Out of all of the Presidential candidates who have been fighting for the Democratic and Republican nominations so far, most people know that Donald Trump is very rich, but would you be able to give the net worths of the other candidates if someone asked you? Typically politicians don’t make a whole of money through salary alone. They often rely on speaking engagements, book deals, and other perks that go with being in the public spotlight to really make some good money.
This list of the 15 Most Shocking Net Worths of Politicians does not only include Presidential candidates, but also other rich politicians such as Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, and Michael Bloomberg. We know that Donald Trump should have no trouble funding his campaign, but some of the other “little guys” like Marco Rubio had to depend much more heavily on raising campaign funds to pay for their efforts. Some of these net worths may surprise you and open your eyes as to how much your favorite candidate or politician is really worth financially.
15. Marco Rubio
Net worth: $100 thousand
When Donald Trump referred to Marco Rubio as “Little Marco”, he might as well have been referring to Rubio being low man when it comes to his net worth. It might be a good thing that he dropped out of the race to be the Republican candidate for the 2016 Presidential election because Rubio seems to have problems managing his money. He purchased an expensive boat and leased a very nice luxury car which got him in over his head and now Rubio is only worth about $100 thousand. Marco grew up poor and it seems he has not yet learned to overcome that. He makes $174 thousand per year as a U.S. Senator, but has acquired a lot of debt from student loans and mortgages.
14. Joe Biden
Net worth: $500 thousand
Vice President Joe Biden decided not to throw his hat in the ring for the Democratic Presidential nomination. Perhaps part of that decision was due to the fact that with a net worth of only $500 thousand, Biden would have had to raise lots of money for his campaign. President Barack Obama even offered to help Joe out with finances because his son Beau Biden had a fight with cancer. The Vice President has a salary of $203,700 and Biden has called himself “the poorest man in Congress”. Biden has two mortgages and in 2013 he and his wife made a total of $407 thousand.
13. Bernie Sanders
Net worth: $700 thousand
Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders might not be able to compete with Hillary Clinton when it comes to net worths, but he has been able to hold his own in their debates. Sanders is worth about $700 thousand and is said to be very frugal with his money, not owning many assets besides his homes in Washington, D.C. and Vermont. Bernie makes $174 thousand per year as a member of Congress, but it is hard to gauge his exact net worth because all of his holdings are listed under his wife’s name. Perhaps the fact that he is not as rich as some other politicians will make voters more likely to “Feel the Bern”.
12. Ted Cruz
Net worth: $3.5 million
There is a big jump up from Bernie Sanders to Ted Cruz, who has a net worth of about $3.5 million. The Texas senator makes an annual salary of $174 thousand, but the fact that his wife Heidi made a lot of money as an executive at Goldman Sachs certainly boosts his standing. Ted Cruz made about $1 million for his book A Time for Truth. He may still have a shot at upending Donald Trump as the Republican candidate for the 2016 Presidential election. He became a United States Senator from Texas in 2013 and previously served as Solicitor General of Texas from 2003 to 2008. Ted Cruz became the first Hispanic person to win a presidential caucus in 2016.
11. John Kasich
Net worth: $10 million
Much like many of the 2016 Presidential candidates, John Kasich’s net worth has been debated, but comes in somewhere around $10 million. The 69th Governor of Ohio made a pretty good amount of money from Lehman Brothers and also capitalized on a job hosting for Fox News. Kasich has been a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio’s 12th District and a member of the Ohio Senate from the 15th district. Kasich should know a thing or two about money; he chaired the House Budget Committee for six years and was a key figure in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 as well as welfare reform.
10. Barack Obama
Net worth: $12.2 million
The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, finds his way to #10 on this list with a solid net worth of $12.2 million. Being the President comes with an annual salary of $400 thousand which may not seem like much, but if you add that up over eight years it ends up being a pretty nice income. Obama also made $273 thousand from his books The Audacity of Hope and Dreams from my Father. He should not have to touch his salary thanks to the fact that being President also comes with a $150 thousand per year expense account, a $100 thousand tax free travel account, and a $20 thousand entertainment budget. President Obama will likely make even more money when his term is up from making private speeches. The Obama family has a mortgage of somewhere between $500,000 and $1 million on their home in Chicago.
9. Hillary Clinton
Net worth: $21.5 million
You might be surprised to hear that Bill Clinton and Hillary left the White House almost broke back in 2001. The couple managed to build back up their wealth through book deals and speaking engagements over the next several years. Hillary earned more than $5 million from an advance on her memoir Hard Choices. A public disclosure had the couple with $53 million in assets, and they reportedly made at least $25 million from delivering speeches in 2014 and 2015. Hillary certainly has more money than her Democratic counterpart Bernie Sanders, but she pales in comparison to her likely Presidential opponent Donald Trump.
