Center for Strategic Communication

There is an old adage that a group typically won’t vote to reduce it’s own power. It isn’t a far jump to extend this to tax increases: few people are likely to vote an increase in their own taxes. This got me wondering about the new Congressional “super committee” appointed to propose a solution to the debt crisis. Most particularly, which members have the most to lose if taxes are increased on the rich?

Here is a table of the members’ net worth, sorted from richest to poorest. Since the data provides only range of net worth, I’ve sorted by the lowest estimated amount (sorting by the high estimate has only a marginal impact on the order, with Senator Kyl dropping several places).

Name Chamber Representation Net Worth (low) Net Worth (high)
John Kerry Senate D-MA $182,755,534 $294,869,059
Fred Upton House R-MI $7,010,173 $25,651,000
Rob Portman Senate R-OH $6,469,080 $14,965,000
Dave Camp House R-MI $2,966,100 $10,515,000
Pat Toomey Senate R-PA $1,127,038 $2,905,000
Jeb Hensarling House R-TX $928,025 $2,270,000
Jon Kyl Senate R-AZ $519,090 $746,082
Patty Murray Senate D-WA $449,017 $1,185,000
James Clyburn House D-SC $212,010 $582,000
Chris Van Hollen House D-MD $148,007 $445,000
Xavier Becerra House D-CA $100,054 $1,424,999
Max Baucus Senate D-MT $13,013 $204,000

Data from

I should note that this is a rather blunt analysis. Due to different forms of taxation someone that has a higher net worth may or may not have to pay more taxes if there is a change to the tax regime. Additionally, this is net worth, which is not the same as annual income and is taxed differently.

As an aside, I plan to start a non-profit to help raise Senator Baucus out of his relative poverty.