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50 Richest Members of Congress


US Politics & Gov't  (tags: Americans, Wealth, congress, government, politics, democrats, republicans, news )

Carrie
- 348 days ago - media.cq.com
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows...



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Comments

JL A. (275)
Friday September 13, 2013, 8:04 pm
I found it interesting that Mitch McConnell's wife has income from The Heritage Foundation...
 

Joanne Dixon (38)
Friday September 13, 2013, 8:52 pm
It's all depressing.
 

HELEN V. (51)
Friday September 13, 2013, 9:20 pm
I personally have doubts about how well people so rich can adequately represent the interests of the majority of Americans, whose income falls ranges mainly from middle class to the poor. One can argue that if they are so wealthy the temptation to feather their nests might be less, on the otherhand can the wealth resist making more money and just how much can they sympathise and relate to the needy. For me so many wealthy people in congress does not bode well for the changes which are required if we are to over the impasse we are at.. How compatible are their agendas with a sustainable economy and sustainable environment?
 

Edith B. (142)
Friday September 13, 2013, 9:24 pm
The roll call seems about equal between Republicans and democrats. I am sure none of these senator are taking a salary or the health care we so generously provide them. :-( SARCASM!
 

HELEN V. (51)
Friday September 13, 2013, 9:36 pm
sorry for the typing errors. am reseending corrected below
I personally have doubts about how well people so rich can adequately represent the interests of the majority of Americans, whose income falls ranges mainly from middle class to the poor. One can argue that if they are so wealthy the temptation to feather their nests might be less, on the otherhand can the wealthy resist making more money and just how much can they sympathise and relate to the needy. For me so many wealthy people in congress does not bode well for the changes which are required if we are to overcome the impasse we are at.. How compatible are their agendas with a sustainable economy and sustainable environment?
 

Gloria picchetti (286)
Friday September 13, 2013, 10:52 pm
I got half way through the list and ultimately realized I don't care how rich they are. Being rich isn't a crime. Just don't make laws that screw me up.
 

Past Member (0)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 4:07 am
I don't care how wealthy people are, even politicians. I care what wealthy people do with their money. I didn't see people complaining about how wealthy the Clintons are. Why? Because many people like the Clintons.

Money isn't necessarily bad, and having money doesn't mean you're a crook. Lots of good can and should be done for people through the generosity of those who are more fortunate.
 

Fi T. (16)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 4:24 am
Can they really help the poor majority?
 

Darlene B. (290)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 4:58 am
I don't have a problem with how much a person makes--the problem I have is how the person sets their priorities in life. Money does not make you a better person--it is what is inside that counts. Mother Earth and her inhabitants are what is important not your pocket. It is quite obvious by the state this country and the rest of the world is in that those that really care cannot afford to buy off those that don't care. Sorry but don't have the time to write a book about this subject--it leads to many other issues with their wallets--lol. Bless all who 'truly' care for 'we-the people'.
 

Ben Oscarsito (354)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 5:21 am
Holy crap! Those stinking rich people shouldn't be in the congress, should they...???
 

Birgit W. (144)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 5:25 am
No wonder, those people have no compassion for the rest of us. They should live with our little income for just one month, and see how they can survive with it.
 

Jennifer C. (172)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 5:30 am
Thanks.
 

. (0)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 7:22 am
Very informative. Thanks for sharing, Carrie.
 

Kathleen R. (203)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 7:43 am
I have always believed "to who much is given, much is expected". Thanks for the information.
 

Kathleen R. (203)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 7:44 am
Correction: "to whom much is given, much is expected". I need more coffee, lol.
 

Lona Goudswaard (68)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 8:35 am
You can never convince me that their interests are the same as the country's. They live in a whole different world than the majority of their constituents.
 

James Maynard (68)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 9:02 am
Interesting list. Thanks!
 

Dave C. (214)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 9:35 am
surprised (a) how much money they are all worth and (b) how high Alan Grayson was....he sure doesn't act the other Greedies in Congress....
 

Diane O. (149)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 1:24 pm
Americans who have positioned themselves in life to earn a hefty income are the major contributors to charities and other organizations who help the needy in our country. They also pay a great deal in taxes which also supports those on welfare, food stamps, etc. We should always remind ourselves that thousands of people around the world would like to become American citizens so that they, too, can have the freedom to build a company, own a home and educate their children.

