How Radical Congressman Raul Ruiz Fulfilled His American Dream: Debt

His annual congressional salary is $174,000. In disclosure forms filed before the June 2012 Democratic primary, Ruiz listed assets of $273,000 to $795,000, including cash, retirement accounts and stock in Apple, Microsoft, Visa and Coca-Cola.

Earning four degrees from UCLA and Harvard helped Rep. Raul Ruiz become an American success story as he escaped the poverty of his youth, became a respected doctor and ascended to the halls of Congress.

But that elite education also came with a hefty price tag, and Ruiz is years away from paying off his college loans.

The Palm Desert Democrat owes $150,000-$200,000 on debt he incurred to earn a bachelor’s degree at UCLA and a medical degree from Harvard University. His debt load would’ve been higher if not for scholarships, which paid for graduate degrees in public policy and public health he picked up while at Harvard, he told The Desert Sun.

The freshman lawmaker elected Nov. 6 is one of 41 House members and five senators who haven’t fully repaid loans they took out for themselves or their children, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. That finding comes from the group’s analysis of financial disclosure documents filed by incumbents and challengers last year. Those documents cover 2011.

The next round of disclosures, covering 2012, are due in the spring. That will be the first time Ruiz reveals information about his personal finances as a member of Congress.

Like millions of Americans, the 40-year-old Ruiz said he’s been making monthly payments, which will continue for many more years until the debt is cleared. He said he couldn’t recall exactly how much he pays, but estimated it’s about $1,000 a month, electronically transferred from his account to his creditors.


Complete text linked here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *