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Before Tea Party leader Jim DeMint left the U.S. Senate to take a high-paying position as head of the conservative Heritage Foundation, the 61-year-old’s net worth was estimated to total $40,501 in 2010.

That figure was down 54 percent since 2004, according to a Washington Post report on the personal finances of lawmakers, and it may help explain why he went to join the Heritage Foundation. For a man whose book, Now or Never: Saving America From Economic Collapse, criticizes Social Security as proof that the money spent by the federal government does not translate into positive results, DeMint must have been eager to find a way to self-fund his approaching retirement years.

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