16 Richest Politicians of All Time
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 isn’t to say that money is the only requirement for getting elected – but it sure doesn’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. It’s a great story, but most likely, it just isn’t true. Instead, the Founding Fathers were likely the same as all politicians that came before and after them – they had their own interests and agendas to consider. That doesn’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 – our leaders have been wealthy since the very beginning.
Jon Corzine – Governor of New Jersey
Perhaps not a household name, Jon Corzine has enough money to buy plenty of houses – 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. That’s one of the great things about being rich – even when you fail, you’re still rich.
Arnold Schwarzenegger – Governor of California
Yes – Arnold Schwarzenegger was actually a politician. No, we can’t erase that event from American history. Once most famous for his biceps, Schwarzenegger went on to become a huge star thanks to movies like Terminator, and then went on to become Governor of California. Wait, what? That actually happened?
Unlike most politicians, who are groomed at schools like Harvard and Yale, Schwarzenegger was groomed on sets in Hollywood for a career making public policy decisions. Not surprisingly, thanks to his box office success, Arnold was quite rich before getting started on his political ventures. The voters in the state of California sure do have a lot of questions to answer on this one.
Amo Houghton – Congressman from New York
Time and time again it is proven in politics that the best way to get rich is to pick the right parents. Those who choose to be born to rich parents are given something of a head start in life – like a giant, already most of the way around the track kind of head start. Why doesn’t everyone decide to be born into a rich family? It seems so obvious.
In the case of Amo Haughton, former Congressman from New York, his rich family of choice happened to have started Corning Incorporated. Thanks to the incredible success of their glass and other products, Mr. Houghton is unlikely to have to worry about money for a day in his life. Which is nice.