They want us to believe that expecting rich people to pay their fair share of taxes is a job-killing, economic mistake. But that’s not the real reason some members of Congress don’t like President Obama’s “Buffett Rule.” Their opposition has a lot to do with their own personal finances, because 48 percent of Congress members are, themselves, millionaires. [Only 1 percent of all Americans are millionaires.]
Here are some facts about millionaires in Congress, as compiled by The Agenda Project:
- 55 members of Congress have an average wealth of $10 million and 8 members have an average wealth of $100+ million
- During the worst part of the recession 2008-2009, the median wealth of a congressional member rose $125K
- The median wealth of a House member is $700,000+, while the median wealth for a senator was over $2 million
- 5 of the 6 Republican members of the new Super Committee for the Budget are millionaires.
More specifically, check out this enlightening chart listing the 136 members of Congress who oppose the Buffett Rule, plus each millionaire’s net worth.
On the other side of this discussion are the Patriotic Millionaires for fiscal responsibility, whose website lists 120 individuals and couples who now or previously have had annual incomes of $1 million or more, and who have signed onto a letter that says, in part:
Our country faces a choice – we can pay our debts and build for the future, or we can shirk our financial responsibilities and cripple our nation’s potential.
Our country has been good to us. It provided a foundation through which we could succeed. Now, we want to do our part to keep that foundation strong so that others can succeed as we have.
Please do the right thing for our country. Raise our taxes.
The Agenda Project also has released a series of [IMHO] very effective, 30-second videos that bring home the message: Millionaire politicians—whose pictures flash on the screen—are opposing the Buffett rule to benefit themselves rather than the country. Here’s one. Pass it on.