Day By Day

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Beltway Bunch versus America

Mickey Kaus, one of the brightest guys doing political analysis, explains where the real lines of conflict are drawn in the budget debate -- hint, it's not where the media are telling you it is. 
There’s a $1.6 trillion deficit but the feds are still hiring. As of March 23 they were hiring someone to run a Facebook page for the Deparment of the Interior (at up to $115,000 a year). They were hiring equal opportunity compliance officers at the Peace Corps and Department of Interior for $150,000 to $180,000 a pop. They were hiring deputy speechwriters for officials at relatively obscure agencies. …P.S.: The point isn’t so much that these federal employees are overpaid, though they are. The point is that if there were any actual sense of a deficit crisis in Washington these are jobs that would not be filled at all. 
Instead of tightening their belts, denizens of the beltway precincts are attempting to shift attention away from discretionary spending [where their bread is buttered] to entitlements spending [which benefits the public at large]. Kaus admits that entitlements is where the big money is, but the refusal of the beltway crowd to share in the pain is, to him, suspicious.
[I]t looks like a tacit conspiracy of Washingtonians not to sacrifice the jobs of any of their friends, or the local economy, by any kind of actual slimming down (of the sort a private company in similar straits would have undertaken years ago).
He asks, Why not wring the fat out of government first?
Good question.

Read the whole piece here

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