People of wealth entering the world of politics is nothing new. In fact, there have been rich people running this country ever since there was a country to run. Money has led to power since long before the United States came into being, and it will likely remain that way for thousands of years to come. With the right amount of money in the bank, there is almost no limit to what a person can accomplish. That isnâ€™t to say that money is the only requirement for getting elected â€“ but it sure doesnâ€™t hurt.
If you browse the web for political commentary, or even watch the news on TV, you might get the impression that money controlling politics is some kind of a new phenomenon that needs to be stopped. People like to wax poetic about the morals and values of our Founding Fathers, and how they drafted the Constitution to ensure equality and fairness for all citizens. Itâ€™s a great story, but most likely, it just isnâ€™t true. Instead, the Founding Fathers were likely the same as all politicians that came before and after them â€“ they had their own interests and agendas to consider. That doesnâ€™t make them bad people, but it would be a fallacy to believe they were fundamentally any different than the people who run the country today.
Below is a list of 16 of the richest politicians in American history. Some of these names are from the near past (or present), while others date back hundreds of years. After reviewing this list, you will have a clear understanding that money in politics is nothing new â€“ our leaders have been wealthy since the very beginning.
Jon Corzine â€“ Governor of New Jersey
Perhaps not a household name, Jon Corzine has enough money to buy plenty of houses â€“ and he would still have many millions left over. The former Governor of New Jersey is also the former CEO at Goldman Sachs, where he became a millionaire many times over. Of course, past success does not guarantee future success, and Corzine has since gone on to head a failed venture called MF Global.
Despite that failure, Corzine is still a rich man, with a net worth somewhere in the range of $300 million. Thatâ€™s one of the great things about being rich â€“ even when you fail, youâ€™re still rich.