The fat cats in Washington D.C. are living the high life, and they are doing it at your expense. Over the past decade, there has been one area of the country which has experienced a massive economic boom. Thanks to wildly out of control government spending, the Washington D.C. region is absolutely swimming in cash. In fact, at this point the state of Maryland has the most millionaires per capita in the entire nation and it isn’t even close. If you have never lived there, it is hard to describe what the D.C. area is like. Every weekday morning, hordes of lawyers, lobbyists and government bureaucrats descend upon D.C. from the surrounding suburbs. And at the end of the day, the process goes in reverse. Everyone is just trying to get their piece of the pie, and it is a pie that just keeps on growing as government salaries, government contracts and government giveaways just get larger and larger. Of course our founders never intended for this to happen. They wanted a very small and simple federal government. Sadly, today we have the most bloated central government in the history of the planet and it gets worse with each passing year.
If you were to ask most Americans, they would tell you that the wealthiest Americans probably live in cities such as New York or San Francisco. But thanks to the Obama administration (and before that the Bush and Clinton administrations), the state of Maryland is packed with millionaires. In particular, the Maryland suburbs immediately surrounding D.C. are absolutely overflowing with government fat cats that make a living at our expense. Every weekday morning, huge numbers of them leave their mini-mansions in places such as Potomac and Rockville and drive their luxury vehicles to work in the city. As the Washington Post has detailed, at this point approximately 8 percent of all households in the entire state of Maryland contain millionaires, and the rest of the area is not doing too shabby either…
In Maryland, nearly 8 out of every 100 households in 2014 had assets topping $1 million, giving the state more millionaires per capita than any other in the country, according to a new report from Phoenix Marketing International.
The rest of the Beltway isn’t lacking in millionaires either: The District and Virginia ranked in the top 10 among those with the highest number of millionaire households per capita in 2014. In Virginia, which was No. 6 on the list, 6.76 percent of the state’s 3.17 million households are millionaires. And in the District, which rounds out the top 10, 6.25 percent of its more than 292,000 households are millionaires.
And while not too many of them are millionaires, your average federal workers that toil in D.C. are doing quite well too.
Once upon a time, it was considered to be a “sacrifice” to go into “government service”.
Overall, compensation for federal employees comes to a grand total of close to half a trillion dollars every 12 months.
In fact, there are tens of thousands of federal employees that make more than the governors of their own states do.
Does that seem right to you?
If you want to live “the American Dream” these days, the Washington area is the place to go. Just check out the following description of the region from the Washington Post…
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.
And of course let us not forget the fat cats in Congress.
According to CNN, our Congress critters are now wealthier than every before…
The typical American family is still struggling to recover from the Great Recession, but Congress is getting wealthier every year.
The median net worth of lawmakers was just over $1 million in 2013, or 18 times the wealth of the typical American household, according to new research released Monday by the Center for Responsive Politics.
And while Americans’ median wealth is down 43% since 2007, Congress members’ net worth has jumped 28%.
Nearly 200 are multimillionaires. One hundred are worth more than $5 million; the top-10 deal in nine digits. The annual congressional salary alone—$174,000 a year—qualifies every member as the top 6 percent of earners. None of them are close to experiencing the poverty-reduction programs—affordable housing, food assistance, Medicaid—that they help control. Though some came from poverty, a recent analysis by Nicholas Carnes, in his book White Collar Government: The Hidden Role of Class in Economic Policymaking, found that only 13 out of 783 members of Congress from 1999 to 2008 came from a “blue-collar” upbringing.
But even though almost all of them are quite wealthy, they don’t hesitate to spend massive amounts of taxpayer money on their own personal needs.
For example, according to the Weekly Standard, more than five million dollars was spent on the hair care needs of U.S. Senators alone over one recent 15 year period…
Senate Hair Care Services has cost taxpayers about $5.25 million over 15 years. They foot the bill of more than $40,000 for the shoeshine attendant last fiscal year. Six barbers took in more than $40,000 each, including nearly $80,000 for the head barber.
And in one recent year, an average of $4,005,900 was spent on “personal” and “office” expenses per U.S. Senator.
So the grand total would have been over 400 million dollars for a single year.
That seems excessive, doesn’t it?
And even when they end up leaving Washington, our Congress critters have ensured that they will continue to collect money from U.S. taxpayers for the rest of their lives…
In 2011, 280 former lawmakers who retired under a former government pension system received average annual pensions of $70,620, according to a Congressional Research Service report. They averaged around 20 years of service. At the same time, another 215 retirees (elected in 1984 or later with an average of 15 years of service) received average annual checks of roughly $40,000 a year.
