Difference between revisions of "Changes in Net Worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives (Personal Gain Index)"

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{{PGI VNT}}{{TOCnestright|limit=3}}This page is about '''changes in net worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives''' during their time in office. The data available on this page goes from 2004 through 2012.
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{{PGI VNT}}{{TOCnestright|limit=3}}
  
It is the first part of the [[Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)|Personal Gain Index]]. The [[Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)|Personal Gain Index]] is a four-part study that examines the extent to which members of the [[United States Congress|U.S. Congress]] have individually prospered during their tenure as public servants. The [[Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)|Personal Gain Index]] is a [[Ballotpedia:Content, project and data collaborations|collaborative effort]] of the [[Government Accountability Institute]] and Ballotpedia.
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For the first time in history that the majority of America's elected officials in Washington, D.C. are millionaires.<ref name=millionaires>[http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2014/01/millionaires-club-for-first-time-most-lawmakers-are-worth-1-million-plus.html ''OpenSecrets'', "Millionaires' Club: For First Time, Most Lawmakers are Worth $1 Million-Plus," January 9, 2014]</ref><ref>[http://www.opensecrets.org/pfds/ ''Open Secrets'', "Personal Financial Disclosures"]</ref> At the same time, 50 percent of Americans cannot pay for the $5,000 emergency.<ref>[http://www.edelmanfinancial.com/radio/june-21-2014/could-you-come-up-with-5000-in-an-emergency ''Edelman Financial'', "Could You Come Up with $5,000 in an Emergency?" June 21, 2014]</ref>
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While the average citizen in America saw his or her household net worth ''decrease'' from 2004 to 2012 by 7.55 percent, the total amount of assets held by all members of the [[113th United States Congress|Congress]] ''increased'' by 7.53 percent, or a total asset increase of $316,491,032.00. Additionally, the average yearly percentage gain of members was 15.4 percent.<ref>The average yearly gain percentage was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation. For example, Sen. [[John McCain]] would have his net worth percentage divided by eight (2004-2012), since those are the years for which data is available for his net worth. For someone like Sen. [[Ted Cruz]], however, his total net worth increase would be the ''same'' as his average yearly net worth increase, since the only available data is the one increase between 2011 and 2012.</ref> While 50 percent of America could not pay for a $5,000 emergency if needed today, it was recently reported that [[113th United States Congress|incumbents in the 113th Congress]] have a median net worth that exceeds $1 million. This is the first time in history that the majority of America's elected officials in Washington, D.C. are millionaires.<ref name=millionaires>[http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2014/01/millionaires-club-for-first-time-most-lawmakers-are-worth-1-million-plus.html ''OpenSecrets'', "Millionaires' Club: For First Time, Most Lawmakers are Worth $1 Million-Plus," January 9, 2014]</ref><ref>[http://www.opensecrets.org/pfds/ ''Open Secrets'', "Personal Financial Disclosures"]</ref><ref>[http://www.edelmanfinancial.com/radio/june-21-2014/could-you-come-up-with-5000-in-an-emergency ''Edelman Financial'', "Could You Come Up with $5,000 in an Emergency?" June 21, 2014]</ref>
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In this study, however, we look at '''changes''' in net worth during an incumbent's time in office. This allows us to:
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The average citizen in America saw his or her household net worth ''decrease'' from 2004 to 2012 by 7.55 percent, while the total amount of assets held by all members of the [[113th United States Congress|Congress]] ''increased'' by 7.53 percent. That is a total asset increase of $316,491,032.00.
 +
 
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This page is about '''changes in net worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives''' during their time in office. The data goes from 2004 through 2012.
 +
 
 +
This is the first part of the [[Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)|Personal Gain Index]]. The [[Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)|Personal Gain Index]] is a four-part study that examines the extent to which members of the [[United States Congress|U.S. Congress]] have individually prospered during their tenure as public servants. The [[Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)|Personal Gain Index]] is a [[Ballotpedia:Content, project and data collaborations|collaborative effort]] of the [[Government Accountability Institute]] and Ballotpedia.
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<hr>
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In this study we look at '''changes''' in net worth during an incumbent's time in office. This allows us to:
  
 
* See which incumbents had the largest gains in net worth
 
* See which incumbents had the largest gains in net worth

Revision as of 15:52, 3 July 2014

CongressLogo.png This article about a topic related to the U.S. Congress is under construction.

Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)

Changes in Net Worth
The K-Street Metric
The Donation Concentration Metric
The Stock Oversight and Trades Metric

Related Content
Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives
Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives
Net worth (average citizen)Net worth (Congress)


For the first time in history that the majority of America's elected officials in Washington, D.C. are millionaires.[1][2] At the same time, 50 percent of Americans cannot pay for the $5,000 emergency.[3]

The average citizen in America saw his or her household net worth decrease from 2004 to 2012 by 7.55 percent, while the total amount of assets held by all members of the Congress increased by 7.53 percent. That is a total asset increase of $316,491,032.00.

This page is about changes in net worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives during their time in office. The data goes from 2004 through 2012.

This is the first part of the Personal Gain Index. The Personal Gain Index is a four-part study that examines the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have individually prospered during their tenure as public servants. The Personal Gain Index is a collaborative effort of the Government Accountability Institute and Ballotpedia.


In this study we look at changes in net worth during an incumbent's time in office. This allows us to:

  • See which incumbents had the largest gains in net worth
  • Compare the gains in net worth experienced by congressional incumbents with what happened to the net worth of the people they represent.

Methodology and notes

See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)

Researchers at the Government Accountability Institute used data provided by OpenSecrets.org to calculate the change in net worth of each congressional incumbent from either 2004 or the year he or she was first elected, if that year was after 2004.[4] The earliest average was then adjusted for inflation. This data affords constituents the ability to see the real increase (or decrease) of each member's net worth.

The tables and graphs on this page show some of the highlights of the study. The change in net worth information has also been added to each of Ballotpedia's profiles of the 535 congressional incumbents. The data also includes some former members, whose net worth would have been calculated at the end of their term in the 112th Congress. The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.

Net Worth Metric graphic.png

Some incumbents experienced a net loss in net worth. When this is the case, it is expressed with a negative percent.

For the full set of data, please visit our Google spreadsheet here.

Top 100 net worth increases

This chart shows the average yearly percentage change in net worth of the 100 congressional incumbents whose net worth increased the most during the period studied.[5]

  • The average increase in net worth in the Top 100 was 114% a year.[6]
  • Of the "Top 100", 56 are Republicans, 43 are Democrats and one is an Independent.

Because of Rep. Chellie Pingree's drastic net worth increase directly due to marriage, Ballotpedia removed Pingree when calculating the averages for this study. However, she is still in the below charts to illustrate the steep increase in wealth she experienced.
Included in the Top 100 table may be former representative or senators who left office in or after 2012.

