This page has been archived and commenting is disabled.

For First Time Ever, Most Members Of Congress Are Millionaires

Tyler Durden's picture





 

A month ago, we showed a chart of median household income in the US versus that just in the District of Columbia. The punchline wrote itself: "what's bad for America is good for Washington, D.C."

Today we got official verification that Bernanke's wealth transfer in addition to benefitting the richest 1%, primarily those dealing with financial assets, also led to a material increase in the wealth of one particular subgroup of the US population: its politicians.

According to the OpenSecrets blog which conveniently tracks the wealth of America's proud recipients of lobbying dollars, aka Congress, for the first time ever the majority of America's lawmakers are worth more than $1 million.

Specifically, of 534 current members of Congress, at least 268 had an average net worth of $1 million or more in 2012, according to disclosures filed last year by all members of Congress and candidates. The median net worth for the 530 current lawmakers who were in Congress as of the May filing deadline was $1,008,767 -- an increase from last year when it was $966,000. In addition, at least one of the members elected since then, Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), is a millionaire, according to forms she filed as a candidate. (There is currently one vacancy in Congress.)

Last year only 257 members, or about 48 percent of lawmakers, had a median net worth of at least $1 million.

Because who better to debate the class divide raging across the US thanks to the Federal Reserve's $4+ trillion balance sheet than a room full of millionaires. On the other hand, perhaps it means they will be less bribable by "donations" and other lobbying funding...

... Yeah, we LOLed at that one too.

OpenSecrets was about as cynical as us: "Members of Congress have long been far wealthier than the typical American, but the fact that now a majority of members -- albeit just a hair over 50 percent -- are millionaires represents a watershed moment at a time when lawmakers are debating issues like unemployment benefits, food stamps and the minimum wage, which affect people with far fewer resources, as well as considering an overhaul of the tax code."

"Despite the fact that polls show how dissatisfied Americans are with Congress overall, there's been no change in our appetite to elect affluent politicians to represent our concerns in Washington, said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center. "Of course, it's undeniable that in our electoral system, candidates need access to wealth to run financially viable campaigns, and the most successful fundraisers are politicians who swim in those circles to begin with."

Perhaps one could argue that a country drowning in poverty needs politicians who actually know the troubles that afflict the majority of the population first hand. Actually, according to folklore that is the Democrat party. So it may come as a surprise to some that the median net worth of the average Democrat at $1.1 million (an increase of 11.6% from 2011) is higher than that of any given Republican at just over $1 million, an increase of 10.3% from the prior year.

OpenSecrets breaks down the numbers further:

Congressional Democrats had a median net worth of $1.04 million, while congressional Republicans had a median net worth of almost exactly $1 million. In both cases, the figures are up from last year, when the numbers were $990,000 and $907,000, respectively.

 

The median net worth for all House members was $896,000 -- that's up from $856,000 in 2011 -- with House Democrats (median net worth: $929,000) holding an edge over House Republicans (median net worth: $884,000). The median net worth for both House Republicans and Democrats was higher than in 2011.

 

Similarly, the median net worth for all senators increased to $2.7 million from $2.5 million, but in that body it was the Republicans who were better-off. Senate Democrats reported a median net worth of $1.7 million (a decline from 2011's $2.4 million), compared to Senate Republicans, at $2.9 million (an increase from $2.5 million).

 

Senate Democrats were the only group reporting a drop in their median net worth from the prior year -- a decline that is at least partly because of the loss of two extremely well-off Senate Democrats from the list: now-Secretary of State John Kerry, who had been the wealthiest senator with a 2011 average net worth of $248 million, and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) who had an average net worth of $87.5 million before his death last year.

As we all know, some millionaires are richer than other millionaires. So who took the honors this year?

The richest member of Congress was, once again, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) chairman of the House Oversight Committee. Issa, who made his fortune in the car alarm business, had an average net worth of $464 million in 2012. Issa had ruled the roost as the wealthiest lawmaker for several years but was bumped from that perch last year by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas).

 

In our analysis last year, we estimated that McCaul's 2011 average net worth was $500.6 million -- a dramatic increase for him from the year before. McCaul's affluence is primarily due to the holdings of his wife, Linda, the daughter of Clear Channel Communications Chairman Lowry Mays. McCaul took a dramatic tumble from the list's pinnacle, reporting an average net worth of $143.1 million in 2012.

 

Shed no tears for McCaul, though: His drop wasn't due to any great financial misfortune, but reflects changes in reporting rules. Beginning with reports covering calendar year 2012, high-value assets, income and liabilities belonging to the spouses of House members may be reported as being worth simply "$1 million or more." Previously, the forms required somewhat more specific valuations. So, for example, on his 2011 disclosure McCaul reported that his wife owned a 10.1 percent interest in LLM Family Investments that was worth "more than $50 million." Now, he reports that his wife's share of the fund has increased to 12.2 percent, but he can list it as a "spousal asset over $1,000,000," though it's likely worth much more.

