China's Politicians Are Way, Way Wealthier Than Ours
Policy + Politics

China's Politicians Are Way, Way Wealthier Than Ours

iStockphoto/The Fiscal Times

With a net worth of nearly half a billion dollars, Darrell Issa (R-California) is the richest man in any of the three branches of US government. 

But were he at a meeting of China's National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Congress, he would rank only 166th, according to the data from the Hurun Report's 2015 Global Rich List obtained by The New York Times (via @ericfish85).

Related: The 10 Richest Members of Congress in 2014

"The lack of institutional checks and balances allows politics and money to come together on a scale that is not imaginable in a capitalist country like the USA," Steve Tsang, a professor of contemporary Chinese studies at the University of Nottingham in England, told The Times via email.

As of 2013, Issa was worth $448.4 million. That's poor, however, by Chinese politicians' standards. Eighteen of China's delegates have a net worth greater than the entirety of Congress, the nine Supreme Court justices, and President Obama's cabinet.

In total, 106 members of China's National People's Congress and 97 members of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Congress, which opened Wednesday, are on Hurun's China Rich List. Their combined wealth hits $463.8 billion.

Related: Darrell Issa-The Richest Lawmaker on the Hill

By comparison, the median wealth of American politicians was just over $1 million in 2013, according to CNN Money. Of course, that is still 18 times the earning power of the typical American household.

According to last year's Hurun numbers, the 50 richest members of Congress held $1.6 billion, while the 50 wealthiest NPC members controlled $94.7 billion, as The Economist reported.

Together the US and China dominate the list of the worlds' billionaires, with 537 and 430 respectively — roughly half of the Hurun Report's 2015 list. While Huron called New York City the "billionaire capital of the world," five Chinese cities sit in the top 10: Hong Kong, Beijing, Shenzen, Taipei, and Shanghai.

This article originally appeared in Business Insider.

Read more at Business Insider:

If you're 65 years old, here's when you're going to die
Cisco has a new partner in its ingenious but risky cloud plans: Microsoft 
White House Aide takes a shot at Hillary