We welcome our new bosses - the nomenklatura

This IDB editorial brings back fond memories of the 1980's and the two-tiered "classless" system in the old Soviet Union. On the top - party members and bureaucrats. What was left over went to the bulk of the citizenry.

For those who remember the old Soviet Union, it was a grim place - at least for average citizens. But not so for those in government. Contrary to the official ideals of equality and a classless society that the ruling communist regime espoused, the USSR created a privileged class of party members inside government - the nomenklatura.

This semipermanent bureaucracy earned higher incomes, got better health care, ate better food and had greater job security than average Russians, the much-despised proletarians. Today, our bloated federal government seems, in significant ways, to be creating this same dynamic.

Take the just-passed health care bill that carefully excluded the White House, congressional leaders and their staffs from having to live under the reforms' restrictions.

"President Obama will not have to live under the Obama health care reforms, and neither will the congressional staff who helped to write the overhaul," said Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley. "The message to the people at the grass roots is that it's good enough for you, but not for us."

The hypocrisy of these officials and the contempt they show for average Americans is bad enough. But Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public can also go to jail or be fined up to $250,000 for not buying insurance. And the government is spending $10 billion to hire 16,500 new IRS agents to make sure they don't escape the new system.

Under current budget plans, this won't end soon. With $45 trillion in new government spending planned over the next decade, this new privileged governing class can only grow.

The editorial points out that government is the only growth sector in the economy for jobs, adding 81,000 bureaucrats while the private sector has lost nearly 5 million.

I would expect government to exempt themselves from other new federal regulations and programs in the future. After all, what good does it do to oversee the welfare state and not be immune from its worst aspects?

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky