Paul Ryan campaigned as Mitt Romney running mate back in the 2012 presidential election, but was famously foiled by the Obama/Biden movement. Prior to all of this, Ryan served as U.S. Representative for Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Chairman of the House Budget Committee — an extensive public service record. He is capitalistic to a tee, claiming to have absorbed Ayn Rand's work in his formative years. However, his last 15 years are comprised of public service, leading some Americans to question the sum of Ryan's net worth, and how he earned it.
Well, the number is elusive — between $2.1 million and $7.8 million — according to The Seattle Times and federal financial disclosure forms. His earliest years in Congress were more modest; he even took out a mortgage between $100,000 and $250,000 to purchase rental properties, making some smaller gains flipping houses and as a landlord. He ranks as 61st in net worth in the House of Representatives, as the Center for Responsive Politics explains based on their own data sources.
Incidentally, Ryan's wife Janna — a tax attorney — served as an unconventional source of income, as the couple inherited between $1 million and $5 million upon her mother's passing. Not only were Mrs. Ryan's parents successful oil and gas rights lawyers in the Red River area between Oklahoma and Texas, but her grandfather was also a millionaire from a patent, legal work, and redeveloping military housing ― all of which contributed to the Little family's fortune.
The Center for Responsive Politics reports that the average congressman's salary is around $5.9 million, so Ryan falls within that range. This despite his many investment partnerships, such as Ryan Limited Partnership (of which he owns 21 percent), Ryan-Hutter (worth $250,000), Red River Pine LLC (a timber interest company), and small investments in oil, minerals, mining, and technology (like Apple, IBM, and Google). In other words, he is a diversified investor.
Naturally, this translates into his public service responsibilities. He served on the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform in 2010, and as a ranking Republican member of the House Budget Committee starting in 2007, becoming chairman in 2011 (when Republicans seized the House of Representatives). In the last ten years, Ryan's net worth has increased by over 75 percent. So although he may not be the richest congressman on the Hill, he is awfully qualified to handle many of the government's budgetary responsibilities — and his considerable net worth at his young age speaks to his fiscal intrigue.