8. Jeb Bush
Net worth: $22 million
Jeb Bush barely edged out Hillary, although both have certainly spent a lot of time in the White House already thanks to their family members. Jeb may have been called a low energy individual, but he is certainly not low man when it comes to his net worth. The Jebster left the office of Governor of Florida with a net worth of only about $1 million in 2007, but he has made a nice living for himself based mostly off of speaking engagements and private equity dealings. Jeb also worked for Lehman brothers and made $7.4 million alone in 2012.
7. Ben Carson
Net worth: $27 million
Dr. Ben Carson certainly had some interesting talking points during the early stages of the Republican selection process. Carson has a net worth of about $27 million and the retired neurosurgeon earned most of his money from a combination of paid speeches, book royalties, and being a board member for both Costco and Kellogg. Carson likely made pretty good money as a surgeon, but did not end up doing very well in the bid for being a Presidential candidate and ultimately lent his support to Donald Trump. His books Gifted Hands, The Big Picture, Think Big, Take the Risk: Learning to Identify, and Choose, and Live with Acceptable Risk helped him get to where he is today.
6. Carly Fiorina
Net worth: $59 million
Fiornia’s Presidential aspirations did not seem to last very long. She is the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and her husband is also a former executive with AT&T. Fiorina has amassed a solid net worth of $59 million, despite her and her husband only brining in $2 million in 2013. Carly was the top dog at HP from 1999 to 2005 and was responsible for one of the biggest tech mergers in history which saw the company acquire Compaq Computers for $19 billion. Fiorina was a consultant for John McCain during his 2008 presidential campaign and had an unsuccessful run at being a Senator of California.
5. Mitt Romney
Net worth: $250 million
Once we get to Mitt Romney, we are talking some really big net worths. Romney is worth a quarter of a billion dollars. In 2010 alone Romney earned $22 million from investments. He served as the governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007 and had an unsuccessful run for President when he lost to incumbent Barack Obama. Romney has been paid more than $360 thousand per each speaking engagement, and also earned royalties for his book No Apology: The Case for American Greatness. He made lots of money working as a venture capitalist for his firm Bain Capital. Romney chose not to run for President in 2016, but still managed to stay in the news after bashing Donald Trump.
4. Donald Trump
Net worth: $4.5 billion
Here we have a very huge jump from Romney to Trump. With a net worth of $4.5 billion, “The Drumpf” is clearly the richest Presidential candidate in 2016. Compare that to 19 other candidates who were in the race at some point, who have a total combined net worth of around $254 million, and it’s clear that Trump is head and shoulders above the rest as far as money is concerned. Trump’s net worth has often been debated, even by Donald himself. He has made a lot of his money through real estate, but was also paid a lot by NBC for The Apprentice. In 2014 Trump’s reported income was $362 million. Trump was paid a reported $3 million per episode of The Apprentice which made him one of the highest paid television personalities of all time.
3. Kim Jong-un
Net worth: $5 billion
Whether you like him or hate him, at least most Americans can admit they would rather have Donald Trump running their country than Kim Jong-un. The “Supreme Leader” of North Korea is said to be worth about $5 billion and got that money from his family. Kim’s assets have been divided up into more than 200 foreign bank accounts, with many of those being in China and containing several million in cash. Kim Jong-un has been suspected of making even more money through illegal activities including counterfeiting rings and manufacturing illicit drugs. Kim Jong-un became the Supreme Leader when his father Kim Jong-Il passed away in December 2011 and is surprisingly only the third highest on Forbes’ “Most Powerful People” among Koreans.
2. Michael Bloomberg
Net worth: $38 billion
Businessman and politician Michael Bloomberg has a very impressive net worth of $38.1 billion. He has earned the title of being America’s richest politician, and is also the 11th richest man in America. Bloomberg served as the Mayor of New York from 2002 to 2013, and is also the CEO of Bloomberg L.P. He founded that company, which was originally Market Systems, in 1981 and has donated nearly $2 billion to charity as a philanthropist. Bloomberg lowered his mayoral salary to just $1, and has often been seen riding the subway to try and fit in with other New Yorkers. Bloomberg has owned several homes valued at over $10 million. He turned down offers to run for President in 2008, 2012, and 2016.
1. Vladimir Putin
Net worth: $70 billion
Now that Dos Equis has done away with its “Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign, Vladimir Putin might be in the running to take that title. In addition, Putin is also one of the richest men in the world, and has been named the World’s Most Powerful person by Forbes for three years running. Putin became the President of Russia in 2012, after previously holding the same position from 2000 to 2008. During the time in between he served as the Prime Minister of Russia. He has amassed an amazing net worth of $70 billion, despite being paid a salary of only $187 thousand in 2013. Putin made $350 million when he sold his palace in 2011, and made $500 million in salary as the Prime Minister. He owns a 50% stake in Gunvor, 37% of Surgutneftegas, and 4.5% of Gazprom as well. All of that adds up to make Vladimir Putin the richest living politician in the world today.