I, too, do not have a problem with anyone who earns a nice salary. More power to them! If they've earned it then it belongs to them.

There are many wealthy people in America.
 

Lindsey O. (19)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 2:16 pm
Quite a few Democrats on that list (including 7 Democrats in the top 10).

So long as no laws were broken in the getting of the money, I've no concern over it. I'd be more than happy to be able to earn or inherit that much. And their wealth hardly makes them ineligible to be in Congress - we don't have a means test for entry into national politics.
 

Elizabeth M. (66)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 3:39 pm
I counted 29 Republicans. The money these people have makes no matter to me, but what does matter is if they have any compassion for the poor. Actually the only very rich ones that I have respect for are Warren Buffet, and
Bill Gates, as I know of many good things they have done. I realize there are others that contribute to many very worthwhle causes and don't want their names mentioned. I do feel however that they do not pay their fair share of taxes - sure it would seem a lot to us - but it is disproporionate!
Thanks Carrie - very interesting
 

S J. (116)
Saturday September 14, 2013, 4:26 pm
No wonder, same as here.

Thanks Carrie
 

Jody B. (6)
Sunday September 15, 2013, 1:18 am
Good info. Thanks.
 

Jody B. (6)
Sunday September 15, 2013, 1:19 am
Good info. Thanks.
 

Jason R. (60)
Sunday September 15, 2013, 11:37 am
Issa has to be thee most corrupt in congress.

Only one progressive. The GREAT Alan Grayson.

"the major contributors to charities and other organizations who help the needy in our country. They also pay a great deal in taxes"

WRONG! again.
Foundations keep 85% while PRETENDING to help the poor. They pay few taxes. You just add them up for your deception. Romney=12% after getting caught evading taxes off shore? Most super rich pay 5% to nothing.

 

Diane O. (149)
Sunday September 15, 2013, 2:35 pm
Jason, because I enjoy learning something new every day, I would appreciate it if you would send me a credible link that supports your statement that "foundations keep 85% while pretending to help the poor."

By the way, many Americans and Europeans have offshore accounts. I wish I had one. : ) I'm sick and tired of my tax dollars funding over $60 billion in fraud and abuse in our social programs in the US. How about you? Aren't you tired of funding that big elephant in the room?
 

Lindsey O. (19)
Sunday September 15, 2013, 3:55 pm
I'll take one of those offshore accounts too, Diane (so long as I'm not breaking the law).

And Jason, the rich do indeed pay a substantial amount in taxes.

"The top 1% of US taxpayers pay almost as much in federal income taxes as the entire bottom 95%, and half of that bottom group paid no taxes at all in 2010...."

http://www.aei-ideas.org/2012/12/top-1-of-american-taxpayers-pay-almost-as-much-in-taxes-as-bottom-95-and-half-of-that-group-paid-nothing-in-2010/

http://www.irs.gov/uac/SOI-Tax-Stats-Individual-Statistical-Tables-by-Tax-Rate-and-Income-Percentile

And even when it comes to percentages, that's still true:

"According to new data from the IRS, people who make $1 million or more had an average tax rate of 20.4 percent in 2010. Tax filers who earned $30,000 to $50,000 paid an average rate of 4.8 percent, while those who made between $50,000 and $100,000 paid 7.7 percent. Those making under $30,000 had a negative effective rate, meaning they paid no federal income taxes after deductions and credits.

Put another way, millionaires pay a rate that's more than four times that of the middle class.

One caveat: Rates go up as income goes up — but only to a point. Once you hit a certain magic number among super-high earners, your tax rates start to fall slightly.

According to the IRS, average tax rates increase as income increases — until you get to around $1.5 million in annual income. Once you make $2 million, average tax rates start to decrease. The average tax rate peaks at 25.1 percent for those making between $1.5 million and $2 million.

After that it starts to go down, and falls to 20.7 percent for those making $10 million or more.

So the millionaires who pay the highest average tax rates in America are those who make between $1.5 million and $2 million. That $2 million could be called the "Top Turning Point" on the income ladder, where rates reverse.

