LOOK AT THE DEPARTMENTS BEING LOADED UP... YOU'LL GET THE PICTURE!
While much of the nation has been struggling through stormy economic times, one locale has been weathering that storm just fine — Washington, D.C.
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.”
More than two years after Obama took office vowing to banish “special interests” from his administration, nearly 200 of his biggest donors have landed plum government jobs and advisory posts, won federal contracts worth millions of dollars for their business interests or attended numerous elite White House meetings and social events, an investigation by iWatch News has found.
These “bundlers” raised at least $50,000 — and sometimes more than $500,000 — in campaign donations for Obama’s campaign. Many of those in the “Class of 2008” are now being asked to bundle contributions for Obama’s reelection, an effort that could cost $1 billion…
The White House insisted its appointees are eminently qualified. “In filling these posts, the administration looks for the most qualified candidates who represent Americans from all walks of life,” White House spokesman said. “Being a donor does not get you a job in this administration, nor does it preclude you from getting one.”
The iWatch News investigation found:
- Overall, 184 of 556, or about one-third of Obama bundlers or their spouses joined the administration in some role. But the percentages are much higher for the big-dollar bundlers. Nearly 80 percent of those who collected more than $500,000 for Obama took “key administration posts,” as defined by the White House. More than half the 24 ambassador nominees who were bundlers raised $500,000.
- The big bundlers had broad access to the White House for meetings with top administration officials and glitzy social events. In all, campaign bundlers and their family members account for more than 3,000 White House meetings and visits. Half of them raised $200,000 or more.
- Some Obama bundlers have ties to companies that stand to gain financially from the president’s policy agenda, particularly in clean energy and telecommunications, and some already have done so. Level 3 Communications, for instance, snared $13.8 million in stimulus money.