If you can believe it, there are quite a few former lawmakers that are collecting federal pensions for life worth at least $100,000 annually. The list includes Newt Gingrich, Bob Dole, Trent Lott, Dick Gephardt and Dick Cheney.
Of course the biggest windfalls of all are for our ex-presidents. Most Americans would be shocked to learn that the U.S. government is spending approximately 3.6 million dollars a year to support the lavish lifestyles of former presidents such as George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
So does this make you angry?
Or are you okay with these fat cats living the high life at our expense?
Please feel free to add to the discussion by posting a comment below…
America is being suffocated to death by red tape. You are about to read about an 11-year-old girl in Illinois that had her cupcake business brutally shut down by government bureaucrats. Her name is Chloe Stirling and her crime was doing something that we used to applaud young people in America for doing. Instead of sitting on her sofa and watching television all day, she actually started her own business. And it turned out there her little business started thriving. In fact, it started doing so well that a local newspaper took notice of it. Well, that is when the control freaks swooped in and took her business away and banned her from selling any more cupcakes. The really sad thing is that people are being paid to do this with our tax dollars. All over America, little entrepreneurs are having their lemonade stands shut down and are being banned from selling Girl Scout cookies, and our tax dollars are paying the people that are doing it. As I wrote about earlier this month, the level of economic freedom in the United States is at an all-time low, and it gets worse with each passing year. The country that so many of us love is dying, and it is being replaced with something that I like to call “the USSA”.
In the Union of Soviet Socialist Americans, you have to have a government “license” or “permit” to do just about anything. If the government does not give you permission, you can get into a whole lot of trouble.
Little 11-year-old Chloe Stirling must have thought that this was still the nation that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson once founded, because she dared to actually start a business and sell cupcakes to the public. Little did she know that she would soon make national news…
An 11-year-old girl from Illinois got a dose of regulation American-style this week when local government officials shut down her cupcake business.
Chloe Stirling, from Troy, got the front-page treatment from her local newspaper, which featured how well her business, Hey, Cupcake, was doing. By all accounts, it was a successful little enterprise. Chloe was getting $10 for a dozen cupcakes and $2 for each specialty cupcake. She even donated her cupcakes when a boy in her school fighting cancer held a fundraiser.
So why did they shut her down?
Well, it turns out that she didn’t have a “permit” to sell cupcakes and her kitchen was not “licensed”.
Like I said, you have to have permission from the government to do just about anything these days.
Another example of this phenomenon that is absolutely infuriating took place out in Fauquier County, Virginia. When a mother held a birthday party for eight 10-year-old girls and posted the photos on Facebook, she never imagined that she would soon be hit with $15,000 in fines…
Martha Boneta owns a small farm in Fauquier County, Virginia, where she recently hosted a birthday party for eight 10-year-old girls. They wore hats, picked veggies, and made goat’s milk soap. The county says she should have obtain a license before hosting such an event and hit her with a $5,000 fine.
Boneta also got slammed with two more fines for $5,000 each, one for advertising a pumpkin carving and another for violations in the small shop on her property. Boneta sells produce from her farm, as well as eggs, yarn, birdhouses, and local crafts. She sought and received a license for the shop in 2011, but the county now says she can’t sell handiwork or produce from her neighbors under that license.
Stuff like this just makes me want to scream sometimes.
What is happening to this country?
A few years ago, my wife used to take old pieces of furniture, sand them down, repaint them and sell them to others. It was something that she really enjoyed doing and she made some extra money along the way.
But if you try doing that in some areas of the country today, the EPA could potentially hit you with a fine of $30,000 for a single incident in which you do not follow the proper procedures. The following is an excerpt from a discussion that some furniture painters were having on Facebook. It is a little technical, but it is worth reading. In this excerpt the identity of the business has been removed to protect the business from overzealous regulators…
As a painter in PA, I am required by law to test everything that I disturb and I must charge the customer $60 for every test I perform which adds up. What the law states in my area is that if I disturb more than 6 square inches on anything made prior to Jan 1 1979 I must test it. Disturbing means, sanding, scraping, or even using a sponge/scuff pad (like you use on your pots) if I disturb more than 6 inches, I must take photographs, document in 4 different logs, I have local, county, state, and federal log books. If I find lead then I must suit up. Originally, the law stated that if there were no children around then you didn’t have to do that however some lame brained legislator decided that if a child enters the premises for more than one hour a day, we must assume they will be in contact with the lead and therefore will contract lead poisoning. Then the legislators decided that if you were over the age of 60 then it didn’t matter, you didn’t have to test who cares if you get poisoned. Lo and behold OSHA stepped in and joined forces with the EPA, they decided that all were at risk including your pets and the leaves on your trees can hold the lead dust and …..well, that’s a whole other issue.
