Tea Party Fuel

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A pair of stories out this morning highlights just how fat and wealthy your nation’s capital has become. It’s the kind of information that’s likely to turbo-charge Tea Party anger as the rest of the nation struggles with its continuing economic woes. In times past, young Americans would head to major manufacturing cities like Detroit, Cleveland — Time was published there from 1925 to 1927, for Pete’s sake — and Chicago, because that’s where the well-paying jobs were.

Not any more. Now the nation’s capital, where manufacturing is limited to position papers, policy options, and reports, is the place to go for good jobs. USA Today says that the number of federal workers earning $150,000 or more annually has jumped 10-fold in the past five years, and doubled since President Obama took office. The Pentagon, for example, had nine civilians earning $170,000 or more in 2005, 214 when Obama took office, and 994 in June. The Washington Post says that the capital region ranks first among the country’s 10 largest metropolitan areas in terms of income, education and life expectancy.

You can almost hear the pitchforks being sharpened.