Posts Tagged ‘Washington’s Governing Class’
The reason, of course: the huge population of government workers and contractors in the nation’s capital living on the taxpayers’ dime.
A Money magazine analysis of the 3,033 counties in the United States found that of the 15 counties with the highest median household incomes, 10 are in the Washington area, and “they have an average income almost double that of the nation as a whole,” according to John H. Fund, a senior editor of The American Spectator.
“Four of the remaining five surround New York City, and are populated by many Wall Streeters who benefited from TARP and other federal bailouts.”
The Politico website noted in 2010 that “the massive expansion of government under Obama has basically guaranteed a robust job market for policy professionals, regulators and contractors for years to come.”
A poll that year conducted for Politico found that 45 percent of Washington elites believed the country and economy were headed in the right direction, compared to 25 percent of the general population, and 74 percent of the elites said the recession had hurt them less than most Americans.
The Cato Institute disclosed that in 2008, the average compensation in pay and benefits for federal civilian employees was $119,900 a year, compared to $59,900 in private industry.
When Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980, just 3 percent of Washington residents had an income of $200,000 or more in today’s dollars, Fund pointed out. Today, more than 13 percent do.
The Washington Metropolitan Area, which includes parts of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia in addition to the District of Columbia, has a population of 5.6 million, making it the nation’s seventh largest metro area.
In June 2011, the metro area’s unemployment rate stood at 6.2 percent, the second lowest among the 49 largest metro areas, and the federal government now accounts for about 30 percent of the jobs in the city of Washington.
As Fund observes, “Wealth and power seem increasingly to gravitate toward the Beltway and its suburbs.”