About 47 percent of Congress, or 250* current members of Congress, are millionaires, according to a new study by the Center for Responsive Politics of lawmakers’ personal financial disclosure forms covering calendar year 2010. The Center’s analysis is based on the median values of lawmakers’ disclosed assets and liabilities.
That lofty financial status is enjoyed by only about one percent of Americans.
[...] In 2010, the year of the most recently released financial data, the estimated median net worth of a current U.S. senator stood at an average of $2.63 million*, according to the Center’s research.
Despite the global economic meltdown in 2008 and sluggish recovery, that’s up about 11 percent* from an estimated median net worth of about $2.38 million in 2009, according to the Center’s analysis. And it’s up about 16 percent* from a median estimated net worth of $2.27 million in 2008.
[...] Fully 37* Senate Democrats and 30 Senate Republicans reported an average net worth in excess of $1 million in 2010, according to the Center’s analysis. The same was true of 110 House Republicans and 73 House Democrats.
The median estimated net worth among Senate Republicans was $2.43 million, and the median net worth among members of the Democratic caucus in the Senate was $2.69 million*, by the Center’s tally.
Meanwhile, in the House, the median estimated net worth of a GOP House member was $834,250 in 2010, according to the Center’s research, compared to a median net worth of $635,500 among House Democrats.
…if you’re an average American. From the Center for American Progress:
- More than 100,000 millionaires pay lower taxes than the average American.
- Forty percent of millionaires pay a lower tax rate than 3.4 million Americans who earn between $40,000 and $50,000.
- One hundred thousand millionaires pay a lower tax rate than 2.8 million Americans who earn only $10,000 to $20,000.
- Forty-six million Americans who earn less than $50,000 annually pay a higher tax rate than 43,000 millionaires.
- More than 43 million Americans who earn less than $100,000 pay a higher tax rate than 100,000 millionaires.
And just a reminder:
“The richest 5 percent of households obtained roughly 82 percent of all the nation’s gains in wealth between 1983 and 2009. The bottom 60 percent of households actually had less wealth in 2009 than in 1983, meaning they did not participate at all in the growth of wealth over this period.” - Lawrence Mishel
So, clearly, the wealthy need to have the tax cuts extended and the rest of us should gladly agree to more spending cuts to balance the deficit. The wealthy only gobbled up 82% of the nation’s wealth? That leaves a lot of wealth out there that they haven’t deposited in their bank accounts. Yet.
Class warfare, Koch-style:
Twice a year, the billionaire industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch host secretive retreats for an exclusive list of corporate America’s rich and powerful to strategize and raise money for their right-wing political agenda. Mother Jones has obtained exclusive audio recordings that shed some light on the brothers’ latest retreat, held at a resort near Vail, Colorado, in late June. In a speech that is part of these recordings, Charles Koch thanks donors who gave more than $1 million to the cause. We checked the audio against a list of participants at the Kochs’ 2010 seminar in Aspen that was obtained by ThinkProgress.org and did additional research on these individuals. Below are the names Koch read that appeared on the previous guest list. — Exclusive: The Koch Brothers’ Million-Dollar Donor Club | Mother Jones
See the article above for details / companies owned on each of the following:
- The Camerons
- John Childs
- The Cortopassis
- Joe Craft
- The DeVoses
- The Farmers
- The Friesses
- The Fullinwiders
- The Gilliams
- The Griffins
- The Hamms
- The Haworths
- The Haydens
- Diane Hendricks
- The Humphreys family
- Virginia James
- The Levys
- The Marshall family
- The Menards
- John Moran
- The Popes
- Tom Rastin
- The Robertsons
- The Schwabs
- The principals with the Services Group of America
- Paul Singer
- The Templetons
- Karen Wright
Via Obama For America: Special-interest groups intend to pour virtually unlimited funds into attacking the President and Democrats in the year to come. The right-wing oil billionaire Charles Koch even told a roomful of wealthy donors that 2012 was “the mother of all wars.”
“Friends” of the teaparty base:
First the good news (for the Teaparty Republicans and the 1% they fight for):
Tax Rates For Millionaires Have Fallen 25 Percent Since 1995 | The Center for American Progress’ Seth Hanlon took a look at new IRS data and found that “as a percentage of their incomes, millionaires are now paying about one-quarter less of their income to federal taxes than they did in the mid-1990s”:
“Millionaires paid an average tax rate of 22.4 percent in 2009, down by a quarter since 1995, when they paid an average of 30.4 percent,” Hanlon noted.
Now the bad news (for the remaining 99% of us):
Average Income Falls To Lowest Level Since 1997 | According to newly released tax data, “U.S. incomes plummeted again in 2009, with total income down 15.2 percent in real terms since 2007.” 2009′s average income of $54,283, which is the latest available data, “was at its lowest level since 1997 when it was $54,265 in 2009 dollars, just $18 less than in 2009.”
As part of their radical Tea Party budget, House Republicans voted to end Medicare but protect tax breaks for millionaires, billionaires, and Big Oil.
If that bothers you at all, go sign this DCCC petition which will be delivered to John Boehner when 250,000 signatures are collected. The information required: email, name, zip.
Minnesota’s DEMOCRATIC governor wanted to increase taxes on people earning $1 million or more (3% of Minnesota’s taxpayers). The Minnesota REPUBLICANS would rather see the entire government shutdown and 22,000 state employees furloughed than agree to a tax increase on the wealthy. Who needs more state revenue when you can cut most of your state government programs and lay off employees? (ABCNews video below)
ST. PAUL, Minn., July 1 (UPI) — Minnesota’s government shut down Friday after Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders failed to settle their budget differences.
State parks closed and entrances to rest areas were blocked. Boaters using Department of Natural Resources public landings were informed the landings wouldn’t be monitored or maintained. First-time drivers will have to wait for their licenses, as will people facing a license renewal. Same with updating vehicle tabs.
Employees were told to take home any plants that couldn’t survive without water for a time.
Talks broke off abruptly Thursday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. Republican leaders rejected Dayton’s proposal that would have raised income taxes on people earning more than $1 million a year — an estimated 7,700 Minnesotans, or 0.3 percent of all taxpayers, state Revenue Department statistics indicate.
“This is a night of deep sorrow for me,” Dayton said late Thursday in an address interrupted by hisses from some Republicans.
Republican leaders said Dayton’s proposal for dealing with the projected $5 billion deficit would harm the state’s economy for generations.
“We will not saddle our children and grandchildren with mounds of debts, with promises for funding levels that will not be there in the future,” said House Speaker Kurt Zellers. “This is debt that they can’t afford. It’s debt that we can’t afford right now.”
“My dad…put it thusly: “they’re not voting their circumstances because they’re voting their aspirations.” — @elmorse