Heidi Cruz — the wife of Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) recently lamented that the couple doesn’t make enough money to buy a vacation home.
The comment came at the tail-end of a mostly positive profile of Heidi Cruz done by The Atlantic. The piece largely revolved around her struggles to reconcile her own career ambitions with the sacrifices political spouses are often required to make.
“Six to seven years in it, with me being the primary breadwinner—it’s like, ‘Uh, yeah, this is when people say thank you. I’ll now take that appreciation.’” Heidi Cruz told the Atlantic’s Elana Plott over a glass of afternoon champagne in her “palatial” home in Houston’s River Oaks neighborhood, which was ranked as the 7th richest neighborhood in the U.S. in 2011 and is located in what is currently the 15th richest ZIP code in the South.
“We’re seven years into this, and we’re not buying a second home anytime soon,” she added.
The article ended with Mrs. Cruz insisting to give Plott a tour of her extensively decorated white brick home. According to real estate site Zillow, the 4,276 square-foot home is valued at $1.55 million. Apartments at the Newseum residences, where the Cruzes live when they’re in Washington, DC, rent for anywhere from $1,968/month for a studio to $5,293 for a two-bedroom unit.
The salary for a U.S. senator is $174,000 a year, and Ted Cruz’s net worth is nearly $3.8 million. The total compensation for Heidi Cruz’s position as a Goldman Sachs Managing Director comes out to about $600,000 per year, including bonuses and stocks. This means the two could easily put a 20 percent down payment on a million-dollar vacation home with just one-third of Heidi Cruz’s salary alone.
Sen. Cruz has been maintaining a slim lead over a surprisingly competitive reelection campaign against Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), in what has become the most high profile (and expensive) political race of the year. O’Rourke has made income inequality a central tenet of his campaign, which has refused all corporate donations. Despite that, his campaign raised $38 million in the last quarter. However, like Cruz, O’Rourke also does not have a vacation home.
"The poor are still poor because, despite their material goods, they still lack public dignity and control over the most important facts of their lives, such as where they live and how their children are educated…the War on Poverty is far from over." https://t.co/FPNK0IN4Hr
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) July 21, 2018
Cruz has attempted to appeal to poorer voters with the repeated talking point that “the biggest lie in American politics is that the Republicans are the party of the rich.” A point that has ringed hollow given his long history of supporting tax cuts for the wealthy and unsuccessfully pushing to make it even harder for working class Americans to get food stamps.
Nathan Wellman is a Grit Post contributing editor in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter: @LIGHTNINGWOW. You can also email him at info AT gritpost DOT com.