Thursday, August 18, 2011

Just So You Know

Our friends at Open Secrets have an interesting chart for your perusal, one that shows the net worth of each of the members of the "supercommittee" which will be meeting soon to decide on how to cut the deficit.

You'll have to click on the image to enlarge it. Then come on back here. Oh, and Sen. Kerry's part of the chart isn't to scale: it would have to be fifteen times longer, too wide for my screen.

Now, for the important part:

Education funding, nutrition programs, affordable housing, community health centers and many other programs may soon be on the chopping block as the 12-member Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction works to cut the national debt by $1.5 trillion by Thanksgiving.

And the decisions about which programs will be axed will be made by lawmakers, who, by and large, are far wealthier than the average American.

According to a Center for Responsive Politics analysis, the 12 members of the debt supercommittee range in net worth from just over $100,000 to more than $238 million.

As a whole, the Democratic members of the supercommittee are less wealthy than their Republican counterparts, according to the Center's research -- with the exception of Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who is the richest member of the U.S. Senate. ...

The median American family, meanwhile, had a net worth of $96,000 in 2009, according to the Federal Reserve Board.

Those numbers don't inspire much confidence when it comes to raising the revenue stream by raising taxes on the wealthy, do they. Nor do they inspire confidence that the members of the committee will have great empathy for the rest of us, especially those of us whose net worth is south of the national median.

I am not optimistic.

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