What is happening now is that so many painters decided they weren’t going to follow the lead law, that OSHA and EPA send out secret shoppers. A lot of us don’t even put our logo’s on our vehicles because that invites these shoppers to investigate. If you come to the **** ********, you won’t see signage on the building, you have to get to the actual door of the workroom to know we are there. We no longer have logo’s on our vehicles either as the fines are too stiff. There isn’t one of us that can afford a find of $30,000.00 A DAY, not a year, A DAY.
The government bureaucrats are running wild and the rest of us are just sitting back and letting it happen.
Things have gotten so bad in this country that the federal government even requires small-time magicians to submit “disaster plans” for the rabbits that they use in their acts. The following is an excerpt from one of my previous articles…
Central planning in this country is getting completely and totally out of control. These days, you can hardly do anything without running into a suffocating web of red tape. For example, a small-time magician from Missouri that does magic shows for kids was absolutely horrified when he learned that the Obama administration is requiring him to submit a 32 page “disaster plan” for the rabbit that he uses in his shows. Yes, this is actually true. His name is Marty Hahne, and he thought that it was bad enough when the U.S. Department of Agriculture busted him for not having a “license” for his rabbit. He went out and acquired the proper “license” for his rabbit, but he never dreamed that eventually he would also have to submit a 32 page “disaster plan” for the same rabbit.
Americans have never had less economic freedom than they do right now. The 2014 Index of Economic Freedom has just been released, and it turns out that the level of economic freedom in the United States has now fallen for seven consecutive years. But of course none of us need a report or a survey to tell us that. All we have to do is open our eyes and look around. At this point our entire society is completely dominated by control freaks and bureaucrats. Our economy is literally being suffocated to death by millions of laws, rules and regulations and each year brings a fresh tsunami of red tape. As you will see below, the U.S. government issued more than 80,000 pages of brand new rules and regulations last year on top of what we already had. Even if we didn’t have all of the other monumental economic problems that we are currently facing, all of this bureaucracy alone would be enough to kill our economy.
Yes, every society needs a few basic rules. We would have total chaos if we did not have any laws at all. But in general, when there is more economic freedom there tends to be more economic prosperity. In fact, the greatest period of economic growth in U.S. history was during a time when the federal government was much smaller, there was no Federal Reserve and there was no income tax. Most Americans do not know this.
Those that founded this nation intended for it to be a place where freedom was maximized and government intrusion into our lives was minimized.
If they were still alive today, they would be absolutely horrified. We are literally drowning in red tape.
The photo posted below was shared by U.S. Senator Mike Lee on his Facebook page. Study it carefully…
“Behold my display of the 2013 Federal Register. It contains over 80,000 pages of new rules, regulations, and notices all written and passed by unelected bureaucrats. The small stack of papers on top of the display are the laws passed by elected members of Congress and signed into law by the president.”
I didn’t even see the small stack of paper at the top of the cabinet until I read his explanation. Most of the time everyone is so focused on what Congress is doing, but the truth is that the real oppression is happening behind the scenes as unelected federal bureaucrats pump out millions upon millions of useless regulations that are systematically killing our economic freedom.
On Tuesday, an article about the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom was published by the Wall Street Journal. As I mentioned above, the United States has fallen for seven years in a row…
World economic freedom has reached record levels, according to the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom, released Tuesday by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. But after seven straight years of decline, the U.S. has dropped out of the top 10 most economically free countries.
That same article mentioned some of the reasons why the United States is falling…
It’s not hard to see why the U.S. is losing ground. Even marginal tax rates exceeding 43% cannot finance runaway government spending, which has caused the national debt to skyrocket. The Obama administration continues to shackle entire sectors of the economy with regulation, including health care, finance and energy. The intervention impedes both personal freedom and national prosperity.
And of course the results are predictable. Our economy has been steadily declining for many years, and that decline appears to be ready to start picking up speed once again. The following is an excerpt from a recent article by Dave in Denver…
In the latest retail sales report for December, auto sales were nailed – down 1.8%. The only reason overall retail sales from November to December showed a slight “gain” that November’s number was revised lower. Electronics fell off of a cliff. The housing market is about to get crushed. Feedback I’m getting from my Seeking Alpha articles and blog posts on housing from housing market professionals all around the country tells me that the housing market hit a wall at the end of 2013, as I have been forecasting.
What he said about the housing market is definitely true. In recent months, mortgage originations have been falling like a rock. Just check out this chart.
