How in the hell is someone like Kelly Loeffler worth 500 million dollars, and then represent a state like Georgia which is nowhere near the wealthiest in the country? In fact, why are the overwhelming majority of US Senators wealthy?
Money they make before taking office…Many senators come into office fairly wealthy because of their backgrounds. Nearly every sitting senator is Ivy League educated and was somewhat prominent before even running for office. Now there’s a lot of people that don’t fit this background that wind up running, but almost none of them actually make it into the senate.
See, the donors probably don’t want that many poor people getting into the senate because then they might actually decide to do something about poverty since they understand it firsthand. To even get into the senate, you’ll need to raise a huge fortune just to run for office—and that’s where having an Ivy League background and huge professional connections (banking, law, business of some sort, or an established career in politics already) will make all the difference.
Money they make in office…Until recently, it was completely legal for sitting members of congress to partake in insider trading. If they knew something (new regulations, patent approvals, coming indictments, foreign intelligence briefings, general intelligence briefings) they were fully within their rights to use it to buy and sell stocks, commodities, land, etc.
Even now that it is technically not legal (and they made a big show of passing an act to prevent it), how many are actually prosecuted for insider trading? Kelly Loeffler, David Perdue, and North Carolina Senator Richard Burr committed insider trading so egregious that even Tucker Carlson called them out. Yet neither have resigned, and calls for them to have pretty much stopped, and I doubt either will ever be indicted of a crime—let alone convicted. [Loeffler may very well be reelected.]
More specifically, Burr very plainly knew that Coronavirus was about to wipe out the hospitality sector (particularly ones where strangers have to share an inside space) and immediately after receiving this inside information, he sold stock in casinos and bought healthcare company stocks. This is insider trading as plain as day, and he hasn’t even been forced from office, let alone face a serious risk of jail time.
But don’t worry, because the SEC was able to nail the real mastermind of insider trading: Martha Stewart.
And even if they don’t commit insider trading, there are just so many other revenue streams both questionably legal (shady deals involving some construction company or real estate agency or law firm or hospital or private school they sit on the board of) and completely legal like speaking fees, book deals, their “spouse”’s business, etc.