- National laboratory cancels ‘Southern Accent Reduction’ classes after outcry
- U.S. woman with Ebola is stable, improving, son says
- Belgium pushes for clear labeling of goods from Israeli settlements
- ‘Queen of Mean’ Leona Helmsley’s former home hits market for $65M
- Florida beach-goers told to beware flesh-eating bacteria in water
- Lundergan Grimes uses ‘war on women’ strategy to attack McConnell
- Rep. Jeff Miller: ‘Ain’t no leash for VA’
- Al Qaeda nets $125M from ransom payoffs from Europe since 2008
- Ohio Gov. John Kasich cruising to re-election: survey
- Landslide hits Indian village; 150 may be trapped
EDITORIAL: The imperial city
Washington prospers while the rest of America suffers
Question of the Day
Times are great. Unemployment is down, income is up and economic growth continues - only if you live in the national capital region. For the rest of America, tough luck.
The District is flourishing, according to the most recent data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The Washington metropolitan area has the fourth-largest gross domestic product (GDP) in the country and is at the top of the list on a per capita basis. In 2010, the local economy grew by 3.6 percent, mostly in the government and professional services sectors. Personal income rose 3.7 percent - 28 percent higher than the rest of the country. The current dollar GDP in the D.C. area rose every year from 2007 to 2010. Surprise: The recession skipped Washington.
The White House touts national unemployment at 8.2 percent, but in the capital region unemployment is running at 5.8 percent. Area residents who find jobs elsewhere also discover they generally pay less. In D.C. incomes keep rising.
The wealthiest citizens of the federal city are doing well indeed. Nationally, it takes an annual income of $387,000 to be part of the much maligned top 1 percent of earners, but to be counted among the District’s 1 percenters requires pulling down a whopping $617,000 per year. The District’s wealthiest have completely lost perspective on how privileged they are. A Washington Post/Sentier Research study quoted a member of local high society saying he lived in a “typical, stereotypical, upper-middle-class neighborhood,” though he owns a million-dollar home and just returned from a business retreat on billionaire Richard Branson’s private island. When people in the heartland complain that the people in Washington have lost touch with the rest of the country, this is what they are talking about.
There’s no reason for Washington to have emerged as an economic powerhouse other than the fact that it is the seat of government. This is deeply troubling. The wealth flowing into Washington is taken from the rest of the country and doled out after the locals take their cut. The District enjoys this arrangement, but it is based on the use of taxpayer money or amassing increasingly huge amounts of public debt.
Every major poll shows a strong majority of Americans think the country is on the wrong track. Confidence in Washington to do the right thing is low. A July 2011 National Journal poll showed that 58 percent don’t believe “the government in Washington D.C. will make progress over the next year on the most important problems facing the country.” This does not reflect a dissatisfaction with the scope of government in general, as a March 2011 Gallup poll showed that state and local authorities scored well on the question of whether they had too much power. Fifty-eight percent said Washington had too much power, and only 9 percent said it should have more. This should give President Obama pause as he attempts to find new and creative ways to circumvent Congress and wield power unilaterally. Meanwhile, the imperial city continues to fiddle with the economy while the rest of the country burns with growing resentment.
The Washington Times
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Reject any legislation dubbed 'comprehensive'
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Media are complicit in Hamas' tactics
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Gazans should help defeat Hamas
- EDITORIAL: The impeachment trap
- EDITORIAL: Illegal aliens in the shadows? What shadows?
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Get Breaking Alerts
- Patent workers paid to exercise, shop, do chores: report
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- CARSON: Rudderless U.S. foreign policy
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Obama mum on where illegal immigrant children are sheltered
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell's wife had 'crush' on CEO
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of politicizing business