The reasons for this aren't complicated. Once you get above $2 million, your share of income from investments increases. Investments are generally taxed at the 15 percent capital-gains rate, compared with the top ordinary-income rate of 35 percent.

Those making $10 million or more earned nearly half of their income from capital gains and dividends.

Rates don't fall all that much once you get above $10 million. Even among the top 400 earners in America, whose average income is more than $200 million, the average rate is 18 percent — still more than three times the rate paid by the middle class."


http://www.cnbc.com/id/49939444

and for 2013:

"With Washington gridlocked again over whether to raise their taxes, it turns out wealthy families already are paying some of their biggest federal tax bills in decades even as the rest of the population continues to pay at historically low rates.

President Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress say the wealthy must pay their fair share if the federal government is ever going to fix its finances and reduce the budget deficit to a manageable level.

A new analysis, however, shows that average tax bills for high-income families rarely have been higher since the Congressional Budget Office began tracking the data in 1979. It's middle- and low-income families who aren't paying as much as they used to. For 2013, families with incomes in the top 20% of the nation will pay an average of 27.2% of their income in federal taxes, according to projections by the Tax Policy Center, a research organization based in Washington. The top 1% of households, those with incomes averaging $1.4 million, will pay an average of 35.5%.

Those tax rates, which include income, payroll, corporate and estate taxes, are among the highest since 1979.

The average family in the bottom 20% of households won't pay any federal taxes. Instead, many families in this group will get payments from the federal government by claiming more in credits than they owe in taxes, including payroll taxes. That will give them a negative tax rate.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2013/03/03/tax-bills-rich-families/1960375/

That's for federal taxes, of course. And would also be true for inheritance taxes - the poor don't pay inheritance taxes - but the rich certainly do. Estates under $5,250,000 are exempt from federal estate taxes. But those estates above that will pay, and the maximum rate is 40%.

http://wills.about.com/od/understandingestatetaxes/a/estatetaxchart.htm

Then, of course, when it comes to state sales taxes, the rich will pay more than the poor because the rich purchase a great deal more than the poor. Same with local property taxes - own a more expensive home and you pay more in property taxes. Same with car taxes - own a more expensive vehicle and you pay more for your tag (at least in my state). And so on.
 

Ros G. (90)
Sunday September 15, 2013, 4:43 pm
Thanks for this Carrie..I found it really interesting...we don't get to see..our Pollies financials here in Australia..I can see why so many would get a little nervous if Wall Street sneezed....or if the bottom fulls out of your $..investments aren't realized until you cash them in...
 

Lois Jordan (55)
Sunday September 15, 2013, 6:40 pm
So, let's see what they started out with, and how rich they've gotten as members of Congress.....
 

Ros G. (90)
Sunday September 15, 2013, 7:44 pm
LOL Lois..you know all that Insider Trading and Conflict of Interest stuff is all illegal..even here in Australia..none of them would ever go there...well, that's what they tell us.
 

Lois Jordan (55)
Sunday September 15, 2013, 8:20 pm
@Ros...just some info re: Truthout 4/16/13: "On The News With Thom Hartmann: Congress Repeals the STOCK Act..." Congress repealed the legislation that required our leaders to disclose info about their stock trades online."

And from Common Dreams, 4/20/13: "Congress and Obama Quietly Collude to Undo "Insider Trading" Law." Article written by Lauren McCauley. The one at Common Dreams is very thorough. Notes how quickly Congress can pass something that's meaningful to them....and how quietly they can do it. Very sad for us "commoner peons."
 

Ros G. (90)
Sunday September 15, 2013, 8:34 pm
Thanks Lois..I'm sure a lot of Americans didn't know that. The Australian Government will probably follow suit..as you say they are quick in bi-partisan support when it benefits it's own. We have just had a case here in NSW (Oz) where one family made more that you're No1 in deals..he wasn't even a Pollie..just bought the information off one. Capitalism isn't it just Grand - works for some extremely well.
 

Diane O. (149)
Monday September 16, 2013, 2:51 am
Insider trading is against the law in America. If any American is found guilty they go to jail.
 

Ros G. (90)
Monday September 16, 2013, 5:55 am
Diane O..not American so I rely on these posts.....to be accurate....this is a debate for you..where is your proof that Lois's statement is incorrect? Could the Laws have been changed without you knowing after all something like this would not make headlines.
 

