The economic divide between Congress and the average American is growing, and growing substantially, according to a new report from the Washington Post.
The report found that the median net worth of the current Congress increased by 5 percent during the recession while it fell 39 percent for the average American. The wealthiest one-third of lawmakers saw their net worth go up 14 percent.
The information came from financial disclosure forms and public records that all members of Congress are required to submit from 2004 to 2010.
By 2010, the median estimated wealth for members of the House of Representatives was $746,000 and $2.6 million for senators. There was virtually no difference between the wealth of Republicans and Democrats. In 2004, the net worth of Republicans was 44 percent higher than the net worth of Democrats.
“We have this huge disparity that’s only getting worse in terms of inequality in this country,” said Henry Blodget, host of Yahoo!’s The Daily Ticker. “If it continues, the country will begin to break apart and get more and more antagonistic class warfare. It’s something we have got to solve not only in Congress but in the American public at large.”
Top 10 Wealthiest Members of Congress (by household assets, 2010), according to The Washington Post:
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) $448.1M
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) $380.4M
Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) $231.7M
Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) $143.2M
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) $136.2M
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) $101.1M
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. VA) $99.1M
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) $85.6M
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) $73.2M
Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) $69.0M