August 23, 2011 | last updated May 31, 2012 8:44 pm

A fifth of Congressmen have business grounding

Eight out of 10 Congressmen lack an education grounded in business or economics despite the tough and complex fiscal policies they are being asked to debate, a policy analysis group says.

The Employment Policies Institute says its new analysis reveals that just 8.4 percent have a degree in economics, and 13.7 percent have a degree in business or accounting.

The most popular academic background was government and law (34.8 percent) followed by the humanities (20.9 percent). Other subjects included science and technology (11.5 percent) and human service (4.9 percent).

"Members of Congress are expected to provide answers for our country's spending and economic crises, but it appears many of them might have difficulty answering Econ 101 questions," said Michael Saltsman, research fellow at the Employment Policies Institute.

"History is full of examples of elected representatives who have performed admirably without a formal academic background in business or economics, and some may have experience running their own business," Saltsman said. "But in this current climate, with competing claims about how a particular piece of legislation will impact our economy, it's more important than ever that our representatives be familiar with economic basics."

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