By Michael Snyder
If you were asked to guess, what area of the United States would you say has the highest average income? New York City? Los Angeles? Silicon Valley? Well, would you believe that it is actually the Washington D.C. area? Median household income in the region is $84,523, which is the highest in the nation. One of the biggest reasons for this are the huge salaries being pulled down by federal employees in the Washington D.C. area. According to the latest numbers, the average federal employee in the D.C. area brings in total compensation worth more than $126,000 a year. Of course members of Congress are even doing far better than that. Most of the members of Congress are millionaires, and somehow the vast majority of our politicians leave Washington D.C. far wealthier than when they arrived. So if you want to live the high life, you might want to move to the Washington D.C. area. Our “representatives” in Congress and the bureaucrats that work for the federal government are swimming in cash, and it is all at our expense.
Before you read the following facts, keep in mind that median household income in the United States has declined for three years in a row. While the bureaucrats in D.C. are living the high life, most of the rest of us are going through some really hard times.
Today, median household income in the United States is about $50,000 a year, and in most families both parents have to work or the bills will not get paid.
So it just does not seem right that the “average” federal worker in the Washington D.C. area is hauling down more than $126,000 a year in total compensation.
After all, are they not supposed to be “public servants”?
Instead, it feels like we are serving them. They get to drive around in their shiny new cars and they get to enjoy their shiny new McMansions in the D.C. suburbs while the rest of us pay for it.
Trust me, I have seen the beautiful suburbs in Maryland and in northern Virginia that seem to go on forever, and it is the U.S. taxpayers that are footing the bill. Spending by the federal government accounts for approximately one third of the GDP of the entire region.
According to the Washington Post, the Washington D.C. area has become a great place for those that enjoy “living the dream”….
Washingtonians now enjoy the highest median household income of any metropolitan area in the country, and five of the top 10 jurisdictions in America — Loudoun, Howard and Fairfax counties, and Falls Church and Fairfax City — are here, census data shows.
The signs of that wealth are on display all over, from the string of luxury boutiques such as Gucci and Tory Burch opening at Tysons Galleria to the $15 cocktails served over artisanal ice at the W Hotel in the District to the ever-larger houses rising off River Road in Potomac.
All of this wealth did not get created because the D.C. area is a great center for industry or finance.
Rather, all of these people are becoming very wealthy because of our big, fat bloated federal government.
The following are 10 mind blowing facts which show how members of Congress and federal employees are living the high life at our expense….
#1 When you total up all compensation (including health care and benefits), the average income for a federal worker in the Washington D.C. area last year was$126,369.
#2 In 2005, 7420 federal workers were making $150,000 or more per year. In 2010, a whopping 82,034 federal workers were making $150,000 or more per year. That is more than a tenfold increase in just five years.
#3 In 2005, the U.S. Department of Defense had just nine civilians earning $170,000 or more. When Barack Obama took office, the U.S. Department of Defense had 214 civilians earning $170,000 or more. In June 2010, the U.S. Department of Defense had 994 civilians earning $170,000 or more.
#4 Last year, federal employees “earned” approximately 447 billion dollars in total compensation.
#5 According to a study by the Heritage Foundation, federal workers earn 30 to 40 percent more money on average than their counterparts in the private sector.
#6 Today, one out of every 12 people living in Washington D.C. is a lawyer. In New York City, only one out of every 123 residents is a lawyer.
#7 More than 50 percent of the members of the U.S. Congress are millionaires.
#8 The median wealth of a U.S. Senator in 2009 was 2.38 million dollars.
#9 Insider trading is perfectly legal for members of the U.S. Congress – and they refuse to pass a law that would change that.
#10 The percentage of millionaires in Congress is more than 50 times higherthan the percentage of millionaires in the general population.
Meanwhile, most of the rest of America has been going through economic hell….
-The standard of living in the United States has fallen farther over the past three years than at any other time that has ever been recorded in U.S. history.
-According to the Federal Reserve, the combined net worth of American families has fallen by $5.5 trillion since 2007.
-Half of all American workers now earn $505 or less per week.
-According to Paul Osterman, a professor of economics at MIT, approximately 20 percent of all employed Americans are making $10.65 an hour or less.
While the average American family is deeply struggling to pay the mortgage and put food on the table, the bureaucrats in Washington D.C. are busy shopping for the latest cell phones and trying to figure out what brand of new car to buy next year.
Over the past couple of decades, the federal government has absolutely exploded in size, but this has not helped the poor. We now have more poor people in this country than ever before and over 2 million additional Americans slipped into poverty last year.
No, the reality is that the people that have reaped the rewards of a much larger federal government are the lawyers, the lobbyists and the bureaucrats.
This is the kind of thing that the American people should be protesting. Almost everybody in Congress is rich. Hundreds of thousands of federal employees are living the high life. The lawyers, the lobbyists and the bureaucrats are having a field day.
Meanwhile, most of the rest of the country is deeply suffering.
It just doesn’t seem right, does it?
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