 

This methodological change (to a system the Senate already uses) also appeared to affect Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine). On her disclosure form covering 2010, she reported having an average net worth of $750,000. Then in 2011 she married hedge fund manager Donald Sussman, which increased her average net worth for that year to $85.8 million. Her report for 2012 shows a dramatic decline, to $42.4 million, because of the new reporting rules.

 

The least wealthy member of Congress in 2012, at least on paper, was Rep. David Valadao (R-Calif.) -- a slot he occupied the previous year as well. Valdao reported an average net worth of negative $12.1 million in 2012. That's actually a big improvement from 2011, when his average net worth was negative $19 million. According to Valdao's disclosure forms and our interviews with his staff last year, his debt is the result of loans for his family dairy farm.

 

The second-poorest member of Congress continued to be Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), who for decades has owed millions of dollars for legal bills incurred in the 1980s, when he was charged with accepting a bribe while sitting as a federal judge. As we noted last year, Hastings was acquitted, but later impeached and removed by the Senate before running for Congress in 1992. His level of debt has not changed since 2005.

 

Although more members of Congress are millionaires than ever before, and the median net worth for all lawmakers is higher than ever, their total net worth -- the value of all their assets minus liabilities -- fell from $4.2 billion in 2011 to $3.9 billion in 2012. Again, that could be at least partly due to the change in the House reporting requirements for spousal assets and liabilities.

Finally there is a question of which financial assets America's millionaire legislators mostly own. The answer should surprise nobody, and will probably also explain the perverted and very symbiotic relationship between the US financial system and the governing class.

General Electric continued to be the most popular investment for current members of Congress. In 2011, there were 71 lawmakers who reported owning shares in the company; in 2012, there were 74. The second most popular holding was the bank Wells Fargo, in which 58 members owned shares (up from 40 in 2011). Financial firms were well-represented in the 10 most popular investments: Bank of America came in sixth (51 members) and JPMorgan Chase was seventh (49 members). Both companies had more congressional investors than in 2011 (11 more for Bank of America and 10 more for JPMorgan Chase.)

 

Of course, the public can surely expect Congress to pass legislation that would imperil their financial investments. Surely.

And finally, why reflating the housing bubble is on top of the agenda for not only Bernanke, but Congress as well:

Overall, though, real estate was the most popular investment for members of Congress. Their investments in real estate in 2012 were valued at  between $442.2 million and $1.4 billion. The next most popular industry to invest in was securities and investment, with congressional investments being worth between $64.5 million and $229.6 million.

In conclusion: Congratulations to America's millionaire politicians. May they enjoy it in health while it lasts. The wealth that is... and the health.

 


- advertisements -

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:29 | Link to Comment Cult_of_Reason
Cult_of_Reason's picture

It explains as to why Commissar Bernanke and Comrades at the Fed Politburo determine S&P 500 "fair value."

http://screencast.com/t/eCMenqHI3dlz

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:31 | Link to Comment TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

It's a good thing that Senators & House Members are barred from trading upon inside information.

Oh....wait...

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:36 | Link to Comment sunaJ
sunaJ's picture

As the separation between the mega-rich and everyone else becomes more and more vast, the crumbs to the sycophants must become a little larger, too.  Cost of doin' business.

 

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:51 | Link to Comment nope-1004
nope-1004's picture

This is 100% indisputable proof that the US gov't is totally corrupt.

And after seeing the above chart, anyone still think the financial markets aren't rigged?

 

TOTAL PONZI

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:53 | Link to Comment zaphod
zaphod's picture

Well invested, one million dollars only generates $50K-$60K per year, less minus taxes. In other words one million isn't really f-you/retire money.

They may be making themselves rich, but are making the whole system poorer even faster. Net-net it is a loss even for congressmen.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:10 | Link to Comment JohnnyBriefcase
JohnnyBriefcase's picture

They are richer than you because they are the hardest working people in the USA.

If all the lazy Americans would get a job at Walmart, they too could be millionaires.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:12 | Link to Comment seek
seek's picture

Depends on lifestyle. If you live a a lower-middle-class lifestyle, $50K/year is definitely doable.... today.

You are correct, though, they're killing the system and fucking themselves at the same time -- the problem is it's now impossible to be "well invested" without also turning all your capital into "risk capital." Pre-collapse, you could count on near-risk-free 5% returns, and nothing is remotely close to that now, which is why they've fucked over retirees and fixed-income people to an insane level. And that's just nominal returns. Even the best performing funds real (non-BS CPI numbers, but truly real) returns probably aren't much better than what risk-free returns were not that many years ago.

