How much $ do politicians make?

I’m curious to know about the money that politicians make? I’m looking for the ones making the least, the most and in between. I’m also including how much their investments and holdings are.

What percentage of the politicians are millionaires and what percentage make the in between money and what percentage are on the low end of the scale?

Also, what percentage became millionaires after getting elected?

It obviously depends on the job. If you’re looking for federal positions, the highest paid US politician is the President, who makes $400,000 a year (and of course has an expense account, a travel allowance, an entertainment allowance and some pretty nice perks). The Vice President makes $227,300 a year. The Chief Justice makes $217,400, and Associate Justices make $208,100 a year. The Speaker of the House makes $223,500, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and House and Senate Majority and Minority Leaders all make $193,400 and Senators and Representatives make $174,000. Cabinet secretaries make $196,700.

All that data comes from here:

As far as net worth, here’s information from 2007.

As a practical matter, a VP of any mid-sized-to-large company makes far more than a US senator or congressman (in terms of salary), and pretty much anyone who makes it to the national political level has the capability to get to at least the VP level in a mid-sized-to-large company.

I don’t think many folks get into politics at that level because they need the money - it’s more the power and prestige that are the driving forces there.

“Politicians” is one of those empty words that get filled with whatever image happens to be in the reader’s head. Are we talking about federal-level? State-level? Local? Do cabinet members and other appointees count?

Most federal-level elected officials already have money because they become successful first and then run. It’s incredibly expensive to run for office. That’s a full-time occupation, so poor people tend to be excluded because they can’t work and run at the same time. You also need to know lots of wealthy people to support you and that’s more likely if you are already rich. Although it used to be common for members of Congress to continue their regular job that’s no longer thought ethical today. That doesn’t mean that they can’t continue to make money off their holdings and investments.

If you’re looking to find those who enriched themselves through graft or illicit investments or whatever, I think you’ll find it’s a very small percentage. Heck, even Richard Jefferson was accused of taking only $90,000. About the only legitimate way to millionaire status is by writing books, and that’s also a route few ever achieve.

It’s estimated (ABC News) that to run for a Senate seat in the US averages about 25 million for the campaign. That’s if you win or lose.

There are a huge number of perks though. Speeches command huge fees. First ladies run about $200,000 per engagment. A lot of time this money is “donated” or “deferred” till later. In addition they get many other perks. Aaron Tonken a fund raiser told of many of his celebrities (both Hollywood and Politics) would take him shopping where he’d purchase “gifts” not only for themselves but for their family.

Tonken tells former Gerald Ford was the smartest. His fee to speak was $250,000 per speech and he demanded cash in his bank UP FRONT. Usually when they held a fund raiser the speaker would get paid after the donations to the fund where given. But Ford wouldn’t even go till he saw the $$$$

But it’s mainly the potential for speaking and book sales that can give them lots of money.

I’ve got the lowest! People in the New Hampshire state house get a measly $200 per legislative term.

With no income or sales tax, that seems about right. :smiley:

Although some wealthy people like to pay their own campaign costs, the cost of a campaign has little to nothing to do with personal wealth. That’s because the cost of a campaign is generally borne by campaign contributions, which are not personal income. And I believe that $25 million is too high for an average cost – you can look of the costs of the 2008 congressional elections here.

First of all, those speaking fees are for former politicians, not current. Ethics rules in Congress prohibit outside earned income in excess of 15% of their salary. The rest has to be donated to charity. Not “charity,” charity. Honoraria has been banned for 20 years.

Gift bans also prohibit acceptance of things with value under a very small threshold – either $50 or $10, depending on the circumstance, except from personal friends and immediate family members.

Tonken is a convicted swindler and fraud. I’m not sure he’s a reputable citation.

I’m not even going to make a joke about this myself. I’m just going to leave it out there as an exercise for the reader.

Dang, I’m a VP at a very large company and I make nowhere near what a senator does (nor do any of the other VPs I know) – not that I’m. At many large companies, VP isn’t all that high up. Above me are Senior Vice Presidents, Executive Vice Presidents, Group Presidents, Regional CEOs, Company Chairmen, etc.

Below me are Peons.

I was going to say this. Vice President as a title in a company is not all that high up. There must be hundreds at my company of about 6000 people.