Financial disclosures released this week show that 27 members of President Donald Trump’s White House staff are worth a combined $2.3 billion.
Most staff members like Ivanka Trump (Trump’s daughter) and Jared Kushner (Trump’s son-in-law) can attribute their wealth to real estate, various investments, and beefed-up salaries averaging anywhere between 172,000 for top staffers to around 80,000 for staffers in the lower ranks. The New York Times reported that among the richest of Trump’s White House staffers include chief strategist Steve Bannon, Goldman Sachs veteran Gary Cohn and members of Trump’s family, like his eldest daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner — both of whom are listed as advisors to President Trump.
As the Washington Post’s Philip Bump calculated, those roughly two dozen Trump staffers made more last year than more than 80 percent of counties did, combined:
In 80 percent of the counties in America, every household combined earns less than $2.3 billion a year. In counties that voted for Donald Trump, that figure is higher: In 86 percent of Trump counties, the total amount of income earned in a year is less than $2.3 billion.
In scale in terms of counties, the average earned income of a county that voted for Trump is around $2.1 billion dollars a year, this average includes all 86 Trump counties. About 80 percent of the counties in the U.S. fall around the same average, according to the 2011-2015 estimates from the Census Bureau.
The total population in most U.S. counties is relatively low, which explains why their annual income is lower. However, counties with larger population concentrations — typically counties that house major metropolitan areas like New York, Chicago, and Houston — are an exception. Coincidentally, most of the counties that don’t house major metropolitan cities voted for Trump in the November 2016 general election. The larger counties that Trump won are counties he flipped, where Barack Obama won previously . Only half of the counties that voted for Clinton cumulatively made less than $2.3 billion annually.
One interesting — and alarming — detail from the U.S. Census data analyzed by the Washington Post found that one-third of American households combined, particularly counties that Trump won in November, have essentially no net worth, with many of those households registering negative net worth when taking debt into account, like student loans and medical debt.