The Majority of Current Congress Members are Millionaires

For the first time ever, the majority of Congress members are millionaires:

Among the 534 current members of Congress, at least 268 had an average net worth of $1 million or more for 2012, the CRP said, citing disclosure forms filed last year. A year ago, the total stood at 257 members, or about 48%.

The group said the new figure “represents a watershed moment at a time when lawmakers are debating issues like unemployment benefits, food stamps and the minimum wage, which affect people with far fewer resources, as well as considering an overhaul of the tax code.”

Indeed. It might be somewhat difficult for millionaires to understand the challenges and concerns of the general populace. I’m reminded of the most classic disconnect between the ruling class and the masses: the famous case of Marie Antoinette. Swimming in luxury, Marie Antoinette apparently had no concept of why the masses were hungry. Antoinette was told of the people’s hunger, and her purported response, “Let them eat cake,” is a classic indication of just how out of touch an aristocratic ruling class can become.

But politics these days is all about money and connections, largely similar to the French royalties heyday. You can’t run a successful campagin without money, so it makes sense that people with money are the only people who end up getting elected. And that is almost definitely hurting this country. I have nothing against rich people as such. I do take issue, however, with people who have grown rich more through networking, cronyism, and graft than through hard work and providing a valuable service.

If the policies of the current government are any indication, I would surmise that most of the millionaires in Congress have very little concept of the value of a dollar. Like Marie Antoinette, they apparently think enormous wealth can be taken for granted, since they have ever been shielded from its absence. And being in big-spending, debt-drowning DC (like being in Versailles, I imagine), does nothing to disillusion them.

We have a government filled with Marie Antoinettes—blissfully unaware of the plight of the average working American. And we also have a populace of people who want DC to start handing out more bread. This is a toxic combination, and it cannot be sustained.