Unfortunately, these are not just “cyclical problems”. Long ago we abandoned the fundamental principles that once made our economy great, and now we are paying a tremendous price for that.
Posted below is a story that has been circulating all over the Internet for quite some time. It is a fake story. Once again, let me repeat that. This is a fake story. But I think that it does a great job of illustrating what is happening to America as we march toward full-fledged socialism…
An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama’s socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.
The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama’s plan”.. All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A…. (substituting grades for dollars – something closer to home and more readily understood by all).
After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.
The second test average was a D! No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F. As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.
To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed. Could not be any simpler than that.
But of course it would be disingenuous to pin all of the blame for this just on Obama. The truth is that our nation has continued to march toward socialism no matter who has been in the White House and no matter who has been in control of Congress. So if you want to place some of the blame on a “Bush” or a “Clinton” or a “Boehner” or a “Pelosi” please feel free.
And the American people are getting sick and tired of this one party system that has two heads. According to a recent Gallup survey, only 29 percent of all Americans consider themselves to be Democrats right now. And the news was even worse for Republicans. According to that survey, only 24 percent of all Americans consider themselves to be Republicans at this point.
A staggering 45 percent of all Americans now consider themselves to be Independents. Deep down, most Americans know that something is seriously wrong with our nation and that they are being lied to be our politicians and the mainstream media.
Unfortunately, there is very little agreement about how to fix things because Americans do not have a set of shared values that we all agree on anymore.
So what do you think? Do you believe that you know how to fix things? If so, please feel free to share your plan by posting a comment below…
In the United States today, thousands upon thousands of ridiculous federal regulations tightly control almost every area of our lives. One example of this is that starting on January 1st, we are no longer going to be able to buy certain kinds of light bulbs in the United States. Back in 2007, President George W. Bush signed a law that mandates the following: “Manufacturers will no longer be able to make the 100-watt Thomas Edison bulb after Jan. 1, 2012, followed by the 75-watt version in Jan. 2013, and the the 60- and 40-watt bulbs in Jan. 2014.” Yes, you read that correctly. Federal bureaucrats are running wild and the nanny state has decided that you are simply not going to have the choice to buy traditional light bulbs anymore. So why the change? Incandescent light bulbs have not been proven to be unsafe and consumers still want to buy them. The new CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) light bulbs are more expensive and are actually worse for the environment. So why was this law passed? The feds passed it because they decided that existing light bulbs use too much energy and have too large of a “carbon footprint”. Instead of giving us choices and attempting to persuade us to change, the federal government is ramming their will down our throats. Well, it is about time that we told the federal bureaucrats that are trying to take our freedoms away that we want them to get their dirty hands off of our light bulbs.
Thankfully there are some members of the House and Senate that are seeking to repeal this law, but right now it looks extremely doubtful that a repeal would ever be signed into law by Barack Obama.
Some people may not think that light bulbs are a big deal, but the truth is that the fact that the government tells us what kind of light bulbs to buy is just another sign of how rapidly liberty and freedom are dying in this country.
The founding fathers intended for this nation to have a very limited central government and lots of room for liberty and freedom.
But today we are “fenced in” by thousands and thousands and thousands of government regulations. We only get to enjoy very small amounts of “liberty” and “freedom” within the very-tightly defined boundaries that the federal government has set up for us.
Unfortunately, this “control grid” has been developing for decades. The elite that make up America’s ruling class are raised and educated to believe that they know better than the rest of us how things should be done. They are taught all through school that it is their “responsibility” to impose their vision of “a better life” on all the rest of us. To the ruling elite, we are all just a bunch of sheep that do not even understand what is best for us.
If it seems like the people running this country are a bunch of “control freaks”, that is because that is exactly what they are. They are smug, arrogant and convinced that they are better than you are. They believe that democracy needs to be “directed” and that all of us need to be told what to do and what to believe.
Do you ever get the impression that television news is “talking down” to you?
Well, that is because that is exactly what is happening.
The people that own and deliver the news come from wealth and privilege. They have been “educated” at schools like Yale, Harvard and Stanford. They live in cities like New York and Los Angeles and they mingle with the ultra-wealthy and the very famous. They feel like they are making the world a better place by not only delivering the news but also by telling you what you should think about it.
So when the “establishment” passes a law that bans you from buying certain kinds of light bulbs, most of those in the “establishment” media are going to back them up on it.
The establishment has decided that the rest of us are not smart enough to want “the green agenda” on our own, so they are just going to start imposing it on all of us.
So what is so great about the new light bulbs?
Well, the new light bulbs that they are trying to push on us use less energy and therefore leave less of a “carbon footprint”.
