Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Millionaires' Club

The median net worth of a member Congress is just north of $1-million, according to a study by RollCall. The rankings are estimates based on financial disclosure reports which requires members to disclose assets in bracketed ranges.
According to RollCall, Michigan's delegation may have a lot of clout (thanks to the seniority of John Dingell, John Conyers, Sandy Levin and both U.S. Senators) ... but isn't especially wealthy, at least, in Congressional terms. Seven of the 16 are millionaires; three have negative net worth. Here's how Michigan's members stack up:
Fred Upton is Michigan's
wealthiest member of
Congress
53 - Fred Upton ($7.3 million)
57 - Dave Camp ($6.59m) (Retiring)
77 - John Dingell ($3.52m) (Retiring)
97 - Sander Levin ($2.67m)
148 - Carl Levin ($1.56m) (Retiring)
156 - Dan Benishek ($1.39m)
168 - Gary Peters ($1.23m) (Running for Senate)
211 - Justin Amash ($820,000)
223 - Candice Miller ($750,000)
261 - Bill Huizenga ($500,000)
339 - Kerry Bentivolio ($150,000) (Defeated in primary)
341 - Dan Kildee ($150,000)
401 - Tim Walberg ($10,000)
459 - John Conyers (-$160,000)
494 - Mike Rogers ($-310,000) (Retiring)
524 - Debbie Stabenow (-$590,000)

Rogers' negative net worth, which plunged after his divorce several years ago, may help explain his decision to move from Congress to a syndicated talk radio show - it pays a lot better.
Walberg's low net worth is interesting for a so-called fiscal conservative, especially one who still draws a $60,000 state pension (plus free state-paid medical benefits) on top of his congressional pay check and reportedly sleeps in his House office to avoid paying D.C. rent.
And Stabenow's upside-down finances probably reflect 1) she has been in public service her entire adult life, and 2) she is divorced, so her net worth statement isn't ballooned by the wealth of a spouse.

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