Break Out the Hankies: DC Metro to Feel Sequester Pain
NBC News reported over the weekend that the Washington DC metro area would feel the sting of sequester worse than other areas of the nation. This might just give Washingtonians and their suburban brethren a small taste of what most Americans have felt over the last four years of the Obama presidency.
DC metro has been largely insulated from the nation's economic woes thanks to elephantine government made more elephantine by a multitrillion dollar infusion of funny money into federal coffers. The massive funny money infusion would be thanks to President Obama and his slap-happy Democrats, who never think government is big enough.
Anyone who visits DC, or spends time there, sees streets full of BMWs, Mercedes, and Lexus high end stores, boutiques, and bistros in Georgetown, Chevy Chase, Bethesda, Potomac - you name it - are open for business and thronging with patrons. The DC real estate market has been heating up while most of the rest of the nation's housing market still struggles.
Slate reported last year that DC metro was home to seven of the ten richest counties in the United States. Yes, you read that correctly.
Wrote Slate's Matthew Yglesias:
It used to seem shocking that five of the ten richest counties in the United States were part of the DC Metropolitan Statistical Area, but the 2011 American Community Survey numbers released yesterday show that the DC suburbs now account for seven of the ten richest counties in America.
Loudon, Fairfax, and Arlington in Virginia lead the way followed by Hunterdon County, NJ then Howard County in Maryland; Somerset, NJ; Prince William and Fauquier in Virginia; Douglas, CO; and Montgomery County, MD.
Uncle Sam's sasquatch-sized footprint in the Washington DC area has left its denizens untouched by the pernicious effects of recession and a sick economy. DC's affluence is mostly parasitical: locals are battening their bank accounts off taxpayer blood from places like Akron, Topeka, Kalamazoo, and Muncie. Working Joes and Janes throughout flyover country fight to pay bills, mortgages, and cover rising food and fuel costs, while Washington's overpaid and overcompensated federal paper-pushers are cross if their lattes aren't piping hot. And DC's tick-like army of lobbyists and contractors aren't any less vexed if they're shorted on the mocha in their cappuccinos.
Of course, NBC News would report that the sequester was all about federal budget "cuts," as if Congress - the whole lot of them - had the guts to actually cut federal spending. No, what the nation is getting is a reduction in the size of federal spending increases - a paltry $44 billion worth. As Mark Steyn opined this past weekend at National Review Online:
The sequester supposedly cuts $44 billion from the federal budget - or from the rate of growth of the federal budget. Whatever. $44 billion is about what the United States government borrows every nine days, so it's not a lot. But it's apparently responsible for everything that matters in American life. [Italics added]
Let that sink in - and do the simple math. Borrowing $44 billion every nine days means that Uncle Sam borrows about $1.784 trillion every year. Mindboggling - and Monstrously Reckless.
So if the inhabitants of DC and surroundings have a flitting thought or two about their Lexus or bloated mortgage payments, or whether or not to postpone that vacation to St. Bart's, oh, well, join the club. The rest of us feel your pain. Sorta.