Diane O. (149)
Monday September 16, 2013, 9:38 am
We have people sitting in federal prison for insider trading. I suggest you do your research to learn about American laws.
 

Ros G. (90)
Monday September 16, 2013, 2:18 pm
Thanks Diane O..Yes, I know you have people sitting in prison for insider trading..but Lois was talking about recent Law changes..that went through..the problem I have (living in Australia) is that when I do a search (Google) you end up with 4.5million items in 11secs..also your abbreviated descriptions of Departments - I'm not always familiar with or the names of your Heads of Departments..so I could spend quiet a lot of time "researching". When on these post..I'm sure there are enough people that have the experience to give me an informed answer and most do..it is only the ones trying to spread propaganda that give out misinformation..it's like people that contact me about Australia because they have friends or relatives here or are going to visit. They asked questions about this or that and I give them an honest..open..informed..account.not based on my beliefs
 

Lindsey O. (19)
Monday September 16, 2013, 2:46 pm
I looked at that Common Dreams article. And it doesn't say that insider trading has been legalized. Insider trading is still a criminal act, for the public and for Congresspersons/federal employees and Congress, the President, and others are still bound by the reporting requirements. Federal employee unions were against online publication of their union members' financial information.

From the Common Dreams article:

"...the bill eliminates a requirement that personal financial disclosures of 28,000 high level federal employees be made publicly accessible online. It also reverses "two critical components" of the original act: mandatory electronic filing of PFDs by the president, his cabinet and members of Congress, and the creation of a publicly accessible database...." The data is filed on paper instead.

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/04/17-8

And from another source:

"President Obama quietly signed legislation Monday that rolled back a provision of the STOCK Act that required high-ranking federal employees to disclose their financial information online.

The White House announced Monday that the president had signed S. 716, which repealed a requirement of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act requiring the disclosure, which had previously been delayed several times by Congress.

That provision, added to the bipartisan bill aimed at halting insider trading by members of Congress, would have required roughly 28,000 senior government officials to post their financial information online, and had come under harsh criticism from federal government employee unions.

Both chambers of Congress quickly — and near silently — approved the repeal legislation at the end of last week by unanimous consent, just before heading home to their districts.

The STOCK Act was signed by the president a little over one year ago in a highly visible signing ceremony, where he said the legislation would tackle the "deficit of trust" that exists between Washington and the rest of the nation.

The new law scraps a provision that had been hotly contested by federal employees, as well as found to be problematic and even dangerous for high-ranking government workers. Congress twice had passed legislation to delay its implementation. Under that provision, high-ranking government workers would have been required to post their financial information on a publicly available online database.

Under a previous delay, Congress called for the National Academy of Public Administration to study the implications of the requirement. The report, released in March, found the provision should be repealed, having found that it could needlessly threaten the safety of government employees abroad, as well as make it difficult to attract and retain talent in the public sector.

The Senate advanced the bill Thursday by unanimous consent, without debate or even briefly describing what it would do. The House signed off on the bill Friday using the same approach.

Under the new law, the beefed-up reporting requirements will still apply to the president, vice president, members of Congress and candidates for Congress. Some presidentially nominated and Senate-confirmed government employees would also still adhere to the new disclosure requirement. The new law also delays the creation of that database until the beginning of 2014."

http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/1007-other/293919-obama-signs-stock-act-step-back
 

Diane O. (149)
Monday September 16, 2013, 2:48 pm
Thank you, Lindsey.

Ros, in no way did I mean to offend you. I just didn't have the time to give to answering your question at the time but it appears that Lindsey came to the rescue. I believe her response gives you the information you needed.

: )
 

Ros G. (90)
Monday September 16, 2013, 11:06 pm
Thank you both Lindsay and Dianne..in this particular case your Government is heading down our road..the public have difficulty in accessing financial information on our Politicians, our Department Heads and Senior Executives, they do have to make disclosure to the Parliament on these matters and are not allowed to be present if an item has a conflict of interest for them...the only time we find out what is happening..rorting the system, insider trading, etc is when some scandal emerges..usually after a lovers falling out...and it is also very difficult to prove that they acted on "insider trading" information. The public are more likely to be charged with breaching Privacy Laws in these cases. Full disclosure and transparency is need at this level of Government.. Thank you Lois for throwing this debate open..it always does make you wonder what's behind repeals...especially when you think both our Countries have outdated Legislation going back to the 1800's that they have not repealed.
 

