Next time you hear former House speaker Nancy Pelosi railing against the rich now more commonly known as "the 1%" – she should spare us the "I'm one of you" political baloney.
A report yesterday revealed that the net worth of members of Congress tripled over last 25 years.
Between 1984 and 2009, the median net worth of Congressmen rose from $280,000 to $725,000 while over that same span, the wealth of the average U.S. family slipped to $20,500 from $20,600.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Pelosis' net worth is $58,436,537 as of 2009, with a possible range from $7 million to $124 million. Along with a large portfolio of jointly owned San Francisco Bay Area real estate, Pelosi and her husband also own a California vineyard valued between $5 million and $25 million.
We all know that the first family and their friends are now enjoying a 17-day Hawaiian vacation but that has deflected media attention away from Congresswoman Pelosi, who is also on the island. For the third Christmas in a row, Pelosi has an elaborate suite that rents for $10,000 a night at the exotic Four Seasons Resort Hualalai in Kona.
It was Pelosi who gave us that great pearl of wisdom in the middle of the ObamaCare debate three years ago that "we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it." And to think that this Madam Speaker was once third in line to the presidency!
The United States may not have a king or queen but looking at the travel expenses for our president and former house speaker, one would never know it. Over a two-year period, Pelosi's military travel cost the United States Air Force $2,100,744.59. Over $101,000 of that was for in-flight expenses, including food and alcohol.
Malia Zimmerman, editor of the Hawaii Reporter, said in a story last week that the total cost for the 17-day round trip vacation to Hawaii for the President and his family and staff and security is an estimated $4,113,038.
That includes $3,629,622 for separate travel for the president and his family, $151,200 for housing for security, $72,216 for staff to stay in one of Hawaii's most luxurious resorts, the Moana Surfrider in Waikiki, and local police protection and ambulance detail for $260,000.
When you hear top Democrats trying to play the class warfare card over the coming months leading to election day 2012, try to take it with a grain of sand maybe from Hawaii, where our president will be wishing everyone a happy new year from that Pacific paradise this weekend.
By Jim Zbick