Imagine that 100 people live in America. Ninety-nine of them are not millionaires. Just one is, and it’s not me.
Now, imagine that 535 members of Congress spend time in Washington failing to enact legislation to balance the budget. What percentage do you think are millionaires? Since one American in a hundred is a millionaire, you might guess that 5.3 of them have at least seven digits of net worth. (I know you’re troubled by the thought of the .3 member: he’s been divorced twice and is paying alimony.)
But really, you don’t have to worry about the divorced guy because if you go to opensecrets.org, you find that 40-50% of those who speak in sound bites are millionaires. Many, it’s true, are what we would call “poor” millionaires; they have assets worth less than $10 million. Not because they aren’t trying, but because so many congressional shoppers are out there looking for deals. Every day is Black Friday for Congress, and the mall is always crowded. Of course the assets listed on the website don’t necessarily reflect their spouse’s income, their congressional income, or the true value of their assets, so maybe some of them are just being modest.
I am upset.
I, too, can sit in chairs and fail to come to a consensus. I have had years of bitterness training, so I could add a lot to bitter partisanship. I get cold easily and would not mind cozying up to rich corporations with a few hot deals to share. I like to fly around in private jets and bring my family. I can talk for hours without saying anything of substance, and I love flip-flops. Why am I not in Congress getting rich off of the 99%!
If we want to get out of this economic slump and create wealth in this country, we need to enact mandatory Congress duty. It would be just like jury duty; all eligible Americans would serve one to two terms, enough time to double or triple their wealth. And I think that whoever she is in northeastern Wisconsin but originally from Texas that thought of this should serve first.