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Chart: America's Gold Plated Cabinet

America’s Gold Plated Cabinet

The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays.

When President Trump was elected to the Oval Office with a net worth in the billions, it was clear that this presidency would be unique.

Not only did he himself come a successful business background, but he wanted the people surrounding him to have similar backgrounds as well.

In 2016, the newly elected Trump was quoted as saying he wanted to have people in his cabinet that “made a fortune”, also stating that he was putting together “one of the great cabinets that has ever been assembled in the history of our nation.”

Comparing First-Term Cabinets

Today’s chart, which also appears on the back cover of Politico Magazine (web version found here), shows the wealth of initial cabinets put together by the last three presidents: Trump, Obama, and Bush.

Here’s how they stack up, in terms of aggregate wealth:

Administration Start of Initial Term Cabinet Net Worth
Trump 2017 $2.33 billion
Obama 2009 $67 million
Bush 2001 $355 million

Trump’s cabinet is worth a cool $2.33 billion – about 35x the size of Barack Obama’s initial cabinet, and 7x the size of George W. Bush’s first.

Interestingly, the top four people (in terms of wealth) are all in Trump’s:

Richest cabinet members

Betsy DeVos ($1.1 billion) sits atop as the wealthiest person in all three initial cabinets – and Wilbur Ross ($506.5 million), Rex Tillerson ($294.5 million), and Steve Mnuchin ($252.0 million) round out the other top spots.

Meanwhile, Donald Rumsfeld ($151.9 million) was the richest person outside of Trump’s cabinet.

Obama’s Second Term

While the comparisons in the chart are all for initial cabinets, it is worth noting that Obama’s second cabinet was not so modest.

He elected to bring in Penny Pritzker as the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, who was worth $2.2 billion – almost the combined net worth of Trump’s cabinet today!

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