As we all know, this doesn't end well.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:15 | Link to Comment MeMadMax
MeMadMax's picture

Time to clean out the garbage...

 

Either it will with votes, on its own, or by force... It will happen...

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:26 | Link to Comment walküre
walküre's picture

They deserve it all. Every last penny of it. They work harder than most people and they represent us day and night. I'm happy to see them do well in their stock portfolios.

Your dictionary should list the names of our politicians right there under the definition of ALTRUISM.

They are prime examples of everything that's good in this world. If I was a believer, I would probably think they are truly the body of a Jesus personified in one group of Congress. Maybe the 2nd Collective Coming or so.

Thanks for listening to my rant.

Excuse me now while I ............

BARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:49 | Link to Comment aVileRat
aVileRat's picture

The last time the political class became a mercantalist clique vs. a civic service sector by peerage was the 1600's House of Lords. They had a small problem with some guy called Oliver Cromwell.

Life's funny that way.

 

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:58 | Link to Comment DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

it's an inverse relationship to the wealth of the middle class

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 08:31 | Link to Comment doctor10
doctor10's picture

The present "house of lords" had the foresight to implement "Homeland Security" several years prior to Sept 2008 when they completed the heist.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:17 | Link to Comment 666
666's picture

Wake me up when they're billionaires.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:20 | Link to Comment Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

I would like to know where you're finding a risk-free 5-6% yield.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:17 | Link to Comment resurger
resurger's picture

Ditto.

It turns out that the NSA and the Congress are on the same page.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 23:38 | Link to Comment Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion - when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing - when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors - when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you - when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice - you may know that your society is doomed.

~ Ayn Rand

FORWARD KONZENTRATIONSLAGER

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:34 | Link to Comment Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Time for some wealth redistribution. I'm sure they would agree since that is what they advocate for us.

Miffed;-)

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:40 | Link to Comment knukles
knukles's picture

Guess the Fed wire transfer system, money laundering laws and the like are all overseen by the Unaudited Portion of the Fed under the Guise and Supervisions of Congress, beholden to the Financial Enablers on The Street, who own the Private Central Bank which can print unlimited fiat at the push of a button.

Occam's Razor is ever so helpful at moments such as these.
No shit, Sherlock

Huh...

 

PS  A buddy of mine was told that the olde fashioned mercury thermometers that he'd found in his mom's bathroom cupboard after she'd passed away were illegal to own because of the mercury.
Right...
Not to mention that we are forced by the same body of lawmakers to purchase new, mercury filled lights for our homes.

And you fucking wonder where their money comes from.
And that's the declared portion even before they raid the unused campaign contributions.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:46 | Link to Comment ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

1.6 Gallon toilets that clog or you have to flush twice.

No incandescent bulbs which means millions of fixtures to the landfill.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:53 | Link to Comment TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

You are crapping too much, citizen!  Reduce at once your caloric intake, and while you're at it, your carbon footprint.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:32 | Link to Comment nc551
nc551's picture

Maybe the question should be how many ex members of congress are millionaires.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:39 | Link to Comment Deathrips
Deathrips's picture

Shocked.

Not really. Give me the winners of the next 5 NFL games and ill be a millionaire too. Inside information isnt risky.

 

Fuckers.

 

RIPS.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 21:04 | Link to Comment max2205
max2205's picture

Here's an idea...don't vote for millionaires

Opps Barry wasn't but is now...back to the board

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:45 | Link to Comment HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

If they didn't start as millionaires they usually left that way. I guess now the corruption is even more blatant. Oligarchs and minions everywhere.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:09 | Link to Comment Ban KKiller
Ban KKiller's picture

Congress represents whom? Others like themselves, others in the "club". Rulers wonder why they lose their heads!

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:33 | Link to Comment Pooper Popper
Pooper Popper's picture

worth millions huh......

 

To me they are ALL WORTHLESS!

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:28 | Link to Comment Goatboy
Goatboy's picture

Well known American idiocy:
"If you are so smart why aren't you rich?"
Congress has become pretty smart.
Isnt that good?

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:29 | Link to Comment TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

They may make $1M, but they are worth about a buck fiddy.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:31 | Link to Comment LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Well, at least the core of my portfolio since 2009 matches theirs, so that's good news I guess...

Damn my mining and energy equities, damn them to hell!

What products of real value do they produce anyway?

oh, wait...

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:30 | Link to Comment SillySalesmanQu...
SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

Of course they are. This is what happens when "corporations are people" and billionaires are paying them off.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:38 | Link to Comment Muppet Pimp
Muppet Pimp's picture

The 'corporation people' after taking over DC have seriously crowded out the human people.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:48 | Link to Comment SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

Something like that. Personally, I think it would take a serious private investigation firm to find out how much most Senators are worth; most of the payoff money goes in secret offshore hidey holes.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 21:50 | Link to Comment notquantumdum
notquantumdum's picture

Regarding "corporations are people," aren't they just as much "people" as unions are?

