In a new profile published today in the Atlantic, Heidi Cruz, a managing director at Goldman Sachs and the wife of US senator Ted Cruz, described her life as the family’s primary breadwinner.
Elaina Plott reports that Cruz is “working 70-hour weeks not only because she wants to, but also because she has to.” Seven years into her husband’s career as a politician, his public servant’s salary poses financial constraints to the Cruz family lifestyle, Cruz claims. “We’re not buying a second home anytime soon,” she told Potts.
How much do Ted and Heidi Cruz really make?
As a managing director at Goldman Sachs, Heidi Cruz likely earns over $300,000 a year—without factoring in an additional bonus. As a senator, Ted Cruz earns an annual salary of $174,000 for his work as a public servant, placing him in the top 3% of American earners.
In the past few years, Ted Cruz also had other sources of income, including royalties from his book, A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America, which in 2015 came to a minimum $318,750 in royalty payments. (He reported making between $100,001 and $1 million in royalties for the book that year.)
Together, the couple list assets ranging between $2 million and $5 million from stocks, mutual funds, and his law firm retirement plan. After liabilities, that number could be considerably lower—Roll Call estimates that the politician’s personal net worth may be as little as $200,000. Nevertheless, assuming an annual income as a household of $474,000 from their salaries alone, the Cruz family would still be in the top 0.7% of American earners. That’s eight times the median household income in their home state of Texas ($56,565 in 2016.)
With those numbers in mind, Heidi Cruz’s comment about not being able to afford a second home rings a little hollow. The average house price in Houston is $290,000, though many people from the city own property in the nearby Texas Hill Country area, where prices are a little lower. Purchasing out of state—the profile notes that Heidi Cruz is a “Hamptons lifer”—would likely come with a higher price tag.
But compared to Cruz’s colleagues, maybe they do feel like they’re struggling. The US Congress is in large part 1-percenters: According to Roll Call, which has compiled “snapshots of the assets and liabilities of every House member and senator just as their service in the 115th Congress began,” Cruz’s personal wealth made him the 332nd wealthiest of 530 Congress members. It’s not clear whether this includes his wife’s earnings. Meanwhile, Beto O’Rourke, his Democratic rival in the Texas race for Senator, is within the top 100 wealthiest people in Congress, with an estimated net worth of $3 million.