05.08.2013 0

New Study Shows Big Government is Creating the One Percent

U.S. Capitol at Night

By Willie Deutsch

Forbes released its annual study of wealthiest counties in the nation.  A quick glance at the list makes one thing abundantly clear, at a time when taxes are going up, and regulations are driving businesses out of existence, more and more people are profiting off of government.  Six of the top counties surround Washington D.C., showing just how much the federal government has grown in the last decade.  The third highest county, Los Alamos, makes the list because the National Laboratory is located there.

Forbes makes this point very well in its introduction: “The economy may still be struggling to break out in much of the country, but not in Washington, where local federal spending has doubled over the past decade, boosting federal agency employment and contract spending. Lawyers and lobbyists have rolled in from anywhere and everywhere. The local unemployment rate of 5.5 percent lies well below the national average. It’s also where median household income levels are the highest in the country.”

Let’s take a look at some of the counties on the list.

10. Prince William Co., VA: Median Household Income $93,101

Prince William Co. is almost entirely a commuter county.  Very few non-retail businesses exist in the county.  Many people commute to D.C. for government jobs, otherwise primary employers are Quantico Marine Corps Base, local government, the public schools, and a few county based government contractors.

7. Arlington Co., VA: Median Household Income $98,060

Arlington Co. used to be part of Washington D.C.  It is the home of many government agencies, and the government contracting work that comes along with it.

6. Howard Co., MD: Median Household Income $99,040

Much like Loudoun and Prince William counties in Virginia, this is a county that finds many of its residents making the long commute into Washington D.C. for work.  The other primary in county employee is its top notch Public School system.

4. Fairfax Co., VA: Median Household Income $105,409

Fairfax Co. houses the CIA, and other intelligence agencies.  A county of 1.1 million people right next to Washington D.C. it is also filled with either government contractors, political consulting companies, people who travel into D.C., and various service industry jobs to support those involved in the government.

3. Los Alamos, NM: Median Household Income $110,204

This is an odd one to make the list.  However it makes the list, because it is a county in a poorer state that is wealthy because of the $2.2 billion budget of the National Laboratory.

2. Falls Church, VA: Median Household Income $117,481

This is a wealthy independent city with much the same make up as the county it is inside, Fairfax co.

1. Loudoun County, VA: Median Household Income $119,525

One of the fastest countries in the nation over the last decade, Loudoun Co. exemplifies the impact of the growing federal government on the counties around D.C.  As the county has attracted tech jobs, it has become a haven for contractors, and has seen its population double to 325,000. This explosion has transformed the county from a horse farm county to one that watches its population travel east to D.C. every morning.

The next time you see a politician criticizing the 1 percent, ask yourself why are seven out of the ten wealthiest counties populated by government employees, living off of your tax dollars?

The answer is found in the relative pay of government employees compared to private workers.  The Congressional Budget Office released a survey of federal government/private sector pay comparisons that found when total compensation packages were measured the federal worker makes sixteen percent more than their private sector counterpart.  Is there any doubt why six counties surrounding the nation’s capitol are among the wealthiest in America?  Combined with the legions of highly compensated lobbyists, lawyers and political spinners who are drawn to the Capitol like flies, the Forbes results become all the more clear.

It’s a tragedy that many of the wealthiest counties in the nation aren’t because of explosions in entrepreneurship, but instead are the result of the most lucrative business in America — government and all those who are trying to either curry favor or avoid having the ability to succeed decimated by its far reaching power.

For this reason, the Forbes study shows the true state of our economy, where those who benefit from big government prosper while the rest of the nation pays the price.

Willie Deutsch is Editor-in-Chief for NetRightDaily.com, and Social Media Director for Americans for Limited Government. You can follow him on twitter @williedeutsch.

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