What is going on in Washington?
Democrats are following the Rahm Rule of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel. "Don't allow a crisis to go to waste. ... There are opportunities to do big things."
The Party of Government is exploiting the economic crisis to grow the government. And from the standpoint of self interest, this makes sense. Most government employees are Democratic voters, as are most beneficiaries of government programs.Moreover, Democrats have to get the money out the door before the midterms, where the party is going to take a bath and lose power.
How else to explain this lead story last week in USA Today:
"The number of federal workers earning six-figure salaries has exploded during the recession. ...
"Federal employees making salaries of $100,000 or more jumped from 14 percent to 19 percent of civil servants during the recession's first 18 months -- and that is before overtime pay and bonuses are counted.
"Federal workers are enjoying an extraordinary boom time -- in pay and hiring -- during a recession that has cost 7.3 million jobs in the private sector."
When the recession started, the Defense Department had 1,868 civilian employees earning $150,000. Defense now has 10,100. The Transportation Department had one person earning $170,000 when the recession began. Transportation now has 1,690 employees earning above $170,000. Recession in America means boom times in D.C.
The financial crisis that almost sank the capitalist system was the work of Washington and Wall Street. The Fed created the bubble. The White House and Congress goaded banks into making all those subprime mortgages. Fannie and Freddie bought up the lousy paper and turned it into securities. Wall Street banks bought them up and put them on their books as Triple A assets. Federal regulators looked the other way.
Yet happy days are here again on Wall Street. And Washington never saw better times, with federal workers now earning, on average, $31,000 a year more than workers in the gutted private sector.
Is this the government the Founding Fathers dreamed of -- or is this the kind of arrogant government they took up arms against?