Jason R. (60)
Tuesday September 17, 2013, 10:35 am
"send me a credible link that supports your statement that "foundations keep 85% while pretending to help the poor."

It's the law. Foundations must pay out 15%. 85% may be claimed as administration costs and they do. CNN announced in a blurb that Clinton paid out 15% in Haiti and he was off to the $11 million wedding. GHWbush taught him. Red Cross pays their area heads $410k a year! Figure it out. Why do you think foundation owners live in $5+ mil. homes?
 

Lindsey O. (19)
Tuesday September 17, 2013, 12:13 pm
Concerning what charitable foundations pay in administrative expenses:

"Of the 10,000 largest foundations, 30 percent report no charitable operating and administrative expenses.
Community foundations, nearly all of which employ staff, are most likely to report operating expenses.
Corporate foundations, which are often staffed by company employees, are least likely. Twenty-seven
percent of independent foundations do not report expenses, and they are likely run by donors, family
members, and unpaid trustees....Among staffed independent foundations, charitable operating and administrative expenses range from less than 5 percent (for 41 percent) to 20 percent or more (for 14 percent); the median is 7 percent. By comparison, 84 percent of unstaffed foundations fall into the 0 to 5 percent range, with a median of less than 1 percent."

http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/311281_Foundation_Report_final.pdf


"....This study focuses only on large independent foundations. The sample includes 1,171 foundations that ranked consistently among the approximately 1,900 largest independent and family foundations by giving in 2007, 2008,and 2009 and for which IRS Form 990-PF was available publicly for all years....." And the foundations included in the study accounted for 67% of all foundational giving in the years cited.

And the administrative costs ranged from 3% to 17% of their distributions for the year.

http://foundationcenter.org/gainknowledge/research/pdf/expenses2012.pdf
 

Lindsey O. (19)
Tuesday September 17, 2013, 12:25 pm
So, one source I found says that the median spending in admin expenses for foundations is 7% among staffed foundations (and less than 1% among unstaffed foundations).

And the other cites the largest foundations ranging from 3% to 17% in admin costs.

And from what I've read a charity is considered to have a good admin spending to charitable spending ratio if it stays under 25% or so.

That appears to be substantially different than the claimed 85% that "foundations" "do" pay in admin costs, Jason. But I'd be happy to look at any links you have to offer.

And, by the by, the reason so many of those who create charitable foundations live in expensive homes is because......they have lots and lots of money - enough money to give large amounts of it to create charitable foundations. Paupers don't tend to create foundations - the wealthy by and large are the ones who do.
 

Lindsey O. (19)
Tuesday September 17, 2013, 1:38 pm
Jason, you also stated that foundations must pay out 15% (and I assume you mean 15% of the foundation's income for the year). However from what I've read they must in general pay out at least 5% of their assets each year (and that's assets, not income - so if the foundation has, say, $1,000,000 in the bank in 2013 it should pay out at least $50,000.00 in charitable dollars that year).

"Private foundations are generally financially supported by one or a small handful of sources—an individual, a family, or a corporation. There are a few different kinds of private foundations: independent, http://www.c of.org/whoweserve/privateindependent/index.cfm?navItemNumber=14853 family, http://www.cof.org/whoweserve/templates/311.cfm?ItemNumber=15753&navItemNumber=14851 and corporate http://www.cof.org/whoweserve/corporate/index.cfm?navItemNumber=14850. These categories are not legally defined. Rather, they are commonly used in the field of philanthropy to distinguish the different kinds of private foundations. Private foundations must pay out at least 5 percent of their assets each year in the form of grants and operating charitable activities....."

http://www.cof.org/templates/41.cfm?ItemNumber=17611
 

Diane O. (149)
Tuesday September 17, 2013, 3:44 pm
Lindsey,......"pants on fire!" You are hitting on the pistons....
 