They are both merely "collectives" of individuals.  How does a group of people suddenly have less rights than the individuals by themselves would have had?

I would prefer it that neither the unions nor the corporations can buy more political ads than the other; just don't give an inherent advantage to either side.  [And make government-worker collective-bargaining, but not government-worker unions nor private-sector-worker collective-bargaining, illegal; it creates too many conflicts of interest to not be corrupted almost immediately by politicians and their cronies when government workers can collectively bargain, in my opinion (and as suggested by FDR in his statements about government worker collective bargaining -- the "voters" will never forget about this if it ever happens, I think he said, or something not quite like that).]

Actually, in my opinion, it would be even better to let everyone who is a US citizen contribute as much as desired to political "speech" as long as every single contribution could be completely traced back to exactly who the individuals are, who contributed, to whom, how much, through whom, and every other dirty detail; all posted on a public internet site [real time, before the politicos can spend the contributions].  Don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen.

Bring on the down-arrows!

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:31 | Link to Comment cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

America has the best government money can buy.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:47 | Link to Comment TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

And the best money government can print.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:56 | Link to Comment Meat Hammer
Meat Hammer's picture

So to summarize, America has the best government that government money can buy.

My head just exploded.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 22:17 | Link to Comment Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

Welcome to the

OUROBOROS

OF INCORPORATED ROBBERY.

Government mandated agencies own the vast majority of all publicly traded shares. More than a hundred thousand governmental entities, which could force people to give money to them, have been investing that money into buying up shares in everything that was available to buy.

To be drowned out in the details: www.cafr1.com

Not only does America have the best government that government powered fiat money can buy, but America also has its collective government owning the economy. The revolving door that allows individuals to move between corporate positions and public positions is relatively trivial compared to the revolving doors that have allowed collective government to buy up ownership of the economy. The OUROBOROS is a serpent that eats its own tail, which, in this case, means that the government has legalized corruption on an astronomically large scale, whereby the power to tax has been used to back up making money out of nothing, which money has been used to buy up almost everything that could be bought.

The ouroborous might have originally been created by a small group of wealthy families. However, that system, driven by the stampeding herds of professional money managers, has trampled across everything, and now threatens to stampede off a cliff. Not only do Congress members own shares in the same big corporations, but moreover, and much more importantly, more than a hundred thousand entities, to which have been delegated the power to tax, have used that money to buy up the overwhelming majority ownership in almost everything that could be bought.

The full scale of the existing and growing ouroboros of incorporated robbery is such that one's head could not possibly explode enough to comprehend how extreme that paradoxical supernova has truly become. The fascist plutocracy that was originally started by patriarchal militarism, but which then was driven by the influence of wealthy families to become more abstractly evil by the numbers, has now created a self-enclosed system of corruption, which is metaphorically like America, and the rest of the world, has already gone beyond its event horizon into a social black hole. The morality of militarism, and the ruling classes, has runaway to become what controls America, through computerized numbers, whose algorithms were originally created by the militaristic ruling classes, as their morality, and attitudes towards everyone else, have been codified into the ways that the professional money managers run in their herds, to operate their spiraling ouroboros of incorporated robberies, whereby the legalized power to rob, which was enjoyed by government, was delegated to governmentally powered institutions, which steadily used that power to buy up more and more ownership of everything that could be bought.

The insane privatization of public powers, which started with legalizing of the counterfeiting of the public money supply by private banks, has spun around faster and faster, for more than a Century, so that, the government became more totally corrupted, and thereby, more totally triumphant inside of that corruption. That degree of incestuous relationships goes beyond the ability to imagine. The examples outlined in this article are merely the tiniest tips of the iceberg of these events, that the economic systems no longer have any meaningful distinctions between private and public domains, because public powers were privatized, which then enabled public entities to evolve within those systems to buy up almost all ownership of the private world.

The banksters corrupted governments to privatize the power to make the public money supply out of nothing, as debts. Then governments legalized using their powers to create institutions which could use de facto tax money to buy up most of the ownership of the biggest private banks, as well as almost everything else whose shares for sale. The power of government was privatized, and then, the power of government was used to buy up ownership of the banks to whom that power to make money out of nothing was originally given to. The resulting ouroboros of incorporated robbery now truly has no beginning nor ending. It is all one vast interconnected system of toroidal vortices, of organized lies, operating organized robberies, all of which were legalized, and thus given the power to eat each other. Thus, the American economic system is now allophagia, of everything eating everything else, on such a colossal scale that almost nobody can comprehend that anymore, although Congress is embodying those trends, in the ways that this article indicated.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:31 | Link to Comment NeedleDickTheBu...
NeedleDickTheBugFucker's picture

Who knew that "public service" was so lucrative?

