North County congressman says America’s poor are ‘envy of the world’

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Rep. Darrell Issa, the richest man in Congress, said America has made “our poor somewhat the envy of the world.”

Asked by CNNMoney whether he feels personally responsible to address income inequality in the United States, the Republican Congressman representing coastal northern San Diego County and southern Orange County  said “absolutely.” But he noted that America is the richest country on earth and implied that those in poverty here are better off than the poor in other nations.

“If you go to India or you go to any number of other Third World countries, you have two problems: You have greater inequality of income and wealth. You also have less opportunity for people to rise from the have not to the have,” said Issa. In the U.S., he noted there is better availability and access to quality public education.

Issa’s personal wealth is by far the greatest of any congress member. His net worth in 2013 was $448.4 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, and stems from a car alarm business he built.

America’s poor, however, might not feel as upwardly mobile. It’s actually harder for Americans to climb the economic ladder here than it is for their peers in most other advanced countries, research by University of Ottawa Professor Miles Corak shows.

Opportunity in America also varies widely based on where one lives. Baltimore, for instance, is the toughest place in the country for poor children to escape poverty, according to a new Equality of Opportunity study released this week by Harvard economists.


  • robert

    Yep; I agree. I do not hear of any of our poor trying their hardest to go to another country for the ‘upwardly mobile’ opportunities; …. or their healthcare; …. or their education; …. or their benefits…. no. Have you heard of any.?
    But I sure have, and seen, many try their hardest to come here; or did I miss something. Everyday is a new day and time to do something ‘productive.’ Can’t find a job… okay; where did you apply.? How many places did you go and ask.? How many do you have planned to visit on Monday.? answers are welcomed

    • guppy

      You read like an angry white man? If anyone buys into issas BS you are living under a rock!
      Ever heard of “brain drain theory”? OR how many world leaders including the reigning ruler of korea being educated in the USA? Mr. Congressman wants america to be third world simply to Crush blue collar workers and enhance his wealth. I wonder how much he pays those who build parts for his alarm business in India Pakistan China et al? This poor, n I don’t mean monetarily, Man has wetdreams about paying US employees getting .60 cents a day instead of fair wages as equity requires. For goodness sakes get your calabaza out of your electric kulo! You did ask for an answer. Sleep well on your bed unlike third world workers. ZZZZZZZZ

      • Tom

        @Cuppy, did you type this comment of yours on a computer made by local labor union, or did you use the low cost, imported brand?

  • Steve Strokemayer

    He’s just trying to take our eyes off the real problem. Our middle class is becoming the working poor class. Issa is a turd…..

  • RIch on the surface rotten below!

    The richest country only because of good credit standing and the ability to print up as much money as Sam wants and hold interest rates low. Who hasn’t had a neighbor or a family member that bought a fantastic car only to have it repo’d because they were in over their head. But until it was they looked rich. I’m wondering when our creditors will get scared.

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