Difference between revisions of "Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)"

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m (Text replace - "net worth increased" to "calculated net worth<ref>This figure represents the total percentage growth from either 2004 (if the member entered office in 2004 or earlier) or their first year in office (as noted in the chart below).<ref> incre)
m (Text replace - "calculated net worth<ref>This figure represents the total percentage growth from either 2004 (if the member entered office in 2004 or earlier) or their first year in office (as noted in the chart below).<ref>" to "calculated net worth<ref>)
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*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. For example, the marriage of Rep. [[Chellie Pingree]] (D-ME) to billionaire Donald Sussman in 2010 dramatically altered her net worth numbers.
 
*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. For example, the marriage of Rep. [[Chellie Pingree]] (D-ME) to billionaire Donald Sussman in 2010 dramatically altered her net worth numbers.
 
===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 calculated net worth<ref>This figure represents the total percentage growth from either 2004 (if the member entered office in 2004 or earlier) or their first year in office (as noted in the chart below).<ref> increased by 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 calculated net worth<ref>This figure represents the total percentage growth from either 2004 (if the member entered office in 2004 or earlier) or their first year in office (as noted in the chart below).</ref> increased by 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 14:53, 7 July 2014

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Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)

Changes in Net Worth
The Donation Concentration Metric
The K-Street 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)


The Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress) is a four-part measurement that illustrates the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have personally benefited from their tenure as public servants.

It consists of four different metrics pioneered by the Government Accountability Institute:

The Net Worth Metric

  • Has a politician’s net worth had an abnormal increase? How does the increase in an incumbent’s net worth compare to the increase of other incumbents? How does it compare to the typical U.S. citizen?

The K-Street Metric

  • Where did the people hired into a congressional staff previously work? The K Street Metric is a report on how many staffers on each politician’s legislative staff were once employed by a lobbying firm.

The Donation Concentration Metric

  • There are two objective measurements in the Donation Concentration Metric. One is the ratio of the top three donors to the incumbent’s campaign committee as a percent of total donations in the most recent applicable election cycle. The other is the ratio of the total dollar contributions from the top donating industry divided by total donations to the candidate.

The Stock Oversight and Trades Metric

  • This is a measure of how much of the incumbent’s portfolio is invested in industries over which the incumbent’s committee has oversight authority. It is derived by dividing the value of the investment in the “overseen industries” by the incumbent’s total portfolio value.

The "Increase in Net Worth" Metric

Net Worth Metric graphic.png
See also: Changes in Net Worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives (Personal Gain Index) and Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives

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.[1] 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. For example, the marriage of Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) to billionaire Donald Sussman in 2010 dramatically altered her net worth numbers.

Top 100 net worth increases

This chart shows the average yearly percentage change in net worth of the 100 congressional incumbents whose calculated net worth[2] increased by the most during the period studied.[3]

  • The average increase in net worth in the Top 100 was 114% a year.[4]
  • 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)[5]
Top 20: The average increase in net worth in the Top 20 was 422% a year, excluding Chellie Pingree.
Chellie Pingree (D-ME)[6] 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)[7] 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)[8] 1970 $366,275 93%
Total by party (1-20)
D = 9; R = 11

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

Average net worth increase

The average net worth increase of the members of U.S. Congress, looking at U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives, was slightly over 9% a year. Over the full eight-year period, the average increase in net worth was:

PGI percentage.jpg

Greatest gains

The ten senators and representatives who experienced the highest net worth increases in the years 2004-2012 are:

CPGI-TOP-10-Graphic.png

Biggest losses

The ten senators and representatives who experienced the most dramatic net worth decreases in the years 2004-2012 are:

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. 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.
  2. This figure represents the total percentage growth from either 2004 (if the member entered office in 2004 or earlier) or their first year in office (as noted in the chart below).
  3. The period studied is 2004-2012, or from the year the incumbent took office, if it was after 2004.
  4. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named pingree
  5. 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.
  6. Pingree's dramatic increase in net worth after her 2008 election was due to her 2010 marriage to billionaire Donald Sussman.
  7. Gov. Pence left Congress in 2012 to become the governor of Indiana.
  8. Rep. Young passed away on October 18, 2013.