Grant Cardone, worth about $600 million, wondered how public servants (politicians) are becoming multi-millionaires on $100,000 salaries, and the answers vary.
Cardone's rise to the top
Cardone finished college in 1981 with $40k in debt. His story is well documented, and by age 30, he was already a millionaire. He posted a question on his Twitter on May 4, "Can someone explain to me how public servants (politicians) are becoming multi-millionaires on $100,000 salaries?"
Over half of the Congress are millionaires
Open Secrets report alleged that over half of 535 members of the U.S. Congres are millionaires. The average salary was $174,000 in 2019, which is enough for a cushy life, but not if you're thinking long-term.
Some earn more
The Speaker of the House earns $223,500, while the Senate President pro tempore and Majority and Minority leaders make $193,400, the Congressional Institute reported.
Open Secrets and GoBanking reported that people in Congress might earn outside the institution with some restrictions. They also have to disclose all their earnings, including stock dividends.
A “suspicious pattern”
There have been numerous allegations regarding Congress members and insider trading. The New York Times's economist Serkan Karadas found a “suspicious pattern” of earning higher-than-average returns on their stocks among Congress members.
Karadas’ discoveries “suggested that at least some Congress members were profiting off their jobs," the New York Times wrote last year. The new law, known as ETHICS Act, would prevent members of Congress, their spouses, and dependent children from abusing their positions for personal financial gain by owning or trading securities, commodities, or futures.
The legislation was presented in April
Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley, Democrat, and Ohio’s Senator Sherrod Brown, also Democrat, alongside 21 more, introduced legislation that would end wealthy portfolios. Merkley said, “Congressional stock trading is deeply corrupt. We are elected to serve the public, not our portfolios. And no member should vote on bills biased by the character of their holdings."
Some Congress members were born rich
U.S. Senator Mitt Romney was born to George Wilcken Romney, an American businessman and politician. George Romney ran for the Republican Party nomination in the 1968 United States presidential election. That's why it is not surprising Romney is among the wealthiest Senators.
Others married well
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Diane Feinstein married to wealthy families. Despite being married to a successful businessman, many wondered what Pelosi's secret to success was, with one Reddit poster asking, "She's averaged 4% a year. How is that mathematically possible? Insider trading? Psychic powers? Area 51?"
Pelosi is still not as rich as people think
While Pelosi's moves have been intriguing, there are nine more congresspeople with bigger net worth. However, she is the richest of all congresswomen. As another Reddit poster pointed out, "Nancy’s gains are peanuts compared to other politicians look them up on Google for yourself."
Rick Scott made big money before Congress
Scott built a company he founded and started with two small hospitals in El Paso. Over ten years, he turned it into the world's largest healthcare company. So, how do so many people in Congress become millionaires? There is no one-size-fits-all answer.