While most politicians are constantly under watch by the media and the public, there is one thing they try hard to keep under wraps: the size of their bank accounts. Politicians are compensated pretty nicely. The starting salary for a member of the House of Representatives or a Senator is $174,000 per year — and if a politician becomes a leader, a member of the Cabinet, or Speaker of the House, they’ll earn far more. But try as hard as they may to hide it, many politicians also build wealth through other avenues, racking up millions of dollars during their careers.
From financial and real estate investments, to inherited family wealth, to building private businesses, to six-figure speaking engagement fees: today’s top politicians aren’t just working for the government. They are finding ways to increase their bank accounts to staggering totals that would surprise absolutely anyone. Here is our countdown of 21 politicians with bigger bank account balances than you may think!
Betsy DeVos: $8.1 Billion
You might not have known much about Betsy DeVos just a few years ago, but today she’s a huge player in the Trump presidential administration as the Secretary of Education. She quickly became a polarizing public figure as she took charge of the country’s educational path, announcing changes in line with her party’s and administration’s politics. But while you might now be quite familiar with Betsy Devos and her political moves, you likely didn’t guess that she’s worth an incredible $8.1 billion. With a stable of luxury cars that would surpass any rockstar, a yacht, a private jet, and multiple mansions, Betsy DeVos has no trouble showing off her net worth.
DeVos didn’t get that insane net worth all thanks to politics. She’s part of a family with stunning wealth. DeVos’s husband, Dick DeVos, is the former CEO of Amway Inc., a multi-level marketing company that was founded by Betsy’s father-in-law and Jay Van Andel. Amway has given the DeVos plenty of their wealth — but Betsy’s family also contributed to her net worth, as her father and brother founded the Prince Corporation and Blackwater USA respectively.
Howard Schultz: $3.1 Billion
If you’ve lived absolutely anywhere in the world over the last 30 years, you know exactly who Howard Schultz is: the founder and CEO of Starbucks, the coffee chain that’s taken the world by storm. As the storied founder of Starbucks, Schultz has long enjoyed plenty of income as he expanded the chain, formed nonprofits, and revolutionized the way coffee is sold to consumers. And in the process of creating such a successful coffee powerhouse, Howard Schultz racked up a net worth totaling $3.1 billion.
Now, as the Chairman Emeritus of Starbucks (he stepped down as CEO in 2018), Schultz is enjoying his private jet, his many mansions throughout the U.S., and his millions of dollars in earnings. But even that isn’t enough to satisfy Schultz’s interest in reaching for even higher goals — just weeks into 2019, he announced that he’s considering throwing his hat in the ring for the 2020 presidential election. While Howard Schultz may not be a full-fledged politician just yet, he’s well on his way to becoming one. Rumors of Schultz’s interest in the presidency have been looming since he announced his exit from Starbucks.