U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach, a Republican from suburban Chester County and a frequent but elusive target for Democrats, is retiring after six terms. Gerlach cited partisan gridlock and the long commute. Pennsylvania Republican Party Chairman Rob Gleason told the Philadelphia Daily News that Gerlach would likely find a job as a K Street lobbyist after serving 12 years in Congress.
"It's a tough job," Gleason told the Daily News, referring to Congress. "You don't make a lot of money."
Well, members of Congress actually earn $174,000. That's nearly three-and-a-half times that of the American median household income.
Wealth is certainly one way that the super-rich Congress stays out of touch with working-class Americans. A 2010 Washington Post analysis found that House members had a median estimated wealth of $746,000; senators held $2.6 million. The Post analsyis did show that Gerlach had a long way to go if he expects to keep up with the Joneses: he ranks near the bottom of that towering pile of cash, with just $154,000.
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