.
#31 Goldman Sachs 28 total investors Their corporate leaders should be in prison as their corporation is directly responsible for the starvation of millions of people in 2008 because their commodity game players intentionally created a false scarcity of wheat, thus driving the price of daily bread out of the range of millions of people in emerging nations. Millions more than normally do starved to death in 2008–the year of the largest wheat production in 100 years. And we have 28 so-called “ethical” elected officials who own stock in this company?
I hope you are beginning to understand why it is important for you to get off your ass this minute and either start making plans to run for office in 2012, or to support someone you know and trust. You must start working on these campaign now. 2012 will be too late.
FORGET ABOUT THE BS OF “CHALLENGING TO INFLUENCE” [“and then we will really let them know that we mean business in 2014” = utter nonsense!]
RUN TO WIN!
Don’t think for one minute that most of those 143 million voters are not as angry as you and I are. Three million voters who are millionaires against 143 million voters who are not? The legal term for those odds is nolo contendere or “no contest.”
The sheer force of our numbers scares the hell out of BOTH parties. Why do you think that both houses of Congress rushed to defund ACORN on the flimsy evidence of a heavily edited film produced by a known right-wing operative? ACORN’S only crime is to empower the poor by educating them on the issues and registering them to vote. ACORN was defunded when there was a Democrat majority in BOTH houses so don’t talk to me of Democrat/Republican. In the Senate, only 7 Senators voted against the move to defund ACORN and 5 of the 7 were not millionaires.