10 things your Congressman won't tell you

Smart Money
by Brigid McMenamin

10/11/06

1. 'I can't lose.' This year 404 members of the U.S. House of Representatives are standing for reelection. For most it's a formality: On average, more than 90% of House incumbents win, according to a 2005 report by the Cato Institute. What's behind the incumbency advantage? Campaign financing, for one thing. We taxpayers pick up the tab for incumbents' regular offices, staff, publicity, travel and mailings, so they needn't raise as much money to run. Challengers, on the other hand, must come up with a fortune -- and do so in dribs and drabs since Congress caps individual contributions at $2,000...

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