By Bill Maher
For the first time in American history, more than 50 percent of the members of Congress are millionaires. So John Boehner’s not the only one who’s loaded. Of course, rich people have always had a place at the table; the Founding Fathers were mostly wealthy landowners. Some of them even had enough money to buy and own other people – the ultimate status symbol. But of 534 current members, at least 268 are millionaires. According to the study by the Center for Responsive Politics, the median net worth of Democrats was a little higher than Republicans, $1.04 million versus $1 million. Maybe because they don’t regularly convert all their investments to survival seeds and gold. In the Senate, Republicans are much richer than Democrats, $2.9 million to $1.7 million.
Another study by the Center in 2009 found that 55 congressmen had an average wealth of 10 million or more, which makes cutting food stamps and unemployment and digging in their heels on the minimum wage look even more embarrassing. Congress has been slowly becoming a millionaire’s club, and we are way beyond “Scarface.” Now it’s “first you make the money, then you make the laws.” At what point do we admit that America’s becoming an oligarchy?
I would never advocate class warfare (the only kind of warfare Americans don’t do) but I feel like this headcount is at least as important as the number of women or African-Americans or Pacific Islanders in Congress.
And speaking of 50 percent, a new study says that nearly 50 percent of black men report being arrested by age 23. Most of them just for going into Barney’s. So 50 percent of our representatives are millionaires and nearly 50 percent of black men are arrested by age 23.