The PJ Tatler

Waxman: One-Percenters are Bad, Unless They're in Congress

Retiring 20-term Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said that if the Tea Party wins against the GOP establishment, the party will cease to exist.

Waxman argued on MSNBC that “Congress can get things done on a bipartisan basis, but it doesn’t happen overnight.”

“We need to sometimes recognize it’s hard work and determination and looking for different combinations to bring people along. Right now it’s discouraging, because the Tea Party right wing Republicans are quite extreme. They think compromise is a dirty word, and to talk to the Democrats, they think is like complicit with the enemy, but it’s so far out, so extreme a view that I think other Republicans are going to reject it,” he said.

“Republicans are having a civil war right now, and if they get captured by the right wingers, they are going to become a extinct party.”

Waxman, who lives in Beverly Hills, said “the biggest problem” is not so much the gap in net worth between lawmakers and their constituents, but “is the top one — even half of 1 percent, they are getting so overly rewarded for their wealth and increasing their wealth and the middle class is being pushed down.”

“And we have this huge gap. It’s not that Congress is the super rich. There really is a class of super rich people and the Republicans are going and trying to benefit them even more,” he said.

The CQ-Roll Call wealth rankings of the 113th Congress, a healthy split of Dems and GOPs, showed that the top 50 members had at least $6.67 million net worth.

“I think the people ought to worry about the views of their members of Congress, not their personal profile, or their portfolio,” Waxman said. “You could have a low-income member of Congress take very right-wing, pro-wealthy positions and forget about the working people. And you could have people who are comfortable and that’s why they feel they can be in Congress and fight for the working people. Franklin Roosevelt, of course, was one of the wealthiest families in the nation.”