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:52 | Link to Comment Debt-Is-Not-Money
Debt-Is-Not-Money's picture

"public service" has the same meaning as "Stud Service".

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 23:05 | Link to Comment hidingfromhelis
hidingfromhelis's picture

In stud service, something economically useful is the result.  In the other, the public just ends up fucked.  

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:32 | Link to Comment ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Do not wonder why Banks/Insurers/Corporations were bailed out and none of the big sharks were jailed.

CONgress members know who butters their bread.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:33 | Link to Comment willwork4food
willwork4food's picture

For the first time ever, your'e going to see some very nicely dressed politicians doing the hula dance underneath the cherry trees 6" above the ground.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:34 | Link to Comment Charles Nelson ...
Charles Nelson Reilly's picture

19 mill in the hole?!? Call Yellen.... She'll have that corrected by 10am tomorrow.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:37 | Link to Comment reader2010
reader2010's picture

Where's Comrade Stalin when the purge is needed? 

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:39 | Link to Comment nmewn
nmewn's picture

Fucking thieves.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:50 | Link to Comment HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

Is there anyone stupid enough to take the upcoming elections seriously?

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:04 | Link to Comment nmewn
nmewn's picture

"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." - Plato

Either we do or we take up the gun...or both? ;-)

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:25 | Link to Comment notquantumdum
notquantumdum's picture

Every single election I can vote in -- without fail -- I hold my nose and vote for whichever politicians I think have the best chance of beating the politicians who I feel have a good chance of winning, but whom I fear the most (no matter how little I like the politicians I have to vote for, in order to do that)!

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:28 | Link to Comment nmewn
nmewn's picture

Right now they kinda got people over a barrel..."These are your two choices, pick one."

It say's a lot about the Choice Givers doesn't it?

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:39 | Link to Comment notquantumdum
notquantumdum's picture

Primaries do matter [somewhat].

Changing parties just to vote in the other primary is appealing to me every once in a while [in my closed-party primary area].

That's still not very many choices, most of the time, is it.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:36 | Link to Comment Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

The gun is more to the point. The other seems a waste of time now.

Miffed;-)

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:49 | Link to Comment nmewn
nmewn's picture

Its amazing the undivided attention you get from an individual when you stick a .45 or a knife against someones throat...they listen to your every word and do exactly what you say.

Like the reverse of whats happening to us now ;-)

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:58 | Link to Comment Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

So true. They always say you should live in the now. With a gun in your face it's very challenging not to. Some day nmewn. I wait with anticipation.

Miffed;-)

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 21:16 | Link to Comment notquantumdum
notquantumdum's picture

Don't give up on voting.

If you fail to vote, I would guess, you would -- if only very slightly -- empower the ones we will all eventually fear the most (or be completely disgusted by, or however one might say it . . . ) [if not in the more immediate future].

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 22:10 | Link to Comment Dr. Destructo
Dr. Destructo's picture

The ones that we eventually fear the most will be in the ballots. Ever notice how politicians suck more after each election? Or how ballots get "lost" or "uncounted"? Or even how PACs, Lobbyists, and MNCs fund both candidates and disenfranchise the voter? Or how about when someone gets into office they do a 180 on their promises? By voting you endorse the system that is fucking you over, you participate and contribute to it. We already do that through taxes, why do that using your own free will by going to the ballot? The answer is to recognize that our system doesn't give a fuck about you, or me, get angry, and take to the streets -not participate in a broken system and expect it to operate as it should.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:11 | Link to Comment resurger
resurger's picture

Home of the Thieves, Land of the Corrupt

Pretentious DC crooks they pretend that they care!

Now you have it.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:35 | Link to Comment dogmete
dogmete's picture

 We once were a half-way free country where merit and hard work could take you to amazing heights, but now we are the most corrupt country to ever exist, where merit and hard work gets you a violent, debilitating kick in the face.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:43 | Link to Comment Magnum
Magnum's picture

We will all be in the club before long. Just like in Tanzania.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:45 | Link to Comment yogibear
yogibear's picture

But many have have been treasonous scumbags for a while. Criminals in suits.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:48 | Link to Comment Dr. Destructo
Dr. Destructo's picture

Politicians aren't bound by the same rules, consequences, or ethics as the people they rule, so how can they effectively represent us? As far as I'm concerned when the government fails to represent the people and adhere to the constitution the government has lost it's legitimacy. Though it can still dominate us through terror and surveillance, and shake us down for what little money we have.