Diane O. (149)
Tuesday September 17, 2013, 3:47 pm
Lindsey, in America, 80% of Americans identify as Christians. Their churches all over the United States, in small towns and large cities, reach out and I mean, really reach out, to the poor with charitable contributions and a host of other donations to give them a place to live, give them clothes and food for their children....Christianity is a giving religion. They never stop giving. They will always provide for the poor in their congregations.

 

Carrie B. (309)
Tuesday September 17, 2013, 4:25 pm
"Christianity is a giving religion. They never stop giving. They will always provide for the poor in their congregations." Only in their congregations? Even so ~ if that were actually true, ~ there would be far less poverty in this country.
 

Lindsey O. (19)
Tuesday September 17, 2013, 5:36 pm
Christians, like everyone else, are individuals - some are charitable and some aren't (it always has amused me - my sister-in-law is a DEVOUT person who never misses church on Sunday, preaches creationism to her kids, and who thinks that I, as an atheist, should have no rights in life [literally - sis-in-law actually said that shortly before she married my brother] - and yet Madame Excessively-Devout has never once volunteered her time for charity (except for manning a bake sale table at her church once a year for two hours) and gives zero to charity (except for bits doled out specifically to her own church).

And some churches really take charity seriously - and others seem to spend most of their funds on beautiful buildings, stained glass, and rec centers for their own kids (Birmingham has a LOT of churches and a LOT of churchgoers - I've been all too exposed to a wide variety of them throughout my life).
 

Ros G. (90)
Tuesday September 17, 2013, 9:13 pm
Here in Australia and I would say probably the US as well..The Salvation Army helps ALLl..that pass through their doors...they are non discriminatory or judgmental and you don't have to become part of their Church to receive ongoing help....I am neither religious, agnostic or atheist but I always give to the "Salvos"
 

Diane O. (149)
Wednesday September 18, 2013, 2:18 am
Carrie, no, not only in their congregations....I should've written in their communities.

Ros, we have The Salvation Army and AMVETS. We also have Good Will throughout the country. I would like to think that these organizations are helpful to those who need it. There will always be people who fall through the cracks, unfortunately.
 

Diane O. (149)
Wednesday September 18, 2013, 2:40 am
I failed to mention The Wounded Warrior Project. This is a group that we have been sending money to this year. I encourage those of you who are involved in charities, etc. to look at this group. Every little bit helps our wounded veterans.
 

Ros G. (90)
Wednesday September 18, 2013, 2:29 pm
Thanks Diane..this is another area that I get conflicting information about..your returned veterans..some say that you have to be serving for around 20yrs before you get a pension and if you only do 1 tour of duty (forgive me but our terminology is different) and leave the forces you are not entitled to this..if service personal can't be rehabilitated here through mental or physical disabilities they are automatically given a pension..we have many not-for-profit organisations that have extensive..social programs..so they don't feel isolated.
 

Diane O. (149)
Wednesday September 18, 2013, 3:10 pm
Ros, one has to be in the military for 20 years to receive lifetime benefits...retirement income, healthcare, etc. The ones falling into the deep dark hole with virtually no help are our returning wounded soldiers and this is why the Wounded Warrior project is so important. All of this money is going directly into the hands of these veterans. Michelle Obama, after moving into the White House, gave a lengthy speech and photo op stating that she was dedicating her time to helping our returning vets. There's pure gridlock in those who have applied for help for healthcare benefits and money to live on.....sad but true. We have a serious problem in this area. Your country seems to be exactly where our country should be in helping our veterans. The US sends billions and billions in aid to other countries and they have failed our own returning veterans.
 

Lindsey O. (19)
Wednesday September 18, 2013, 3:43 pm
There are a variety of benefits available to wounded soldiers and their families:

http://www.wtc.army.mil/soldier/pay_and_benefits.html

And the Veterans Administration provides medical care for service-related injuries after the soldier is out of the military and also can provide veterans disability compensation in some cases, depending on the type of injury/handicap.(the VA's system isn't very good, however). And disabled vets are also eligible for Social Security disability like any civilian.
 

Diane O. (149)
Wednesday September 18, 2013, 3:50 pm
Thank you, Lindsey! The backlog is the issue....it is taking over 300 days to get their cases read and acted on.

