With nearly 10 percent unemployment, and much higher real unemployment, news like this is hard for the rest of the nation to take.
The wealthiest members of Congress grew richer in 2009 even as the economy struggled to recover from a deep recession.
The 50 wealthiest lawmakers were worth almost $1.4 billion in 2009, about $85.1 million more than 12 months earlier, according to The Hill’s annual review of lawmakers’ financial disclosure forms....
While the economy struggled through a recession during much of 2009 and the nation’s unemployment rate soared to 10 percent, the stock market rebounded, helping lawmakers with large investments. The S&P 500 rose by about 28 percent in 2009.
In large part, I think the story is less about these guys making out like bandits, but that the people in their circles, social and political, are making out like bandits. It's one of they ways in which too many of our lawmakers are seriously under-exposed to the realities in which the vast majority of their constituents live. Their colleagues and their friends haven't been hit by the recession, cuz the stock market is doing just fine.
If the recession was also hitting the investor class, if the people in the social circles many of these lawmakers travel were upside down on their mortgages and were losing their jobs, worried about whether their unemployment will continue and how they'll make their COBRA payments--or what they'll possibly live on in their old age if the catfood commission prevails--it might have changed their priorties in responding to this recession.