 

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:47 | Link to Comment The Proletariat
The Proletariat's picture

TPTB taking the hopes and dreams of man for their own pithy tranquility. The eagle soars no more.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:47 | Link to Comment TheObsoleteMan
TheObsoleteMan's picture

Why is this a surprise? They are paid whores of the globalist to vote their agendas through as law.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:52 | Link to Comment HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

And if they mess it up, the corrupt judges will make sure of the final result.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:54 | Link to Comment HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

- delete double post -

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:47 | Link to Comment Euro Monster
Euro Monster's picture

Wow! Does this mean that everyone is going to be richer? Wait a minute...

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:48 | Link to Comment Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

B. Sanders: NSA, are you spying on us?

/ LOL 

 

 

 

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:48 | Link to Comment disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

I know this sounds...well, wrong actually...but in my view the Fed has done America a favor actually. Every Governor in the USA wants to know "how can Elon Musk do that but we can't"? Because indeed "Yes We Can." this stuff is not news because "something else is", or is suppose to be. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNWAG8VvKrI "sell hopelessness, sell greed..let everyone know they have no chance of winning." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNWAG8VvKrI i'd love to know who the buyers are...it sure isn't Hollywood or the movie business. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHcbUXBQFko "making a great movie ain't easy either."

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:49 | Link to Comment shepherd
shepherd's picture

Is this the "hate-the-rich" article?

Lol. Love this website.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:58 | Link to Comment nmewn
nmewn's picture

No, this is the how can someone making 170k a year become a millionaire article.

Answer: Saving most of theirs and spending all of yours.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:04 | Link to Comment shepherd
shepherd's picture

The answer to your question is: roughly ten years.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:13 | Link to Comment nmewn
nmewn's picture

Well yes, but most of their expenses are paid by us, leaving "pure profit".

This screams term limits and seeing as how they can't balance a simple checkbook (like all of us have to)...we start slashing their salary, benefits & pensions for those who have been there ten years or more.

They are the ones who ran the deficits & debts up afterall.

Kinda like a Citizens PayGo in reverse ;-)

 

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 19:54 | Link to Comment TheAnswerIs42
TheAnswerIs42's picture

 Hehe, this is as of Dec 2012, wait until Dec 2013.

ZIRP is your friend.

Inflation is a Bitch.

 

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:00 | Link to Comment BITCOIN CHIPTEETH
BITCOIN CHIPTEETH's picture

If you were to graph the poorest to richest House members, would it look similar to the overall population with regard to geography?

Ex-

Avg Oklahoma household wealth from x to present VS.

Bottom 10% Avg Oklahoma household wealth from x to present VS

top 10% Avg Oklahoma household wealth VS

Oklahoma HoR wealth from x to present VS.

Oklahoma Senator wealth from x to present

 Trying to discern how much of their gains are from holding the right stock vs making the right stock. If they outpaced the gains for the top, then I think its more likely they are making the right stock as opposed to buying the right stock.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:01 | Link to Comment BITCOIN CHIPTEETH
BITCOIN CHIPTEETH's picture

first time i post i'm a moron. dagnabit

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:14 | Link to Comment cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

The trick is to level up early and often.

Here have some fiction, it's a ZH ritual:

http://madscienceunlimited.com/fiction/theexchange.html

She's stacked, she's blue, and she's the one can answer the question what does a girl even do with 4 trillion computational units anyway?

Enter Fortran, one half of the destroyers-of-the-world duo of Fortran and Diamond. If one of them doesn't kill you out the door the other will likely manage it on the rebound, and your only hope either way is that you don't end up being eaten afterwards.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:07 | Link to Comment Whoa Dammit
Whoa Dammit's picture

GE is their number 1 investment. No surprise that we don't get the real story on Fukushima, and the abysmal condition of GE reactors here is it?

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:06 | Link to Comment IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

Let them eat FUCK YOU

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:08 | Link to Comment resurger
resurger's picture

You just murdered those corrupt fucks with this fine piece of words ZH!

 

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:12 | Link to Comment Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

I'm also a millionaire. Of course that's with me marking gold at $10,000. 

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:15 | Link to Comment Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

I like the one bitch, who prostitutes herself and turned it into $85 million. Nice.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:24 | Link to Comment krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

There's got to be more than one...

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:32 | Link to Comment IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

Yellen? She got the assist from Berspanky. I hear they tapered her to 75 Bil a month the cheap ass Ho.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:16 | Link to Comment khakuda
khakuda's picture

They have been allowed to trade using insider information based on pending legislation for decades. A monkey could be a millionaire with those odds.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:17 | Link to Comment OC Sure
OC Sure's picture

Political elite class = tyranny.

Where is the petition for a redress of grievances?

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:18 | Link to Comment notquantumdum
notquantumdum's picture

Imagine that!

That chart looks like these two:

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/spending_chart_1890_2013USp_15s1li01...

