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Dem Poll: Rich DC Elites Are Out Of Touch

From a suddenly awakened Politico:

Reality gap: U.S. struggles, D.C. booms

By: Jim VandeHei and Zachary Abrahamson
July 19, 2010

America is struggling with a sputtering economy and high unemployment — but times are booming for Washington’s governing class.

The massive expansion of government under President Barack Obama has basically guaranteed a robust job market for policy professionals, regulators and contractors for years to come. The housing market, boosted by the large number of high-income earners in the area, many working in politics and government, is easily outpacing the markets in most of the country. And there are few signs of economic distress in hotels, restaurants or stores in the D.C. metro area.

As a result, there is a yawning gap between the American people and D.C.’s powerful when it comes to their economic reality — and their economic perceptions.

A new POLITICO poll, conducted by market research and consulting firm Penn Schoen Berland, underscores the big divide: Roughly 45 percent of “Washington elites” said the country and the economy are headed in the right direction, while roughly 25 percent of the general population said they felt that way.

Notice that the Politico fails to note that this a poll conducted by none other than the former Hillary operative, Mark Penn. (As of October 2009, Federal Election filings show that Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign still owed Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates just under $1 million.)

The online poll, the first in a six-month Power and the People series, surveyed 1,011 people nationally to compare their views with the views of 227 people who live in the D.C. metro area, earn way more than the national average and are involved in some form in policy or politics…

Since the most recent recession began in December 2007, metropolitan Washington has shed about 71,000 employees on nonfarm payrolls, the fewest number among the nation’s 15 largest metropolitan areas.

In May, unemployment in metro Washington hit 6 percent — an uptick from April’s rate for the area but well below the national average of 9.5 percent and far milder than the May rates of the shattered manufacturing towns of the Midwest, including Flint, Mich. (at 14.7 percent), Elkhart, Ind. (at 13.7 percent) and Rockford, Ill. (at 13.9 percent)…

During 2009, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported more than 11,000 initial claimants for unemployment insurance associated with extended mass layoff events in the Flint metropolitan area and less than half that number for the D.C. metro area — a region that includes the District itself and the wealthy, highly educated counties of Northern Virginia and southwest Maryland. It’s a sobering reminder of the District’s distance from the epicenters of the Great Recession…

The economic crisis has been a job creator for those outside government, too. Many New York firms have opened new offices and created new jobs in D.C. to deal with the growing web of regulations. Northrop Grumman — one of many contractors profiting from government growth — is moving its operations from Southern California to Northern Virginia. Several other firms have moved here of late, too.

Who says excessive government regulation isn’t good for the economy?

Even media companies, which have been hammered by the economy and bad industrywide trends, are hiring in town. Competition among Bloomberg, POLITICO and other outlets has resulted in bidding wars for reporters with sophisticated understanding of government policy.

Which makes sense, given that these too are in effect government jobs. Someone has to explain ‘the Revolution’ to the great unwashed.

And more money is on the way, in the form of well-paid agency jobs associated with reforms of the nation’s health insurance sector and financial markets: Both bills call for substantial new federal oversight by agencies such as the Health and Human Services Department and the Internal Revenue Service. And the professionals who take those jobs will need homes, buy furniture and pay taxes, said David Robertson, executive director of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, “and that’s going to have a multiplier effect in our region.”

The Center for Regional Analysis projects the federal government will add 6,500 new jobs in the area each year through 2012

At last, real job creation that ‘Sheriff Joe’ can point to with pride.

The disconnect between D.C. elites and the general public is stoking the growth of more direct popular movements like MoveOn and [the] tea party,” said Mark Penn, who helped conduct the poll. “The D.C. elites are largely isolated from the economic downturn, and this means that they can easily fail to understand the depth of dissatisfaction out in the country.”

If Mr. Penn really believes that the growth of Obama’s bureaucracy is “stoking” MoveOn.org, he is more out of touch than even he imagines.

For what it’s worth, you can read the full poll results (a pdf file) here.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, July 19th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “Dem Poll: Rich DC Elites Are Out Of Touch”

  1. proreason says:

    We fought one Civil War to free slaves in 1861.

    Get ready to fight one to free yourself from slavery in 2012.

    Unless, of course, you enjoy your government masters weighing you every 6 month to make sure your bmi meets their regulations.

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    “but times are booming for Washington’s governing class.

    Yup, nice to see them accurately named in print. The article almost swoons with the thrill of being able to refer to the “governing class”. How great it all will be when they can openly state they are such and that they are entitled to everything because, they are the best and the brightest. Yay!

    (I think I’m gonna be sick)

    I never suffer from “class envy” but I do have a warehouse of “class contempt”. Please note the difference.

  3. wardmama4 says:

    The government and thus it’s class – has no money – all they get is what they confiscate from the hard working American citizens and can extort from illegals. Thus:
    1) Repeal the 16th Amendment – take the theft away from the Federal government and it is easier to hold your State/Local officials feet to the fire.
    2) Term Limits – obviously it no longer matters that ‘voting is our term limit’ drivel as they have lied, cheated and neither side is above the lifer, ruling class mentality. Stop Them Now.

    God Help America.

  4. Right of the People says:

    Remember what Thomas Jefferson said about rebellion: “I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.”

    Now might be one of those times.

  5. Liberals Demise says:

    If I could afford it, I’d get stinkin’ and play with my 2nd Amendment right.
    (while I still have it)

    I’m tired of being urinated on and them telling me it’s only rain.
    They have to go home and face the angry, out of work mobs.
    I hear there are jobs to be had on the Pakistan/Afganistan border doing dam work. Paid for by American tax dollars.
    It ain’t gonna be purdy and that’s a fact!!

  6. fallingpianos says:

    Competition among Bloomberg, POLITICO and other outlets has resulted in bidding wars for reporters with sophisticated understanding of government policy.

    Would their standards in understanding policy be the same as the government’s?

  7. BillK says:

    It’s not just jobs.

    D.C.-area real estate is also red hot due to the influx of new people moving to the area to fill those Federal positions.

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