Difference between revisions of "Changes in Net Worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives (Personal Gain Index)"
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==Top 100 net worth increases==
==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.<ref>The period studied is 2004-2012, or from the year the incumbent took office, if it was after 2004.</ref>
This chart shows the average yearly percentage change in net worth of the 100 congressional incumbents whose net worthincreased the most during the period studied.<ref>The period studied is 2004-2012, or from the year the incumbent took office, if it was after 2004.</ref>
* The average increase in net worth in the Top 100 was 114% a year.<ref name=pingree/>
* The average increase in net worth in the Top 100 was 114% a year.<ref name=pingree/>
Revision as of 11:33, 7 July 2014This article about a topic related to the U.S. Congress is under construction.
- 1 Methodology and notes
- 2 Top 100 net worth increases
- 3 Total congressional increases from 2004-2012
- 4 Average percentage increases
- 5 Freshman increases
- 6 See also
- 7 External links
- 8 References
For the first time in history that the majority of America's elected officials in Washington, D.C. are millionaires. At the same time, 50 percent of Americans cannot pay for the $5,000 emergency.
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. 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.
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 calculated net worthCite error: Closing
</ref> missing for
- The average increase in net worth in the Top 100 was 114% a year.
- Of the "Top 100", 56 are Republicans, 43 are Democrats and one is an Independent.
Rep. Chellie Pingree's dramatic net worth increase is due to her marriage. Because of this, Ballotpedia removed Pingree when calculating the averages for this study, while continuing to list her in the chart.
The Top 100 table includes a handful of politicians who left office during or after 2012.
|Name||Year elected||Increase in average net worth
|Average annual % increase|
|Chellie Pingree (D-ME)||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)||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)||1970||$366,275||93%|
||11 of the Top 20 are Republicans. 9 are Democrats.|
|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%|
||23 of the Top 40 are Republicans. 17 are Democrats.|
|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%|
||32 of the Top 60 are Republicans. 28 are Democrats.|
|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%|
||45 of the Top 80 are Republicans. 34 are Democrats.|
|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%|
||56 of the Top 100 are Republicans. 43 are Democrats.|
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. Meanwhile, the average American household saw a decrease of assets from $18,990.33 in 2004 to $17,557.25 in 2012. This was a percentage change of -7.55 percent.
|Change in total congressional assets:||Change in average citizen assets:|
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||Percent change (year to year)|
|Change from 2004 to 2012||$1736.78||-26.76%||-$1433.08||-7.55%|
|Average yearly change over eight years ('04-'12)||-0.94%|
|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.
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 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.
Ten greatest overall gains
The ten current senators and representatives listed experienced the highest overall net worth gains (by percentage) from 2004-2012.
Ten greatest overall losses
The ten current senators and representatives listed here experienced the greatest declines in net worth (by percentage) from 2004-2012.
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:
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:
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%|
- List of current members of the U.S. Congress
- Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives
- United States Senate
- United States House of Representatives
- Government Accountability Institute website
- Information on financial disclosure forms from the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives
- Older congressional financial disclosure forms available on Archive.org (1978 - 2007)
- Investigation: Capitol Assets at the Washington Post
- OpenSecrets, "Millionaires' Club: For First Time, Most Lawmakers are Worth $1 Million-Plus," January 9, 2014
- Open Secrets, "Personal Financial Disclosures"
- Edelman Financial, "Could You Come Up with $5,000 in an Emergency?" June 21, 2014
- 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.
- This calculation excludes Chellie Pingree.
- 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 data.
- Pingree's dramatic increase in net worth after her 2008 election was due to her 2010 marriage to billionaire Donald Sussman.
- Gov. Pence left Congress in 2012 to become the governor of Indiana.
- Rep. Young passed away on October 18, 2013.
- 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.
- 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.
- The 2004 figure was adjusted for inflation to 2012 dollars
- As stated above, this percentage reflects the total change in the amount of assets held by all congress members from 2004 and 2012.
- As stated above, this is the total change in the amount of assets the median American household had from 2004 to 2012.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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
- Or from the year the incumbent was first elected, if that year was after 2004.