The Number of Millionaire Congressmen and 11 Other Shocking Statistics

By Michael Snyder
November 19, 2010

The salaries of federal workers (especially at the higher levels) continue to explode. A lot of corrupt politicians and federal fat cats are raking in stunning amounts of cash, and we are the ones paying the bill. There is certainly nothing wrong with making a lot of money, but does it seem right that so many of our "public servants" are getting filthy rich while so many of the rest of us are barely getting by?

Posted below are 12 facts that will blow your mind. Most Americans have no idea just how wealthy many members of Congress are. If there is one place in America where the good times are still rolling (other than Wall Street), it would have to be Washington D.C.

1) According to an article in the Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's net worth soared from $13.7 million in 2008 to $21.7 million in 2009.

2) In 2005, 7420 federal workers were making $150,000 or more per year. In 2010, a whopping 82,034 federal workers are making $150,000 or more per year. That is more than a tenfold increase in just five years.

3) More than half of the members of the U.S. Congress are millionaires. [The wealthiest member of Congress has a minimum net worth of $167.55 million. Read The Five Wealthiest Members of Congress to find out who it is.]

4) The total compensation that the U.S. government workforce is going to take in this year is approximately $447 billion.

5) Today, all members of Congress earn at least $175,000. This is far, far more than the average American makes.

6) 60% of the federal government workforce is represented by labor unions.

7) The median wealth of a U.S. Senator in 2009 was $2.38 million.

8) In 2005, the U.S. Department of Defense had just nine civilians earning $170,000 or more. When Barack Obama took office, the U.S. Department of Defense had 214 civilians earning $170,000 or more. In June 2010, the U.S. Department of Defense had 994 civilians earning $170,000 or more.

9) Insider trading is perfectly legal for members of the U.S. Congress -- and they refuse to pass a law that would change that.

10) According to a recent study conducted by the Heritage Foundation, federal workers earn 30% to 40% more money on average than their counterparts in the private sector.

11) When you factor in such things as retirement and health care benefits, the compensation gap between federal workers and private sector employees gets even larger. The recent Heritage Foundation study states, "Including non-cash benefits adds to this disparity. The average private-sector employer pays $9,882 per employee in annual benefits, while the federal government pays an average of $32,115 per employee."

12) The personal wealth of members of the U.S. Congress collectively increased by more than 16% from 2008 to 2009.

Note from the Editor: This article was originally posted at The Economic Collapse blog.