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/spending_chart_2000_2013USp_15s1li11...

There couldn't possibly be any relationship there!

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:20 | Link to Comment NuYawkFrankie
NuYawkFrankie's picture

re  Most Members Of Congress Are Millionaires...

And that's just on the kickbacks from lobbyists.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:35 | Link to Comment chump666
chump666's picture

“And what does it amount to?" said Satan, with his evil chuckle. "Nothing at all. You gain nothing; you always come out where you went in. For a million years the race has gone on monotonously propagating itself and monotonously reperforming this dull nonsense--to what end? No wisdom can guess! Who gets a profit out of it? Nobody but a parcel of usurping little monarchs and nobilities who despise you; would feel defiled if you touched them; would shut the door in your face if you proposed to call; whom you slave for, fight for, die for, and are not ashamed of it, but proud; whose existence is a perpetual insult to you and you are afraid to resent it; who are mendicants supported by your alms, yet assume toward you the airs of benefactor toward beggar; who address you in the language of master to slave, and are answered in in the language of slave to master; who are worshiped by you with your mouth, while in your heart--if you have one--you despise yourselves for it. The first man was hypocrite and a coward, qualities which have not yet failed in his line; it is the foundation upon which all civilizations have been built. Drink to their perpetuation! Drink to their augmentation! Drink to--" Then he saw by our faces how much we were hurt, and he cut his sentence short and stopped chuckling...”

Mark Twain, Mysterious Stranger

 

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 21:07 | Link to Comment OC Sure
OC Sure's picture

I like it. This one is good too:

"To live a life which is a perpetual falsehood is to suffer unknown tortures. To be premeditating indefinitely a diabolical act, to have to assume austerity; to brood over secret infamy seasoned with outward good fame; to have continually to put the world off the scent; to present a perpetual illusion, and never to be one's self-is a burdensome task. To be constrained to dip the brush in that dark stuff within, to produce with it a portrait of candour; to fawn, to restrain and suppress one's self, to be ever on the qui vive-watching without ceasing to mask latent crimes with a face of healthy innocence; to transform deformity into beauty; to fashion wickedness into the shape of perfection; to tickle, as it were, with the point of a dagger, to put sugar with poison, to keep a bridle on every gesture and keep a watch over every tone, not even to have a countenance of one's own-what can be harder, what can be more torturing? The odiousness of hypocrisy is obscurely felt by the hypocrite himself. Drinking perpetually of his own imposture is nauseating. The sweetness of tone which cunning gives to scoundrelism is repugnant to the scoundrel compelled to have it ever in the mouth; and there are moments of disgust when villainy seems on the point of vomiting its secret. To have to swallow that bitter saliva is horrible. Add to this picture his profound pride. There are strange moments in the history of such a life, when hypocrisy worships itself. There is always an inordinate egotism in roguery. The worm has the same mode of gliding along as the serpent, and the same manner of raising its head. The treacherous villain is the despot curbed and restrained, and only able to attain his ends by resigning himself to play a secondary part. He is summed-up littleness capable of enormities. The perfect hypocrite is a Titan dwarfed."
-Victor Hugo from Toilers of the Sea, 1888

 

Twain and Hugo, both excellent fiction writers, always keen to force the unfocussed eye directly upon the diamond in the sand. But, to what end?

 

Now, where is that petition for a redress of grievances?

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 21:20 | Link to Comment chump666
chump666's picture

Wonderful quote.

I think about America, the fights over shoes and pots and pans, TVs, all the while the people have ALLOWED themselves to be subservient in their idea of free markets and capitalism.  No one is controlling us, no conspiracy theory.  For every storm trooper looking cop I see 10 of us. 10-1 ratio for a forced change.  Still we obey that conman of a President and all the bullsh*t that flows.

We kinda deserve what is coming.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 21:48 | Link to Comment OC Sure
OC Sure's picture

Agreed. And here is another quote for you regarding nouns and pronouns such as "people," "we," "us," and "them."

"[despots] who thus domineer over you [have] only two eyes, only two hands, only one body, no more than is possessed by the least man among the infinite numbers dwelling in your cities; he has indeed nothing more than the power that you confer upon him to destroy you. Where has he acquired enough eyes to spy upon you, if you do not provide them yourselves? How can he have so many arms to beat you with, if he does not borrow them from you? The feet that trample down your cities, where does he get them if they are not your own? How does he have any power over you except through you? How would he dare assail you if he had no cooperation from you?"

Étienne de La Boétie from Discourse on Voluntary Servitude, 1548

 

Pink Floyd was correct, it is a "battle of words." At least until there is first blood. What people do is a result of what they think. From your 10-1 ratio, how many peeps in 10 can name just half of the 10 amendments let alone describe the simple layout and construction of a less then 5000 word document that makes their meandering bliss possible, or their wretched oppression implausible? Although "they" are outnumbered, they are organized and kinda hold all the cards in a loaded deck. The tables need to turn carefully...

