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September 18, 2014     The Quincy Valley Post-Register
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September 18, 2014

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+ THURSDAY, September 18, 2014 THE Jill FitzSimmons Editor Kurtis J. Wood Sports Editor Tracey Law Bookkeeper Sunshine Didra Ad sales Copy editor ' Tammara Green News Writer Jessica Blancas Graphic Design Letters to the editor The views expressed in the letters to the editor are not necessarily those of the newspaper, its staff or ownership. The Post-Reg- ister welcomes letters to the . editor and guest columns; however, those letters to the editor exceeding 300 words ocjz wVt, 'tr ta, WAR ON O are subject to editing. The Post-Register reserves the right to reject letters that " are in poor taste, libelous or constitute a personal attack. All letters must be signed - and have thedaytime phone number of the writer. Letters are intended as an exchange of opinions. Submissions with contact information for the writer should be sent to editor@qvpr, com. - Subscriptions The Quincy Post-Register is distributed free to in-city resi- dents in Quincy and George. Yearly subscriptions are: $35 in Grant County, $39 outside Grant County and $42 outside of Washington. Addi- tional rates for snowbirds and college students are available. To subscribe, call .... 1-509-787-4511 The Quincy Valley Post-Reg- ister is published weekly by Quincy Valley Media, Inc: 305 CentralAve. S., Quincy, WA 98848 ........... Postage paid at Quincy, WA. Postmaster, send address changes to: The Quincy Valley Post-Register P.O. Box 217 Quincy, WA 98848;0217 USPS No 453,080 Y The last time I visited Washington D.C. was in the 1980s. On my most recent visit earlier this year, I was shocked by the changes that have occurred. New multi-story build- ings abound. New national monuments and museums have been built. Money and pros- perity have come to the nation's capital while the rest of the nation has languished with a long-term recession. Let's find out why this is so. Much of the in- crease in spending and building has come Rich Elfers through American Columnisttax dollars focused On Washington D.C. Young professionals pay $3,000/month to rent apartments in the city. According to an article which is the basis of this column by Annie Lowrey of the NY Times Magazine, January 10, 2013, "Since 2007, the regional economy has expanded about three times as much as the overall country's. By some mea- sures, the Washington area has become the richest region in the country." According to an expert on theregion, Pro- fessor Stephen Fuller of nearby George Ma- son University, "We get about 15 cents of every procurement dollar spent by the feder- al government." Local spending brought on by the War on Terrorism and the subsequent creation of Homeland Security, and fighting two foreign wars greatly increased spending between 2000-2010 where it reached $80 bil- lion a year by that decade's end. This change in the way things were done began in the Reagan years when the shift in thinking was to decrease the size of the gov- ernment. This resulted in many former jobs, once done by government employees, now being contracted out to private companies that often charged double the salaries of what gov- ernment workers got. In 1993, President Bill Clinton announced the "reinventing govern.- ment" program that cut about 250,000 gov- ernment jobs. The work still had to be done, though. Those jobs went to private employees who, according to a 2011 study called the Project on Government Oversight, got paid roughly twice as much as former government employ- ees doing the same work. A computer IT en- gineer who worked for the government might get paid $135,000 per year had now been replaced by a private engineer who made $270,000 for the same service. Thousands of young professionals poured into the city and the region. Walking the streets of Washington D.C. as I recently did showed me this very clearly; There are lots of young, prosperous twenty-and-thirty somethings in "This Town" as it is called by the locals. The median age is 26. According to the NY Times article, D.C. has become a two-tiered town: About one third make less than $60,000 per year while 45 percent make $100,000 and more. There are few of what might be called middle class remaining. It's a sad state of affairs to see that not only has there been a shift of wealth from the mid- dle class and poor to the top 1 percent, but also that our nation's government should be shifting the wealth of the nation from the hin- terlands to Washington D.C. So much for the small government philosophy: It seems like the trickle down theory of funding the rich to increase jobs for those below them has now shifted to the "trickle to" Washington D.C. theory where government is now the new con- duit for increasing the wealth of a few in the nation's capital at the expense of us taxpayers. Richard Elfers is a columnist with the Courier Herald in Enumclaw, Bonney Lake and Sumner. He is an adjunct professor at Greenriver Community College, teaching high school completion civics and govern- ment, Culminating Project and continuing ed- ucation classes on history and current events. A former Enumclaw city councilman, he is married and has four grown children. Telephone: (509) 787-4511 FAX: (509) 787-2682 E-mail: ads@qvpr.corri 4-