Name Year elected Increase in average net worth
in dollars
Average annual % increase
(rounded)[7]
Top 20: The average increase in net worth in the Top 20 was 422% a year, excluding Chellie Pingree.
Chellie Pingree (D-ME)[8] 2008 $40,450,969 73,039%
Pedro Pierluisi (D-PR) 2008 $2,657,074 1,707%
Patrick Murphy (D-FL) 2012 $2,979,329 1,449%
Marc Veasey (D-TX) 2012 $208,078 994%
Jeff Denham (R-CA) 2010 $14,950,520 661%
Judy Chu (D-CA) 2009 $2,114,405 539%
Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) 1992 $2,406,313 521%
Jerry McNerney (D-CA) 2006 $365,779 335%
Trey Gowdy (R-SC) 2010 $178,596 278%
Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) 2010 $162,818 211%
Ted Poe (R-TX) 2004 $413,795 161%
Mike Pence (R-IN)[9] 2000 $195,707 155%
Roy Blunt (R-MO) 1996-2008, 2010 $3,188,966 147%
Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) 1996 $2,752,664 144%
Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) 2002 $224,056 144%
Susan Collins (R-ME) 1996 $2,635,243 138%
Rob Wittman (R-VA) 2006 $704,340 117%
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) 2004 $1,189,060 115%
Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) 1992 $686,995 109%
C. W. Bill Young (R-FL)[10] 1970 $366,275 93%
Total by party (1-20)
D = 9; R = 11
Name Year elected Increase in average net worth
in dollars
Average annual % increase
(rounded)[11]
Top 21-40: The average increase in net worth in the Top 40 was 240% a year; for those in spots 21-40, it was 68%.[6]
Frank Pallone (D-NJ) 1992 $3,864,650 87%
Steven Palazzo (R-MS) 2010 $804,060 84%
Ted Cruz (R-TX) 2012 $1,399,128 83%
Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI) 2012 $291,139 80%
Collin Peterson (D-MN) 1990 $1,380,192 78%
Martha Roby (R-AL) 2010 $661,156 77%
Martin Heinrich (D-NM) 2012 $135,563 77%
Steve Daines (R-MT) 2012 $10,532,917 76%
Jeff Landry (R-LA) 2010 $5,786,600 73%
Cory Gardner (R-CO) 2010 $89,730 71%
Mitch McConnell (R-KY) 1984 $19,106,612 64%
David Scott (D-GA) 2002 $627,632 60%
Robert Pittenger (R-NC) 2012 $20,513,031 60%
Sam Graves (R-MO) 2000 $2,935,098 58%
Tom Harkin (D-IA) 1984 $14,821,804 58%
James P. McGovern (D-MA) 1996 $2,629,891 57%
Eni F. H. Faleomavaega (D-AS) 1988 $416,914 56%
Randy Forbes (R-VA) 2001 $2,343,406 55%
Tony Cardenas (D-CA) 2012 $104,570 54%
Chip Cravaack (R-MN) 2010 $1,208,094 53%
Total by party (1-40)
D = 17; R = 23
Top 41-60: The average increase in net worth in the Top 60 was 240% a year; for those in spots 41-60, it was 68%.[6]
Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) 2012 $2,079,350 52%
Richard Burr (R-NC) 2004 $2,542,341 52%
Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) 2012 $561,800 51%
Matt Salmon (R-AZ) 2012 $86,024 50%
Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) 1994 $750,245 49%
John Garamendi (D-CA) 2009 $4,297,396 46%
Mac Thornberry (R-TX) 1994 $346,015 43%
Trent Franks (R-AZ) 2003 $25,640,241 43%
Roger Williams (R-TX) 2012 $5,616,366 41%
Elijah Cummings (D-MD) 1996 $702,304 41%
Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) 2012 $781,362 40%
Howard Berman (D-CA) 1982 $1,939,667 40%
John Olver (D-MA) 1991 $2,648,294 40%
Diana DeGette (D-CO) 1996 $1,444,000 40%
Ami Bera (D-CA) 2012 $1,437,149 39%
Ron Wyden (D-OR) 1996 $5,504,912 39%
Scott Tipton (R-CO) 2010 $3,366,748 37%
Randy Weber (R-TX) 2012 $220,074 36%
Brett Guthrie (R-KY) 2008 $884,543 36%
Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) 2010 $496,403 36%
Total by party (1-60)
D = 28; R = 32
Top 61-80: The average increase in net worth in the Top 80 was 137% a year; for those in spots 61-80, it was 30%.[6]
John Boccieri (D-OH) 2008 $218,075 36%
James Lankford (R-OK) 2010 $120,497 35%
John Cornyn (R-TX) 2002 $511,937 34%
Jim Costa (D-CA) 2004 $2,804,672 34%
Reid Ribble (R-WI) 2010 $1,710,369 31%
Richard Nugent (R-FL) 2010 $556,807 31%
Michael McCaul (R-TX) 2004 $101,614,818 31%
Brian P. Bilbray (R-CA) 1995-2001, 2006-2013 $1,156,068 31%
Trey Radel (R-FL) 2012 $935,007 30%
Mark Pocan (D-WI) 2012 $176,039 30%
Bernie Sanders (I-VT) 2006 $320,123 29%
Richard Hudson (R-NC) 2012 $37,302 28%
Justin Amash (R-MI) 2010 $700,625 28%
Don Young (R-AK) 1973 $600,853 28%
John Yarmuth (D-KY) 2006 $13,202,242 28%
Frank Lucas (R-OK) 1994 $1,074,682 27%
Michael G. Fitzpatrick (R-PA) 2005-2006, 2010 $296,135 26%
Bob Gibbs (R-OH) 2010 $694,262 26%
Ron Barber (D-AZ) 2012 $237,624 26%
Dan Boren (D-OK) 2004 $1,479,090 26%
Total by party (1-80)
D = 34; R = 45; I = 1
Top 81-100: The average increase in net worth in the Top 100 was 114% a year; for those in spots 81-100, it was 22.2%.[6]
David Joyce (R-OH) 2012 $862,513 25%
John Hoeven (R-ND) 2010 $15,700,072 24%
Tim Kaine (D-VA) 2012 $269,522 24%
Jerry Costello (D-IL) 1988 $702,191 24%
Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) 1988 $99,182 24%
Jeff Sessions (R-AL) 1996 $4,589,580 23%
Tom Rice (R-SC) 2012 $1,010,090 23%
Pete Visclosky (D-IN) 1984 $873,376 23%
Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-Guam) 2002 $3,296,405 22%
Paul Ryan (R-WI) 1998 $3,455,342 22%
Scott Peters (D-CA) 2012 $20,248,262 22%
Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) 1998 $149,707 22%
John Boozman (R-AR) 2010 $2,259,240 22%
Mike Kelly (R-PA) 2010 $5,444,290 21%
Ed Royce (R-CA) 1992 $243,438 21%
Max Baucus (D-MT) 1978 $322,591 21%
Todd Rokita (R-IN) 2010 $283,402 21%
Jim Matheson (D-UT) 2000 $1,112,497 20%
Donna Christian-Christensen (D-VI) 1996 $400,730 20%
Morgan Griffith (R-VA) 2010 $87,488 20%
Total by party (1-100)
D = 43; R = 56; I = 1

