Daniel J. Mitchell
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One of my most widely read – but also most depressing – articles was from about two years ago and it exposed the fact that Washington, DC, is now the nation’s richest region.

I explained that Washington is rich because of unearned wealth. Almost all of the loot that winds up in the pockets of highly paid lobbyists, contractors, bureaucrats, politicians, cronyists, and other insiders ultimately comes from taxpayers in the rest of the country.

That’s why we should be angry that a majority of the nation’s richest counties surrounded DC. A region that produces almost nothing manages to live fat and happy because of the coercive power of government.

That’s the kind of income inequality that should be eliminated, and I do my best to fan the flames of resentment in this interview about fat-cat contractors getting big bucks from taxpayers.

All these well-paid contractors are – for all intents and purposes – members of the government workforce. Sort of a shadow bureaucracy that is several times larger than the official count. They get paid by our tax dollars and their jobs exist because of government.

This doesn’t mean all those jobs should be abolished. But, like their official bureaucrat cousins, many contractors are engaged in wasteful and superfluous activities, and almost all of them are paid too much.

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Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell is a top expert on tax reform and supply-side tax policy at the Cato Institute.