Why is Congress so Disconnected from the people they serve?

Well, it is not a secret that those who serve in The Hill are not precisely in the poor house. So I decided to just look at San Diego’s Congressional Delegation and the information comes from Open Secrets.  You too can go search for your own delegation and perhaps realize why these people really do not understand the plight of 800,000 federal workers, or why women need WIC, or why Meals on Wheels matters, or why slamming Social Security borders on the insane.

So with no further here are the net worths of all five members of Congress and two Senators.

Let’s start with Barbara Boxer:

  • Net Worth: From $1,147,008 to $5,380,000
    Rank: 40th in Senate
  • Assets:

    8 totaling $1,147,008 to $5,380,000

Here is Dianne Feinstein’s profile, and it is astounding as well.

  • Net Worth: From $42,777,230 to $98,673,018
    Rank: 5th in Senate
  • Assets: 132 totaling $43,777,231 to $99,673,019

Both are Democrats and some of their different politics might be explained also by just how much they are actually worth. Feinstein tends to be a far more conservative, even Blue Dog Democrat, never mind that she comes from a city known for its liberal politics.

So how about the House? Let’s start with Juan Vargas, part of the freshman class, and then at Scott Peters, also part of the freshman class who self-financed quite a bit of his race.

Here is Vargas’

  • Net Worth: From $977,011 to $2,130,000
    Rank: 167th in House
  • Assets: 10 totaling $977,011 to $2,130,000

Now Peters.

  • Net Worth: From $-33,719,896 to $206,167,994
    Rank: 8th in House
  • Assets: 97 totaling $56,295,104 to $224,178,000
  • Liabilities: 7 totaling $18,010,006 to $90,015,000

I am not an expert but at least it looks like Peters can afford to buck quite a bit of his own party and have an interesting voting record that has angered quite a bit of the voters. Vargas represents one of the poorest districts in the United States. It includes the Imperial County.

How about the three old timers?

Susan Davis is the only Democrat among the old timers and Open Secrets has her at this:

  • Net Worth: From $1,152,043 to $3,139,999
    Rank: 136th in House
  • Assets: 34 totaling $1,202,043 to $3,155,000

Not shabby, but well below the average for the House. It also reflects some of her politics I think.

What about our two Republicans? Here is Duncan Hunter.

  • Net Worth: From $0 to $0
    Rank: 406th in House
  • Assets: 0
  • Liabilities: 1 totaling $15,001 to $50,000

This is a surprise and one has to wonder if Hunter has filed the mandatory releases of assets? His father did, and here is his father’s:

  • Net Worth: From $665,008 to $1,809,998
    Rank: 161st in House
  • Assets: 8 totaling $780,008 to $1,850,000
  • Liabilities: 3 totaling $40,002 to $115,000
  • Transactions: 1 totaling $100,001 to $250,000

This alone raises a few questions on this, All members of the House and Senate are required to release this information. So your mileage will vary on this one. Yes, Hunter is a member of the Reserves, last time I checked, but at the very least his Congressional salary should be reported.

But now the piece d’resistance. Darell Issa:

  • Net Worth: From $215,550,040 to $745,099,999
    Rank: 2nd in House
  • Assets: 42 totaling $315,550,042 to $845,100,001

So here you go. This is one delegation of all delegations. So if you think they do not represent truly your interests? Perhaps they do not. So when they tell people who right now are suffering through the shutdown, trying to cover bills, and pay for mortgages, by telling them to ask for short term loans from banks, that is what banks do with people of means.

This is something that most in the Hill do not want to talk about. It is a club of millionaires. The staffers are not. But the members mostly are.

I just present to you my local delegation. It is a small picture and hardly atypical.

Categories: The Hill, Uncategorized

4 replies

  1. Perhaps because we the peons are not the people they truly serve.

  2. All it took Jeff was a little time on Open Secrets. It’s not like this is a secret,

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