I'm enjoying this dialogue. We need to bring attention to this serious problem.
 

Ros G. (90)
Thursday September 19, 2013, 2:57 pm
Thanks Diane..for that information..we'll focus on the wounded soldiers..here when you enlist in the Armed Forces you are an employee of the Defence Force..so you have all the same rights as other employees. If you are injured physically/mentally..you are paid Workers Compensation..that is your normal rate of pay and your medical expenses are paid by your employer through this scheme for the first 6 months..then it goes down to 75% of your full salary, etc..even if you are discharged...if you have no chance of rehabilitation you are then put on a VA pension..their means test is different to the other pensions...they are allowed to have greater assets and income stream because they served their Country.. If it is not deemed work related and they still can not be rehabilitated then they are put on a disability pension...on going medical treatment for these types of pensions is paid for by our National Scheme - Medicare. There are many Social programs as well..Men's Shed, outings, etc..very few can fall through the cracks but it does happen..especially those without family..they end up disillusioned and homeless.
 

Diane O. (149)
Thursday September 19, 2013, 3:24 pm
Ros, here in the US we have workman's compensation as well close to what you have described. We have Americans who can go on disability (if they qualify) either paid for by their companies (rare) or by the taxpayers. We have Medicaid for those who qualify, usually low income Americans who cannot afford healthcare on their own. At age 65 Americans are forced to go on Medicare. Now, we have Obamacare which is Medicaid on steroids and it forces everybody to get medical insurance at rates that fund people getting basically medical insurance for free....which is what Medicaid is. So, how does Obama plan to fund this? He is reducing benefits in Medicare....insurance that has been deducted out of American workers salaries for decades. People have paid into Medicare.....yet Obama will be cutting the benefits in Medicare to pay for his Obamacare.

My hope is that Obamacare will bite the dust very soon. Obama simply was never smart enough to put together a model airplane much less a serious healthcare plan. This is precisely why it has failed in our country.
 

Ros G. (90)
Thursday September 19, 2013, 4:01 pm
Diane..I too was enjoying this dialogue with you for a change..without the rhetoric and the politics..shame you had to bring this in...if the US goes down the gurgler - sorry it is already going down the gurgler and has been long before Obama came to office..I am neither Right or Left when it comes to our elected officials...there's a pox on both their houses and it's called self-interest which has nothing to do with Democracy..some people are just veerryyy ssslllloooowwww lllleeeaaarrrrnnneeerrrsss!!!!! but hey they need people like you.
 

Ros G. (90)
Thursday September 19, 2013, 4:10 pm
BTW I'm off to work now...I really enjoy earning money and with that comes paying taxes..I pay my share have done every year since 1970..when I see someone less fortunate than myself paying $5.90 for much needed medication and knowing that they didn't have to pay to see a doctor of their choice..I feel good..I've contributed to helping this stranger have a better life..........WORLD GRATITUDE DAY, SEPTEMBER 21..what will you be celebrating.
 

Diane O. (149)
Thursday September 19, 2013, 4:15 pm
Ros, I wasn't expecting a response from my political comments but I did feel it was necessary to round out the disability payments, medicare and Medicaid, etc....and, of course, The Affordable Care Act.

We, here, in the US, will sort it out. We always do. We have a great deal of wealth in our country and successful corporations and we are enriched with oil, if only we would start drilling. Unions are passé and our country is changing. We are a very young country compared to others and we are having growing pains. I love the United States. I've been fortunate to travel to many countries over the years and I'm always ready to come back home to America.

I believe our downward spiral started with progressives who were elected in both parties. I have faith that the American people will vote and set it on the right path again. In 2010, the voters in a tsunami win...kicked the spending democats OUT and brought the no spending republicans in to take their seats. It takes time, Ros. It will take time to get it right again.
 

