Thanks in part to the war economy give away/Ryan-Murray budget, the long term unemployed have lost their benefits and been left out in the cold this holiday season. Perhaps sometime next year they will get some of their benefits back though that may be too late to save them from the poverty they live on the edge of.
Meanwhile in DC, it’s been a hell of a year. DC residents are enjoying a personal income boom thanks to the kind of patronage found in the Ryan-Murray budget. Special interests are getting rich off of near endless taxpayer money.
It is a wonderful life if you can snake yourself some of that war and surveillance state cash or maybe just help the banksters fight regulations. Lobbying, consulting, writing favorable studies – the special interests need a few bad men and they are paying for the privilege.
The District’s total personal income in 2012 was $47.28 billion, or $74,733 for each of its 632,323 residents, according to the Office of the Chief Financial Officer’s Economic and Revenue Trends report for November.
The U.S. average per capita personal income was $43,725. The highest of the 50 states, Connecticut, fell 25 percent short of D.C.
There is a reason Wall Street and Washington get along so well, neither produce anything yet are the richest places in the country.
But let’s be clear, the people getting rich in DC are not those working in the bureaucracy – they just saw a pension cut. The real money is in lobbying and consulting for clients with deep pockets – finance, oil and gas, defense, telcom – the industries that rely on the federal government to subsidize them through tax loopholes and other goodies.
For example, you know what’s cool? Being a multi-billion dollar company like Facebook and paying no taxes. They may even get a refund like last year.
According to Coburn’s report, last year Facebook relied on an employee stock option tax deduction to lower the amount of owed income taxes by around $1.03 billion… Coburn writes there is reason to believe Facebook will have the same success this year as they did in 2012, when they were refunded almost $300 million.
Facebook isn’t alone, other massive firms have gotten out of paying any taxes thanks to loopholes inserted into legislation with the help of lobbyists. Verizon, MetLife, News Corp – lots of revenues, zero taxes.
So the DC insiders are earning their exceptionally high pay as far as their clients are concerned. But the gravy train will never reach those like the long term unemployed because they can not pay a lobbyist or make a campaign contribution to a politician to gain favor. And in a transactional town like DC you need to pay to play.