With a median net worth of $891,506, Congress members are nine-times wealthier than the average American household – and some Congressional leaders are exceedingly richer.
In fact, a recent analysis of financial disclosure forms showed Congress members' collective net worth was more than $2 billion in 2010 – a 25% leap from 2008.
If members of Congress are that rich, then why are average Americans footing the bill for so many of their luxurious perks?
Just look at what a member of Congress gets in addition to base pay of $174,100 a year:
- Three-day workweeks.
- A 401(k)-like plan that "matches" up to 5% of its input.
- The chance to choose from 10 different first-rate health plans and access to an on-site doctor.
- A full pension.
- Retirement benefits.
- Gym memberships.
- Car service.
- Free parking at two regional airports.
- Free flights to almost anywhere in the world.
- And a per diem travel allowance of $3,000 per trip.
And yet members of Congress still find time (and the audacity) to complain about political gridlock and federal spending.
Well, if we want to reduce "capital waste" we might as well start by scaling back Congressional perks. And if we want a governing body that's more solutions-oriented, then maybe we should increase urgency by making members of Congress live like the rest of us.
A good start would be by voting in Money Morning's online survey by clicking here. We want to know if you believe members of the U.S. Congress should be subjected to the same economic realities the rest of us must face.
We're going to make the results public in Money Morning and share the poll results with major media outlets across the country. Our goal? To eliminate their excessive, taxpayer-funded perks and make Congress pay its own way – just like the rest of us.
That means we need as many votes as possible.
The more votes we have, the better chance of getting our voices heard. So forward this information to your friends, and share it on Facebook and Twitter – anything you can do to get the word out and send Congress a message.