How do our politicians manage to become so rich in such a short period of time?

According to the Center for American Progress web site, in 2005, House Speaker Dennis Hastert managed to ramrod through Congress $207 million in federal funds to build the “Prairie Parkway” through his Congressional district in Illlinois.

A few months later, Hastert sold 70 acres of land he had purchased in 2002 and 2004 that just happened to lie within three miles of the future parkway. The deal earned the former high school wrestling coach a profit of about $2 million.

Hastert claims that his profits had “nothing to do with the Prarie Parkway,” because it is so far away.

Well, what made the land escalate in value so much in such a short time?

And if there is no real value to having the parkway in that particular location, why are taxpayers being hit for $207 million to build it?

Mr. Speaker stands to make even more profit off the purchases he has made in the last few years, the report said. The 70 acres he sold is only part of the 195 acres he has purchased in the area.