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Congress gets richer

According to an analysis of U.S. lawmakers' financial disclosure forms conducted by Roll Call, the collective net worth of members of Congress rose nearly 25 percent between 2008 and 2010.

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President Barack Obama, flanked by Vice President Joe Biden (L) and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R) addresses a Joint Session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol September 8, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

According to an analysis of U.S. lawmakers' financial disclosure forms conducted by Roll Call, the collective net worth of members of Congress rose nearly 25 percent between 2008 and 2010. 

In 2008, members of Congress had a minimum net worth of $1.65 billion ($1 billion in the house and $651 million in the Senate). In 2010, the total rose to $2.04 billion, according to Roll Call. 

What's more, these numbers could be on the low end: 

These wealth totals vastly underestimate the actual net worth of Members of Congress because they are based on an accounting system that does not include homes and other non-income-generating property, which is likely to tally hundreds of millions of uncounted dollars. In addition, Roll Call's tally is based on the minimum values of assets reported by Members on their annual financial disclosure forms; the true values of those assets may be much higher.

One note that might make Occupy Wall Street members nod their heads: the 50 richest members of Congress accounted for 90 percent of the increase in net worth between 2008 and 2010. 

More from GlobalPost: Occupy Wall Street to trademark name

Another interesting stat reported by Roll Call: Democrats hold around 80 percent of the wealth in the Senate, while Republicans hold around 78 percent of the wealth in the House.

Just this past weekend, prompted by Occupy Wall Street, The New York Times took a look at the finances of the Republican presidential candidates and President Barack Obama and found that, with the possible exceptions of Representative Michele Bachmann and Representative Ron Paul, "they are the 1 percent." Mitt Romney, Jon M. Huntsman Jr., Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Obama all earned over $700,000 last year. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/111101/congress-gets-richer