Check out the Sunlight Foundation’s Fortune 535. It gives numbers of the net worth of each member of Congress based on congressional reporting requirements. Some of the numbers won’t be very surprising, but others will probably make you take a second look. In any case, make sure you do more than just look at the final number. For example – I looked at the Utah congressional delegation and saw that Sen. Bennett was the richest of the 5 ($5 million) and Rep. Bishop was the poorest ($16,000). Another glance shows that there’s more to the story. Rep. Bishop started his congressional career 6 years ago with a net worth of negative $55,000 and Sen. Bennett has seen his net worth drop by $43 million over the last decade (losing nearly 90% of his original worth).
I’m not trying to argue who is a good guy, or a bad guy. Nor am I trying to stir up pity for either of them. They just make a good illustration of the need to look deeper than any one number to get a better picture of the intersection of money and political figures.