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ibstubro's avatar

How can it be that Sen. Patrick Leahy (D. VT and President pro tempore of the Senate) has a net worth of only $129,503? [Link]?

Asked by ibstubro (18717points) June 17th, 2015

There are some eye-popping details here, if you look at the numbers.

Marco Rubio is $45,494 in the hole, for instance.

How can you be in congress and $12,000,000 in debt?

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13 Answers

talljasperman's avatar

I guess he was the only politician who refused to take a bribe.

JLeslie's avatar

How do they calculate the debt? Technically, I have credit card debt at this very moment, but I pay off in full every month. In my opinion I have zero credit card debt.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Public service doesn’t really pay all that much and Leahy has spent basically his entire adult life in public service. He’s been in the Senate since 1975 and before that he was state’s attorney for Chittenden County, Vermont. Most members of Congress make their wealth in the private sector then go into politics while retaining all the stocks, business holdings, etc that make them wealthy.

Darth_Algar's avatar

What I’m wondering is how on Earth is Mark Pryor only worth $8,500? Geezus, even I, a high school drop out, who’s income is just a couple grand above the poverty line, have a higher net worth than that.

JLeslie's avatar

@Darth_Algar All I can think is either he gives it all to the church, or when he was diagnosed with cancer he put everything in his children’s names. I’m totally guessing. I really have no idea.

ibstubro's avatar

David Valadao (R-CA) is $12,167,002 in debt. Doesn’t is seem like he should be tending to his own affairs?

JLeslie's avatar

^^Were the debt numbers in that link? I missed it. Maybe the debt is mortgages.

jca's avatar

In Vermont, wages are not that high and I’m betting government workers make very little.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I think you are asking precisely the wrong question.

I would ask “Is it good for government that we have congressmen and senators that have net worths of hundreds of millions of dollars?”.

Are rich folk really representative of the people who elected them? Can they understand and legislate on behalf of people with which they have nothing in common?

Darth_Algar's avatar


That may be, however Leahy isn’t employed by the government of the state of Vermont, being a U.S. Senator, he’s employed by the Federal government.

ibstubro's avatar

Some of the numbers listed were negatives, @JLeslie, meaning money owed, I believe.

JLeslie's avatar

^^I had missed the negatives. Reading on a phone and my near eyesight is just starting to go. Lol. I think you must be right.

A lot of people have negative net worth, but you would hope someone over 35 who makes a reasonable salary wouldn’t be. Just think about how many people you know with $200,000 mortgages and just $50,000 in the bank. I don’t know how old all those people are or what salaries they have made during their adult lives. Still, -$12million is beyond my comprehension.

ibstubro's avatar

Yes, and the fact that he’s dividing his interest between easing his debt and easing ours, @JLeslie.

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