There is the country called the United States….and then there is another country called “Washington, DC.”
DC is a nation with a different culture, economy, ethics and even language from the rest of the United States. And that’s what the Tea Parties are really all about.
The ruling class does not get it. And that’s why November is shaping up to be a nasty appointment with reality for those living so comfortably on “Government Island.”
While the country remains mired in economic stress, a USA today study found that the number of government employees making over $100,000 a year increased from 14% to 19% in an 18-month period( http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20100304/BENEFITS01/3040301/1001 ).
The number of employees in that 100G-plus category jumped by a whopping 35% in a period of severe difficulty for the taxpayers. The average federal employee earns about $7,000 more than his counterpart in the private sector. And let’s not even begin to talk about the disparity in benefits. In the end, it is the private sector that pays all the bills for the government.
Yet there is little comment on this gross inequity from the In-the-Bubble press. The Congress, with support from the President, authorized a 2% Cost-of-Living increase for 2010 at a time when those picking up the tab are experiencing a contraction in personal income. The obvious but unasked question is: “How can there be a cost-of-living increase when there is no increase in the cost of living”? These employees already are getting generous step and grade increases (an increasing rarity in the private sector), and are blessed with job-for-life security, and yet the rest of the country is required to cover this nonesense through their taxes and their childrens’ debt burden. The result is an increasing Us-versus-Them polarity that we see expressed in the Tea Parties.
Instead of insightful analysis, the Washington World talking heads, in open display of their crude ignorance, exchange befuddled commentary about rumors of racism they can’t quite seem to actually find, or prattle on about undercurrents of violence which were somehow invisible when George Bush and Dick Cheney, depicted with blood dripping from their canines and incisors, regularly were denounced as “Nazis” and lynched in effigy on 1,000 campuses.
Increasingly, there are two classes, two nations, in the United States: The Ruled Class and the Ruling Class. And the ruled are getting mighty restless. This last month I attended my precinct and county caucuses. People are still angry, but not so vocal as a year ago. The noise has been replaced by steely determination. And November 2nd is just 28 weeks away.