Forbes has a list out this morning of America's five richest counties. Unsurprisingly, four of the five are in the Washington, D.C., area. Washington's prosperity is completely detached from the fortunes of the rest of the country, since Washington continues to suck in tax dollars even when other parts of America suffer or even decline economically. There is an unspoken bipartisan consensus to keep things this way, since those who make it to the Senate or the House now almost never return home, even if they are turned out of office by the voters. Instead, they stay in Washington and spend the rest of their lives as lobbyists.
The only sure sign of a reduction in the size and scope of the federal government will be an exodus out of the D.C. suburbs. I doubt, though, that we will ever see such a thing.
Thomas Piatak is a contributing editor to Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He writes from Cleveland, Ohio.