Maybe U.S. Rep. John Fleming should ship his House colleague Steve Scalise a year’s free supply of Subway sandwiches, via UPS.
That might help reduce the disparity in the wealth of the two Louisiana Republicans, as indicated by their required financial disclosure reports. Fleming, a Minden physician who operates franchises for Subway and UPS, ranks as the 42nd-richest member of Congress for 2014, according to a compilation by the Washington political newspaper Roll Call. Scalise, of Jefferson, made the bottom-10 list, although just barely.
The calculations are approximate: Members of Congress report their assets and liabilities in broad ranges, and Roll Call subtracted the minimum possible liabilities from the minimum possible assets for each member to come up with a number for wealth.
Fleming actually fell nine spots in the rankings since 2013, as his wealth, which also includes extensive rental-property interests, contracted by more than 15 percent to $9 million and change, the magazine said. And its report cautioned that Scalise may not be quite as bad off as his -$671,000 total suggests, due to the way the disclosure forms handle home-mortgage refinancings.
In any case, Fleming’s wealth can’t buy him the one choice bit of real estate that Scalise laid claim to this summer, thanks to his election as House majority whip: an impressive and historic leadership office in the U.S. Capitol.