Ros G. (90)
Thursday September 19, 2013, 8:39 pm
There's that phrase "if only" Diane..yes I love my late morning starts and my extra long, long lunch breaks..gives me time to catch up on the world...and low and behold upon collecting my mail..I reeled with excitement - my annual Superannuation Statement...another "Socialist" program we have here..it's call the Superannuation Guarantee Levy were every employer must pay 9% of your gross salary into a Super fund of your Choice in your name..yes..all yours-not theirs for anyone earning more than $450 per calender month..which is nearly everyone in the work force..when you consider cleaners get paid $22.00 per hour here..but alas I'm self employed..so for every $1000 I put in they will give me $500 for each..saving for our retirement it's called not relying on the Government. Many here wouldn't rely on the Government so much if it wasn't for your Federal Bank...our interest rates are the lowest they have been in 67years because it makes your country look bad when a small, younger nation like ours is above parity..the the pressure gets applied, we lose our savings income so - you can look better on the World stage. Fortunately I hedge my bets..and our share market is booming..Grateful that I live in Australia.
 

Ros G. (90)
Thursday September 19, 2013, 9:16 pm
Apologies it should read If I put in a $1000 in my super the Government will put in $500 every year
 

Diane O. (149)
Friday September 20, 2013, 2:46 am
I'm happy for you, Ros. It's nice to be able to say you love your country.
 

Lindsey O. (19)
Friday September 20, 2013, 3:07 am
Ros in Australia (from what I've read) you get a much better interest rate than in the U.S. on savings (average in August of 2013 for Australia is 2.50% and Australians could get higher than 2.50% with some banks). In the U.S. our average is around .25% (and right now I could get perhaps .85% with one bank I found for U.S. depositors).

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/australia/interest-rate
http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/interest-rate
http://www.money-rates.com/savings.htm
http://www.infochoice.com.au/banking/savings-account/online-savings.aspx

In both countries we're at miserably lower rates than we used to get.

 

Lindsey O. (19)
Friday September 20, 2013, 3:12 am
And I think that's a great thing, too, Diane (the Australians I've personally known are all pretty patriotic about their country). I love being an American, myself, but Australian culture would be nice to experience as well.
 

Ros G. (90)
Friday September 20, 2013, 4:44 am
Thank you both Lindsey and Diane...there are a few things that I don't love about my Country but that is not for this thread..because we are talking about money here...Yes, the cash rate set by the Reserve Bank is 2.50% and it is this rate that determines the strength of the Aussie$. The US Fed would like to see us around .80c on the greenback but to do this our cash rate must be slashed even further. At the moment we can get an interest rate around 4% on our savings if we shop around (non-major banks). As part of protecting our banking industry during the GFC..our Government guaranteed savings up to 500K..in the long term it cost them nothing because there wasn't a run on the banks..so our banking system stayed strong. The US on the other hand gave your tax payer $'s to bail out the banks..and some still collapsed..end result it cost your Government a fortune for no return..your money thrown down the gurgle to prop up Corporations instead of it's people (tax payers). This is why we fared better..they also gave low income earners a bonus ($300 per adult) this encourage spending when the retail sector needed a boost, along with other Industry incentives..we spent our way out of the collapse and saved jobs..because the money went to the right place/people Please Diane don't get me wrong..people can vote for whom ever they like..this is not about changing your point of view...two things you mentioned earlier, firstly oil/natural resources..they belong to the citizens of the country..the Government is your representative not your owner so for every dollar that it made on behalf of the people should go back to the people not corporations..they are your resources..they are digging/fracking your lands..Secondly you say you have strong corporations..so do we..and I just read today that Westfield has been selling out of it US properties Ohio, Washington State, California, Indiana, plus 6 complexes in Florida..the Lowy's selling out of America..now that's telling us something. As for your Corporations Donald Trump comes to mind..he really wants to build one of his hotels in Sydney..because it would benefit the Australian people..but in order for him to do it..he needed a "tax holiday" in true Aussie style he was told "Piss off Donny..the truth is you can't afford to build in Sydney, you have to pay what everyone else pays". Now tell me is it so wrong ..that I expect ordinary citizens to benefit from the wealth of their country.. BTW both our two major parties are Conservative..on any given day you can't tell the difference between one or the other. Fortunately our new Government would like to see higher interest rates..lets see how our Reserve will react to that.
 

Ros G. (90)
Friday September 20, 2013, 6:03 am
PS..I forgot to add that we have very strong Anti-discrimination it wasn't because Donald Trump was American..we do it to our own......Rupert Murdoch..an Australian dynasty family...now a US citizen..we do share the wealth.
 
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