Frugality Begins At Home


One reason to keep out of Congress: The body's spending habits might rub off:

More than 40 members of the House reported carrying at least $10,000 in credit-card or charge-card debt in 2003 and parts of 2004, according to a survey of financial disclosure reports conducted by The Hill….

The lawmaker reporting the highest credit-card debt was Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), who noted that in 2003 he had between $80,000 and $175,000 spread across seven credit cards. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, listed five accounts with a total of $75,000 to $250,000 in debt. New York Democrat Gary Ackerman was third in the survey, listing "various credit cards" with a total balance of $50,000 to $100,000.

The Senate, conforming to cliche, proved more responsible: Only one member reported a credit-card debt of more than $10,000.