California Sends the Richest and Poorest People to Congress

Many people have a mistaken belief about politicians. People seem to think that being a politician automatically means you are wealthy. Certainly, this is true in many cases. For example, many people become politicians after enjoying lucrative careers as lawyers, businessmen, or even celebrities. Also, politicians are often paid to make appearances at various events.

However, not every politician is lucky enough to start their public service career rolling in the dough. Also, general financial illiteracy can also cause a politician to loose what little money he or she has gained from their career in government. For evidence of this, one can simply examine some of the public servants in the state of California. Few people realize that both the richest and poorest members of Congress hail from California.

California sends 55 people to Congress. Of those 55, Rep. Darrell Issa is the richest member of Congress. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Rep. David Valadao is the poorest member of Congress. This information is gleaned from public records representing the reported assets of public servants. Debts owed by public servants, information which often puts members of Congress in the red, is also factored into the data.

Of course, knowing the names of the richest and poorest people in Congress has its uses. For example, it's worthwhile to consider how well someone can manage the government's money compared with their own. Also, the data showcases the various assets owned by all members of Congress. For example, did you know that at least ten members of Congress own at least $2.4 million worth of technology company stocks? This includes huge companies like Facebook. This type of money could certainly skew the way certain members of Congress view legislation regrading technology and privacy concerns on the Internet.

It's also interesting to see where members of Congress financially failed or reported something slightly shady. For example, the husband of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi invested $10 million in the Sacramento Mountain Lions. This was a team that went belly-up with United Football League. Also, despite it being well known that the Pelosis are worth at least $16 million, the couple reported having a Bank of America joint checking account with a balance of "at least $1." Statements like that make one wonder how much wealth public servants are allowed to hide.

Regardless, it's fascinating to know that California sends both the richest and poorest to Congress!



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