Washington D.C., a place with no manufacturing base and no natural resources, has become a center of wealth accumulation in the United States. Politicians are supposed to reflect the average American, but how can they do that when the wealth gap between polls and their constituents is so extreme?
In the latest episode of the Drill Down podcast, investigative journalists Peter Schweizer and Eric Eggers of the Government Accountability Institutes examine how the relative wealth in the nation’s capital is problematic for the rest of the country.
In 2020, the U.S. median family income was $78,500, an increase of almost 4% over the national median family income in 2019. An average of 6.68% of families make over $200,000 annually and 16% make between $100-150k a year. As of 2019, the median family net worth was $121,760.
That seems fine until you look at what members of Congress are worth. As Schweizer says, “D.C. is an incredibly wealthy town and it’s the center for wealth accumulation.”
More than half of the members in Congress are millionaires. The median net worth of Congress members who filed disclosures last year is just over $1 million – and the trend is upward. The collective net worth of 115th Congress was $2.43 billion, 20% more than the collect net worth of the previous Congress.
Congress’s wealth is growing, as is the concern that politicians are using their power and access to information to enrich themselves.