Over the past four decades, private equity has become a powerful and malicious force in our daily life. In our May / June 2022 issue, Mother Jones investigates the vulture capitalists who chew and spit out American businesses, the politicians who empower them, and the common people who react. Find the complete package here.
Among the 22 members of the House and Senate who reported investing in private equity last year, 10 were Republicans and 12 were Democrats. They ranked among the wealthiest members of Congress, an already elite club made up mostly of millionaires who did little to get rid of the carried interest loophole, the weirdness of federal tax law that allows a certain very select group of people : hedge funds and private equity managers – to collect their pay at a much lower tax rate than many Americans. According to OpenSecrets, the Money-in-politics watchdog, the private equity sector has spent $ 16.5 million congressional lobbying last year; all in all, 415 of the 435 members of the House and almost all the senators took money from the industry ahead of the latest election, including the five largest congressional private equity investors:
The richest member of the Senate ($ 200 million), the former governor of Florida made his fortune at the Columbia / HCA chain of hospitals, which the feds fined $ 1.7 billion for fraud and overbilling while Scott was CEO.
In February, the National Republican Senatorial Committee chaired by Scott released its “11-Point Plan to Save America,” a GOP Complaint Policy Manifesto. In a 2012 throwback to Romney’s campaign, however, Scott demanded that about 57% of households who do not earn enough to pay federal income taxes in the future, “have skin in the game.”
The third richest senator ($ 94 million), Warner founded venture capital firm Columbia Capital in 1989. He opposed closing the carried interest loophole and claimed capitalism was “under assaultIn frankly unprecedented ways.
In early 1986, the FCC held a lottery to divide the rights to build the nation’s first cell phone networks. Warner, then a young lawyer, proposed that the winners hire him to sell their collective rights as a package. They did, and Warner’s cut of the $ 20 million deal was about $ 2 million in cash today, helping him get started with Columbia shortly thereafter.
A former Microsoft executive whose husband recently retired from the tech giant to work in the Department of Veterans Affairs, DelBene is the eighth-richest member of the House ($ 52 million).
DelBene was also one of the most active stock exchanges in Congress in 2021: She and her husband bought more than $ 15 million worth of stock and sold nearly $ 31 million, including Microsoft stock after its retirement.
The senior Connecticut senator ($ 85 million) got married to considerable wealth: his father-in-law, Peter Malkin, was the president of a large Manhattan real estate company and a longtime rival by Donald Trump.
In 2002, after PE Forstmann Little’s firm lost more than $ 100 million in state pension funds, then – Connecticut Attorney General Blumenthal sued and recovered $ 16 million – helping him solidify his reputation.
The son of Congressional PE manifesto, the fourth richest senator (estimated net worth: $ 85 million) co-founded Bain Capital in 1984. In 2012, Romney’s firing of 47% of Americans as freeloaders he helped sink his presidential campaign.
In a devastating 2012 attack announcement paid for by Priorities USA, an Indiana paper mill worker named Mike Earnest recounts how his bosses asked him to build a 30-foot stage, only to later realize it was up to them. Bain’s executives announce to his colleagues that they would all be fired.