For the full set of annual percentage change data, please visit our Google spreadsheet here.

Total congressional increases from 2004-2012

The total amount of assets held by all congressional members increased by $316,491,032.00 between 2004 (or later, depending on when the member joined Congress) and 2012. This was a total asset increase of 7.53 percent.[12] Meanwhile, the average American household[13] saw a decrease of assets from $18,990.33 in 2004[14] to $17,557.25 in 2012. This was a percentage change of -7.55 percent.

Change in total congressional assets:[15] Change in average citizen assets:[16]
PGI percentage4.jpg
PGI percentage7.jpg

Average citizen changes

Average Citizen Median value of assets for households - Census data
Raw figures Adjusted for inflation
Year Net worth excluding home equity Percent change (year to year) Net worth excluding home equity[17] Percent change (year to year)
2012[18] $17297.78 N/A $17557.25 -7.55%
2004 $15561[19] 28.7% $18990.33
Change from 2004 to 2012 $1736.78 -26.76% -$1433.08 -7.55%
Average yearly change over eight years ('04-'12) -0.94%[20]
Source: United States Census Bureau; Wealth and Asset Ownership; Detailed Tables on Wealth and Asset Ownership (http://www.census.gov/people/wealth/data/dtables.html)

Average percentage increases

Yearly average gains

As illustrated in the "Top 100" chart above, the average yearly gain percentage was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation. For example, Sen. John McCain would have his net worth percentage divided by eight (2004-2012), since those are the years for which data is available for his net worth. For someone like Sen. Ted Cruz, however, his total net worth increase would be the same as his average yearly net worth increase, since the only available data is the one increase between 2011 and 2012.

PGI percentage6.jpg

Total average gains

As compared to the yearly average gains, the total average gains percentage change looks at the total change between the first year data is available for each member[21] and the 2012 data. Although this data is harder to compare member to member because the starting year may be different, it still provides insight as to who experienced the most drastic total increases.

PGI percentage.jpg

Ten greatest overall gains

The ten current senators and representatives listed experienced the highest overall net worth gains (by percentage) from 2004-2012.[22]

CPGI-TOP-10-Graphic.png

Ten greatest overall losses

The ten current senators and representatives listed here experienced the greatest declines in net worth (by percentage) from 2004-2012.[22]

CPGI-BOTTOM-10-Graphic.png

Freshman increases

The one limitation to the data set is that the whole picture of wealth growth while in Congress is unavailable for those members who entered office prior to 2004. For example, Sen. John McCain, who has been in Congress since 1982, shows a total net worth decrease of -74.5 percent during the period of 2004-2012. However, what the study is missing is how much he was worth in 1982 compared to 2012. For this reason, Ballotpedia studied the freshmen members of both the 113th Congress (which began in January 2012) and the 112th Congress (which began in January 2010). Although the 2012 freshmen only saw moderate growth after one year in office, the growth for the 112th freshmen was staggering. New retirement plan: get elected and then re-elected (that is the key) to Congress and you will be set for life.