But instead of giving us a choice and trying to make their case, they are just banning the old light bulbs that we have been using for decades.
What kind of “freedom of choice” is that?
In addition, these new light bulbs are actually worse for the environment and they have been known to cause health problems.
The following are just a few of the known issues with CFL bulbs….
*When a CFL light bulb is broken it releases high levels of mercury into the air.
*The quality of light produced by CFL bulbs is poorer.
*CFL bulbs are dimmer.
*CFL bulbs tend to flicker and this causes some people to become dizzy or ill.
*CFL bulbs have been associated with migraine headaches and sleep abnormalities.
*CFL bulbs are so toxic that they require special disposal.
*The mercury in CFL bulbs is particularly harmful to fetuses and children.
*The amount of mercury in a CFL bulb is enough to make 1,000 gallons of water unsafe for human consumption.
So what do you do if you break one of these toxic little bulbs in your home?
What if I accidentally break a fluorescent lamp in my house?
The lamp contains a small amount of mercury, but you can clean this up yourself if you do the following:
* Do not use a vacuum cleaner to clean up the breakage. This will spread the mercury vapor and dust throughout the area and could potentially contaminate the vacuum.
* Keep people and pets away from the breakage area until the cleanup is complete.
* Ventilate the area by opening windows, and leave the area for 15 minutes before returning to begin the cleanup. Mercury vapor levels will be lower by then.
* For maximum protection and if you have them, wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from the sharp glass.
* Carefully remove the larger pieces and place them in a secure closed container, preferably a glass container with a metal screw top lid and seal like a canning jar. A glass jar with a good seal works best to contain any mercury vapors inside.
* Next, begin collecting the smaller pieces and dust. You can use two stiff pieces of paper such as index cards or playing cards to scoop up pieces.
* Pat the area with the sticky side of duct tape, packing tape or masking tape to pick up fine particles. Wipe the area with a wet wipe or damp paper towel to pick up even finer particles.
* Put all waste and materials into the glass container, including all material used in the cleanup that may have been contaminated with mercury. Label the container as “Universal Waste – broken lamp.”
* Remove the container with the breakage and cleanup materials from your home. This is particularly important if you do not have a glass container.
* Continue ventilating the room for several hours.
* Wash your hands and face.
* Take the glass container with the waste material to a facility that accepts “universal waste” for recycling.
Have you got all that?
You might want to be very careful not to drop any light bulbs in the future. As you can see, cleaning one up in a huge pain.
But all in the name of conforming to the “green agenda” of the ruling elite, eh?
You know what one of the saddest things about all of this is?
This freedom-killing regulation was signed into law by George W. Bush. Millions of Republicans went along with it because they were just blindly following whatever Bush did.
Well, you know what?
Bush was an absolutely horrible president and if Republicans want to have any credibility they need to start admitting that.
The elitist Bush passed lots of freedom killing laws like this one, and now the elitist Obama is cramming them down all of our throats.
The sad truth is that Bush and Obama are much more alike than they are different.
Fortunately, there are still a few members of the U.S. government that have some common sense.
For example, have you seen the recent video of U.S. Senator Rand Paul questioning Kathleen Hogan, the deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency at the Energy Department?
During a recent hearing in the Senate, Rand Paul told Paul told Hogan “my toilets don’t work in my house. And I blame you and people like you who want to tell me what I can install in my house.”
Video of this exchange is posted below….
U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann has also come out against these ridiculous regulations. She recently had the following to say about her new bill to repeal the light bulb ban….
“The government has no business telling an individual what kind of light bulb to buy.”
She is right about that.
Federal bureaucrats should quit trying to be little “gods”. They are supposed to be “public servants”. Americans are fully capable of getting along just fine without the federal government micromanaging every single little detail of our lives.
How can we claim that we are still living in a country that cherishes liberty and freedom if things have progressed this far?
Sadly, every new crop of federal bureaucrats just seems to be worse than the one before it and the U.S. government just continues to grow in size. There are thousands upon thousands of control freaks that sit in their offices all day thinking of new ways to tighten the “Big Brother” control grid that is being constructed all around us.
Do you feel like you are being suffocated by all of this government control sometimes?
Well, you are not alone.
The truth is that there are millions of Americans that are absolutely sick of it.
It is time for the federal government to get off our backs.
We don’t need some sick, twisted control freaks in Washington D.C. telling us what light bulbs we can or cannot buy.
We are Americans, and our forefathers bled and died so that we could enjoy liberty and freedom in this land. They did not sacrifice so much so that a bunch of elitists could impose a nanny state on all of us and micromanage all of our lives.
We just want the basic liberties and freedoms that we were taught about as we grew up.