Monday, September 19, 2011

Half of Congress millionaires: Get the money out of politics! [VIDEO]


Do you ever wonder who your politicians really work for?  That candidate you cast your ballot for, who are they working for?

I know I have.  I have asked myself that question MANY times.  I can conjecture…and it would lead me to believe “not me.”

So if they aren’t working for me, you, your neighbor etc., who are they working for?

Well if we take a look at the number of millionaires in Congress, I think we can come up with a pretty solid answer.

Is it a wonder why?  Their world is plagued by avarice.  Studies have shown that a politician’s main goal is to get reelected under special interest politics.  This fuels their greed and lust for power.

It’s no secret special interests and lobbies line the finest wares of your friendly, local politician.  So, naturally, they use this as their engine to advance their bank acco…er…agenda…same thing?

Let’s look at some numbers:

The base pay for a member of Congress is $174,000.  Now, 261 of those members, nearly HALF, are millionaires according to analysis done in 2009 by the Center for Responsive Politics.  I’m willing to bet that number is greater now.

To put it in perspective, 1% of American’s are millionaires; half of Congress are millionaires.  Does this seem right to you?  Do these sound like people that work for you…or do they sound like the kind of people that work for special interests and Big Business?

While everyone was suffering through the recession, including the economy, congressional members saw their wealth increase by more than 16 percent between 2008 and 2009.

55 members had an average calculated wealth of $10 million or more in 2009, according to the study.

Check out this graph and statistic:

The MEDIAN wealth of a House member in 2009 was $765,010…nearly a million dollars in itself.  The Senate?  $2.38 million! 

These are the people that govern us.  Are you still convinced that politician is working for you?

Stephanie Condon of CBS News had some interesting info to add on this topic.

“Members of the House and Senate made investments last year in a number of companies that have a strong presence on Capitol Hill, spending large sums on lobbying efforts and political donations,” wrote Condon.  “The most popular company among members of Congress, CRP found, was General Electric, in which 82 current members invested. The second most popular company was Bank of America, which 63 members invested in.”

Are you starting to get a clearer picture of who these people work for?

This is why I LOVE Dylan Ratigan’s idea to get money out of politics. 

To properly govern, we need to take the money out of the game.  Everyone knows greed is inevitable when dealing with such a large group of people.  And after Citizen’s United, the Supreme Court’s sell-out decision to allow unlimited campaign donations from corporations by declaring them people, the game radically changed for the worse.

Aristotle would shake his head at their lack of virtue.  This is not how man was meant to be governed.

We also need to get rid of the career politician.  I don’t understand why this is such a difficult concept…oh wait…yes I do…it’s because the legislators are the ones benefitting from this corrupt system.

Ratigan, along with Jimmy Williams, is preparing a Constitutional amendment to get big money from special interests out of our political system.

“We all know that they buy access and influence through campaign contributions, and benefit from the big payoffs (examples: Wall Street, health care, banking) and, of course, provide a lucrative revolving door to soften the blow when elected officials leave office,” wrote Ratigan.

Ratigan has already taken steps to make this happen.  Big names like Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz are urging their fellow CEO’s and campaign donors to boycott campaign contributions until the parties actually do something.

Former PA Governor Ed Rendell also supports the amendment:

“There are so many legislators who have said to me, gosh, if I could vote in secret, I could vote for your proposal Governor because I know it’s the right thing to do.  But I can’t do it.  The other side will raise money on it and kill me.  And that’s what’s so important — it is so important to get the influence of money out of politics.  Because if you get the influence of money out of politics, we will get people who will actually vote their conscience.  And I think that’s extraordinarily important.  You’re right to say it’s not the lobbyists… but it is the money that perverts the entire process…. I would be interested in Jimmy’s drafting the amendment.”

Williams has already completed a draft of the amendment but still has a long way to go.  I would like to see this bill at least make it to committee, but I doubt that will happen.

The only way we can combat this rigged system designed to benefit only a certain few, is to voice your opinion.  Write your legislators, tell you friends, spread the word.  This is a nonpartisan issues, and the only people against it are the small percentage of the people benefitting.

Be sure to send your ideas to, follow Jimmy Williams on Twitter for the latest on the amendment @Jimmyspolitics, and email Dylan Ratigan at

We need 100 million signatures.


  1. great post very informative and disturbing. this is definitely a nonpartisan issue. i would love to see ratigans plan come to fruition.

  2. Absolutely. There really isn't a need for money in politics. It completely levels the playing field. No longer would politicians be coerced to vote a certain way and would vote in the best interests of their constituents. It's time our politicians started acting like delegates and not trustees, and this amendment would facilitate that.

  3. Not suprising...while it's a great idea to remove money from Politics, the fact of the matter is, that money allows face time in front of cameras. Which means you're seen. Which means people talk about you. Which means you get elected to positions that you might not be qualified for. So I doubt ANY member is gonna go for this. Corporations arent the only ones guilty of this, you have special interest groups and unions as well. So this covers ALL parties. Glad this didn't take a partisian lean.

    It's become, basically, like grade school class president. Vote on who you see most and promises you everything. Rarely, does that ever work in the people's favor.

    But, I have to say, if the person running has their own money(which many do)...then by all means, they should, and can, use it.

    You want to eliminate OUTSIDE donations, right?

  4. this is a travesty. how can these crooks get away with this?

  5. I understand what you are saying, but these politicians work in manageable districts. The hardest position in Congress to get elected to would be the Senate, because they would have to campaign a whole state, but oh want to be a Senator and be set for life? Get boots on the ground.

    Forcing politicians to interact with their constituents can only be a good thing right? And they would have the time because they wouldn't be too busy kissing corporate's ass.

    And I know you would be hard pressed to find a member of Congress to sponsor this bill which is why we need 100 million signatures. They would never go against the hand that feeds them, but by bringing the bill to the floor, you force politicians to vote publicly.

    Most of the public, I am guessing, would agree with this amendment, and exposing politicians that vote against it would certainly cost them the next election.

    Once that precedent is set, it's game over.

    And I do realize that you do need some capital to run a campaign, but I would cap the donations to a very limited number...say $10 or $20 a person. I have no problem with people running on their own money, but their finances would have to be completely disclosed to show no foul play of manipulating the system.

  6. it's about time...Something got to change it's not fare in globe market... MOST BROKERS R BROKE now days..

  7. Absolutely! Thank you for the comment, James!

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