Things are tough all over… except for Washington, D.C. By vacuuming four trillion dollars out of the private economy, President Obama has brought a deficit-fueled boom to the seat of the national bureaucracy he loves. Bloomberg News does the honors as Silicon Valley is dethroned, and America’s new richest city is crowned:
Federal employees whose compensation averages more than $126,000 and the nation’s greatest concentration of lawyers helped Washington edge out San Jose as the wealthiest U.S. metropolitan area, government data show.
The U.S. capital has swapped top spots with Silicon Valley, according to recent Census Bureau figures, with the typical household in the Washington metro area earning $84,523 last year. The national median income for 2010 was $50,046.
This has not escaped the notice of those who concern themselves with income disparity, and they’re feeling a bit queasy about it:
The figures demonstrate how the nation’s political and financial classes are prospering as the economy struggles with unemployment above 9 percent and thousands of Americans protest in the streets against income disparity, said Kevin Zeese, director of Prosperity Agenda, a Baltimore-based advocacy group trying to narrow the divide between rich and poor.
“There’s a gap that’s isolating Washington from the reality of the rest of the country,” Zeese said. “They just get more and more out of touch.”
I’m all in favor of narrowing the divide between rich and poor myself, provided it’s done by making the poor richer. Flooding D.C. with six-figure bureaucrats until it turns into El Dorado is the exact opposite of that. The very policies that helped Obama surround himself with a suitably magnificent aristocracy are killing the poor. As money is siphoned out of the private sector, and the national debt accumulates with staggering interest payments, opportunity withers. Not coincidentally, Obama has brought the number of people living in poverty to record highs.
There is no more concise, and devastating, symbol of Obama’s failure than watching Washington, D.C. become the richest city in the nation, while Gross Domestic Product flounders and 9% unemployment drags on for years. Worst of all, whoever gets the job of cleaning up this mess will be accused of wanting to make unemployment worse, when they start sending those surplus $126,000 bureaucrats home.