The Hill’s List of Top Wealthiest in Congress for 2011

The Hill, a publication that covers politics in D.C., has come out with its annual list of the 50 top wealthiest members of congress. I have listed the top 10 below, and the entire list can be found at TheHill.com

I am a Democrat, a Liberal, and for me it is disturbing that the only people who have a chance to run a successful campaign are the extraordinarily wealthy and this includes both parties. As you will see, the top 10 is dominated by my party, and although I do think the Democratic Party is the party who works for the interests of the middle class, with all this money floating around D.C., just how hard will they fight for us versus further enriching themselves.  

In saying that, the Republicans of today don’t even make an effort to hide their agenda, and that is to enrich their constituents who fund their campaigns, the mega wealthy, by giving them further tax cuts while raising the taxes of the middle and lower classes.  

They are still entrenched in the belief of “trickle down economics.” Give all of America’s wealth to the top-tier of our society and they will in turn rain it down on the serfs, the peasants of our country, us. 

The Hill’s Findings 

Analysis for The Hill’s Wealthiest shows that 2010 was a banner year for many well-heeled members of Congress.  

Last year’s wave election brought big changes to The Hill’s rankings. More than a dozen lawmakers appear on the list for the first time, including 10 Tea Party-backed GOP freshmen with backgrounds in business, medicine and auto sales, among other professions. 

The richest GOP freshman is Rep. Jim Renacci (Ohio), who reported a minimum net worth of $35.9 million, ranking him 11th on The Hill’s list.  GOP gains in the 2010 elections helped shift the list toward Republicans. Six Democrats who made The Hill’s 50 Wealthiest in 2010 lost their reelection bids.  

The rankings include 32 Republicans and 18 Democrats. By chamber, the breakdown is 29 from the House, 21 from the Senate. To compile the rankings, The Hill reviewed all the congressional financial disclosure reports that lawmakers filed for the 2010 calendar year. 

Top 10 Wealthiest Lawmakers   

1. Michael McCaul, R-Texas — $287 million  
McCaul’s wealth exploded in 2010, making him the richest member of Congress by tens of millions of dollars. 

2. Darrell Issa, R-California — $220.4 million  
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman has always been one of the richest members of Congress, but his wealth shot up in 2010 by almost $60 million. 

3. John Kerry, D-Mass — $193.3 million  
Kerry no longer holds the crown of richest member of Congress, but he still was able to increase his wealth by nearly $5 million in 2010. 

4. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.VA — $81.6 million  
The West Virginia senator’s wealth fell by more than $2 million this year, down from $83.7 million in 2009, due to some of his assets losing value.  

5. Mark Warner, D-VA — $76.3 million   
Warner’s fortune climbed by more than $6 million in 2010. 

6. Jared Polis, D-Colo — $65.9 milion  
Polis’s fortune grew by almost $10 million in 2010. 

7. Frank Lautenberg, D-NJ — $55.1 million  
Lautenberg saw a more than $5 million boost in his fortune in 2010. 

8. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn — $54.9 million  
Blumenthal’s minimum net worth is $54.9 million, making him the wealthiest new member of Congress this year. 

9. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA — $45.4 million  
Feinstein’s minimum net worth decreased slightly, by more than $600,000, in 2010. 

10. Vern Buchanan, R-FL — $44.4 million  
Buchanan saw his wealth slide in 2010 by roughly $9 million.

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6 responses to “The Hill’s List of Top Wealthiest in Congress for 2011

  1. Do you think that the opposite: listing the 10 poorest members in Congress would have said anything more informative? Your point is that just for being richer they are bad?

    • That is far from the point I am making. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being successful and wealthy. The point you are missing is the record amounts of money circulating the halls of Congress and the willingness of the lobbyiest to use the billions of dollars at their disposal to have write legislation that would benefit the particular industry/interest they are representing.

      With the Supreme Court decision on Citizens United, we now have absolutely now way who is contributing to these PACs that have popped up since the election with the use of CR. For example, Karl Rove’s PAC is American Crossroad. He opens up CR, which doesn’t have to disclose its contributors, and then turn around and give the money collected from the CR to his AmCrRd PAC and when he lists the contributors to American Crossroads it will only show the name of his CR. That is called money laundering.

  2. It would have been nice if The Hill piece had shown us what they paid in taxes to see if their rate was near that of most Americans.

  3. My Senator, John Kerry married Theresa Heinz of the Pittsburgh ketchup maker, and really boosted is wealth. Also, he got caught docking his yacht in Newport, RI, when the boat was registered in Massachusetts. He docked it there, and when he got caught, he had to pay his Mass tax for it.

    • It must in the water that the politician’s drink. Maddow reported several months back about an election where Romney voted in Mass claiming he lived in the basement of his son’s house when actually he had a mansion out in California.

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