113th Congress freshmen

From 2011 to 2012, the average net worth change of a freshman member of the 113th Congress in one year was:

PGI percentage2.jpg

The 2012 "Freshman 15"

The following 15 freshman senators and representatives of the 113th Congress saw their net worth increase the most out of their incoming class of new members:

Member Increase from 2011-12
Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX) 994.1%
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) 82.5%
Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI) 80.2%
Rep. Steve Daines (R-MT) 76%
Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI) 59.9%
Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC) 59.8%
Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA) 53.9%
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) 52.3%
Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) 51.3%
Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) 50.2%
Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) 45%
Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX) 41.4%
Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA) 38.9%
Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) 35.9%
Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) 29.8%

112th Congress freshmen

From 2010 to 2012, the average net worth change of a freshman member of the 112th Congress in two years was:

PGI percentage3.jpg

The 2010 "Freshman 15"

The following 15 freshman representatives of the 112th Congress (no senators made the top 15 list) saw their net worth increase the most out of their incoming class of new members:

Member Increase from 2011-12
Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) 1981.6%
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) 633.9%
Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS) 251.7%
Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL) 230.1%
Rep. Jeff Landry (R-LA) 219.5%
Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) 212.2%
Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA) 210.9%
Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN) 160.3%
Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) 136.2%
Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH) 136.2%
Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO) 111.9%
Rep. James Lankford (R-OK) 105.2%
Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI) 94.1%
Rep. Rich Nugent (R-IL) 93.2%
Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) 83%

See also

External links

References

  1. OpenSecrets, "Millionaires' Club: For First Time, Most Lawmakers are Worth $1 Million-Plus," January 9, 2014
  2. Open Secrets, "Personal Financial Disclosures"
  3. Edelman Financial, "Could You Come Up with $5,000 in an Emergency?" June 21, 2014
  4. All data relating to the average net worth of individual members of congress from OpenSecrets.org/ The Center for Responsive Politics is posted under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
  5. The period studied is 2004-2012, or from the year the incumbent took office, if it was after 2004.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 This calculation excludes Chellie Pingree.
  7. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation. For example, for Chellie Pingree, her total net worth increase was divided by four , since it was calculated for four years (2008-2012). If the incumbent had been in office earlier than 2004, it would still only be divided by eight (2004-2012), since those are the only years for which we have available data.
  8. Pingree's dramatic increase in net worth after her 2008 election was due to her 2010 marriage to billionaire Donald Sussman.
  9. Gov. Pence left Congress in 2012 to become the governor of Indiana.
  10. Rep. Young passed away on October 18, 2013.
  11. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation. For example, for Chellie Pingree, her total net worth increase was divided by four , since it was calculated for four years (2008-2012). If the incumbent had been in office earlier than 2004, it would still only be divided by eight (2004-2012), since those are the only years for which we have available data.
  12. Because many members went from a negative net worth to a positive net worth between the years calculated, this figure is an important figure because, unlike the percentages averages that cannot include the negative to positive percentage increases, the total asset increase can figure in all members' asset growth.
  13. The citizen net worth data was calculated through figures from the United States Census Bureau. In keeping with the method of calculating congressional net worth, home equity was withheld from the figure. The figures reflect the median household holdings.
  14. The 2004 figure was adjusted for inflation to 2012 dollars
  15. As stated above, this percentage reflects the total change in the amount of assets held by all congress members from 2004 and 2012.
  16. As stated above, this is the total change in the amount of assets the median American household had from 2004 to 2012.
  17. To ensure consistency among data sets, home equity was withheld in a similar fashion to primary residences not being counted as assets for congressional data.
  18. Because 2012 household net worth figures had not been released as of publication date, this figure represents the 2011 numbers adjusted for inflation. These estimates assume no change in net worth between 2011 and 2012. The 2012 figure will be updated when available.
  19. Census figures were unavailable for the raw, excluding home equity figure -- this figure is an estimate calculated by applying the 2005 ratio of net worth excluding home equity to the net worth figure available for 2004 (which included home equity).
  20. For a direct comparison to each individual member's figures (as shown on his or her Ballotpedia profile), the yearly change will correspond with each member's average yearly change.
  21. The data starts in 2004 for any member who started either in 2004 or prior, or at a later year for anyone who was elected after 2004
  22. 22.0 22.1 Or from the year the incumbent was first elected, if that year was after 2004.