Your New Congressmen Are Richer Than Pretty Much Everyone You Know

A new report details just how wildly wealthy our freshman senators and congresspeople are.


As many Americans struggle to provide even the most basic necessities for themselves—one recent survey found that nearly half of black seniors had struggled to pay their electric bills in the past year—you might be surprised to know that our new elected officials are not only better off, but absolutely flush with cash.

Not only is every single freshman senator and congressperson guaranteed employment for at least the next two years, and thus protected from America's persistent double-digit unemployment, none of them really needs their $174,000-plus (party leaders make more) annual salary anyway.


According to a new report from the Center for Responsive Politics, 60 percent of Senate freshman and 40 percent of House freshman are millionaires. Beyond that, the median wealth for Senate freshmen is $3.96 million; the House freshman median is $570,418.

For reference, the median household income (PDF) for every American in 2008 was $50,303, or less than one-quarter of one percent of the cumulative wealth of the 112th Congress's freshman class, $533.1 million.

When considering these numbers, also consider that millionaires make up just one percent of the entire United States population, while a full 44 percent of Senators and Representatives have seven-figure fortunes. Does it make sense that the richest of our citizens claim to speak for all of us in Washington? Does it make sense that we elected them in the first place? Are these people worthy of the title "representative" if they appear to not represent the common American in any way at all?

One last thing worth nothing: Besides being full of the super-rich, the U.S. Senate now contains not a single African American.


Articles

We've all felt lonely at some point in our lives. It's a human experience as universal as happiness, sadness or even hunger. But there's been a growing trend of studies and other evidence suggesting that Americans, and people in general, are feeling more lonely than ever.

It's easy to blame technology and the way our increasingly online lives have further isolated us from "real" human interactions. The Internet once held seemingly limitless promise for bringing us together but seems to be doing just the opposite.

Except that's apparently not true at all. A major study from Cigna on loneliness found that feelings of isolation and loneliness are on the rise amongst Americans but the numbers are nearly identical amongst those who use social media and those who don't. Perhaps more importantly, the study found five common traits amongst those who don't feel lonely.

Keep Reading Show less
Health

He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

He risked his life to leave a "historical record of our martyrdom."

via Yad Vashem and Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

In September 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland. By April 1940, the gates closed on the Lodz Ghetto, the second largest in the country after Warsaw.

Throughout the war, over 210,000 people would be imprisoned in Lodz.

Among those held captive was Henryk Ross. He was a Jewish sports photographer before the Nazi invasion and worked for the the ghetto's Department of Statistics during the war. As part of his official job, he took identification photos of the prisoners and propaganda shots of Lodz' textile and leather factories.

Keep Reading Show less
Communities
WITI Milwaukee

Joey Grundl, a pizza delivery driver for a Domino's Pizza in Waldo, Wisconsin, is being hailed as a hero for noticing a kidnapped woman's subtle cry for help.

The delivery man was sent to a woman's house to deliver a pie when her ex-boyfriend, Dean Hoffman, opened the door. Grundl looked over his shoulder and saw a middle-aged woman with a black eye standing behind Hoffman. She appeared to be mouthing the words: "Call the police."

"I gave him his pizza and then I noticed behind him was his girlfriend," Grundl told WITI Milwaukee. "She pointed to a black eye that was quite visible. She mouthed the words, 'Call the police.'"

Keep Reading Show less
Good News


Rochester NY Airport Security passing insulting notes to travelers caught on tape www.youtube.com

Neil Strassner was just passing through airport security, something he does on a weekly basis as part of his job. That's when a contract airport security employee handed him a small piece of folded cardboard. Strassner, 40, took the paper and continued on his way. He only paused when he heard the security employee shouting back at him, "You going to open the note?"

When he unfolded the small piece of paper, Strassner was greeted with an unprompted insult. "You ugly!!!"

According to Strassner, and in newly released CCTV of the incident, the woman who handed him the note began laughing loudly.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Facebook: kktv11news

A post on the Murdered by Words subreddit is going viral for the perfect way a poster shut down a knee-jerk "double-standard!" claim.

It began when a Redditor posted a 2015 Buzzfeed article story about a single dad who took cosmetology lessons to learn how to do his daughter's hair.

Most people would see the story as something positive. A dad goes out of his way to learn a skill that makes his daughter look fabulous.

Keep Reading Show less
Lifestyle