Now, where IS that petition for a redress of grievances?

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 22:25 | Link to Comment chump666
chump666's picture

Of course, the 10-1 ratio and revoultion should be planned.  I think it is, slowly.  Usually the case, as history is the primer.  Still reeling from the footage of the Wallmart/store fights over usless junk, but generally I think people are at breaking point.  They will turn on govement...eventually. 

Victor Hugo quote:

"What a spectacle! Thus dies everything that man creates! A past such as this is a deep abyss for the soul!"

 "Ode to the Arc de Triomphe" (Inner Voices, 1837)

Check out an art piece called 'Enigma' by Gustave Dore when Prussia defated France 1870.   The quote above was an influnce for the painting.

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 00:27 | Link to Comment OC Sure
OC Sure's picture

He was the metaphor-maestro-extraordinaire! I'd not read or seen either. Thanks.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 21:23 | Link to Comment GotNuttin'todo
GotNuttin'todo's picture

You know, you come from nothin' - you're going back to nothing. What have you got to loose? NOTHING!

Monty Python and The Holy Grail

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:42 | Link to Comment Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

I'm surprised they're not invested in BIS or Saudi-controlled Citi.  What about Big Oil, Halliburton, Carlyle Group, etc?

And aren't they into "doing God's work" at GS?

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:44 | Link to Comment Icantstopthinki...
IcantstopthinkingaboutNINJAs's picture

As long as the obesity level stays the way it is, this is manageable.

 

 

 

But eventually... autopilot runs out of gas...

 

 

 

http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/archives/jacksonite-recounts-assault-by-pe...

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:50 | Link to Comment gwar5
gwar5's picture

Thanks to the Fed a million ain't worth what it used to be... which is why people like Kerry, Feinstein, and Kohl (D-Wis) are billionaires and don't hang with mere millionaires. 

 

Kerry (Heinz Ketchup); Feinstein & hubby (who receives lucrative government contracts), and Sen. Kohl, D-Wis (Kohl's department stores). Kerry and Kohl have moved on from the senate because the neighborhood was going downhill.

 

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 20:54 | Link to Comment paint it red ca...
paint it red call it hell's picture

Curious if they think bribes, er gratuities, will buy their way out of hell?

Or maybe they think they have bargained for special considerations in hell upon arrival?

Let's all prey they find out real soon.......

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 21:14 | Link to Comment Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Is their a chart of financial net worth vs. years in office?

 

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 21:17 | Link to Comment GotNuttin'todo
GotNuttin'todo's picture

Crime pays.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 21:19 | Link to Comment MFLTucson
MFLTucson's picture

These bastards need to mbe in jail for what they did to this country.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 22:46 | Link to Comment Dr. Destructo
Dr. Destructo's picture

As much as I hate it, you're right.

As much as I would like to see them hang, burned alive, or impaled on wooden poles dipped in shit and piss, we have to adhere to a fair trial and the rights guaranteed by our constitution or else we'll plunge into anarchy and instead of replacing the current tyrants, we'll be installing one of our own.

 

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 23:04 | Link to Comment Constitutional ...
Constitutional Republic's picture

A fair trial...then hang 'em high? No, ok. That won't work. However:-


When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.

Thomas Jefferson

The problem today is that modern career politicians bear no consequences for their failed ways, and instead, profit from their cavalier profiteering ways. They exempt themselves from the economy occupied by most people, as the recent Obama$care law demonstrates, whereby CONgress and their 'staffers' are exempted. Bastids.

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 22:57 | Link to Comment Constitutional ...
Constitutional Republic's picture

Most Americans know that they have been sold as chattel by CONgress serving international banksters who bear no allegiance to the well being of any land. They won't put it like that, but in their gut, they know it.

Today, a Vietnam vet was telling me about his experiences in that war when he was aged 20,  and when he came back home. The ordinary boy was drafted and the college kids got out of it one way or another and went on to run the country, in his view. Now, those draft dodgers like Clinton make millions, and sent American jobs overseas under 'globalization'.

Now, there are fewer men of military service in CONgress than ever in the country's history, and yet the country is trapped in the longest running foreign wars in its history.

Oh, yeah, the ordinary person knows that CONgress are millionaires...over the dead bodies of others.

Poverty is the best recruiting sergeant for the military.

My 3rd Executive Order for 2014:

If you vote for war, send your child first.

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 00:22 | Link to Comment DaveA
DaveA's picture

If Congress confirms Janet Yellen as expected, most of their constituents will soon be "millionaires" too.

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 03:10 | Link to Comment dariomilano
dariomilano's picture

no exxon here

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!