Wall Street does it by controlling money, credit and debt, as well as manipulating markets for private enrichment. House and Senate millionaires do it their way for greater wealth, privilege, power and status. New Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) figures show it. More on them below. New York Times writer Eric Lichtblau commented in his article headlined, “Economic Downturn Took a Detour at Capitol Hill,” saying:
- In 1991, Representative Ed Pastor (D. AR) entered Congress with around $100,000 in savings and as much debt owed banks. Now he’s a millionaire, one of 250 in Congress.
- “(A)nd the wealth gap between lawmakers and their constituents appears to be growing quickly” as austerity cuts harm most Americans needing help during harder than ever hard times … //
… Center for Responsive Politics CRP Report:
- It began saying: “These days, being a millionaire (puts you in) the (top) one percent. But in Congress, it only makes you average.”
- Among 535 House and Senate members, 250 (or 47%) are millionaires, based on 2010 financial disclosure forms. Only America’s top 1% enjoys that status. According to CRP’s executive director Sheila Krumholz: “The vast majority of members of Congress are quite comfortable financially, while many of their own constituents suffer from economic hardship.”
- It’s largely from decades of destructive bipartisan policies. Since the 1980s, economic inequality grew enormously. Business and super-rich elites profited handsomely at the expense of working class people.
- Wealth disparity is unprecedented at a time nearly 23% of Americans are unemployed. Half of US households are impoverished or bordering on it. Millions lost homes, and growing hunger and homelessness threaten millions more.
- In contrast, congressional members never had it so good. “It’s no surprise that so many people grumble about lawmakers being out-of-touch,” said Krumholz. “Few Americans enjoy the same financial cushion maintained by most members of Congress – or the same access to market-altering information that could yield personal financial gains.”
- Moreover, congressional pay, benefits and perks alone are generous. In 2011, rank and file House and Senate members earned $174,000. According to US Census data, median 2010 household income is $48,753.
- In February 2011, the Congressional Research Service reported the following legislative, executive and judicial salaries: …
Link: Worm steals more than 45,000 Facebook logins, on C|NETnews, by Steven Musil, January 5, 2011.