A fascinating, huge searchable trove of data was released this week by the Washington Post. It ranks Congressmen according to their personal wealth, and reveals many interesting details about how our lawmakers earn, and invest, their money. I encourage everybody to spend a few minutes horsing around with the database. Very interesting.
Among other things, it says that Denny Rehberg was personally worth $31 million just a few years ago. But on the eve of his announcement that he would run against Jon Tester (the only working man in the United States Senate), Rehberg’s net worth suddenly plummeted to only $5 million. Perhaps this was accounting artifice, to make Rehberg look more like the common man.
In the alternative, I wonder whether there isn’t a legitimate question to raised by this data regarding Rehberg’s business acumen. If a person invests money and land for a living, and sees the value of those assets drop by 83% in the course of a year or two, how can this person possibly claim to be qualified for high office? Mind you, Rehberg lives in the right-wingosphere where a belief prevails that Mitt Romney would be a better president than Barack Obama because he “understands business.” Meaning, in Romney’s case, that he was talented at investing capital for a profit.
How, then, does Rehberg rate himself on this metric?