At least it seems to be in the Washington area. Around here, the part of the economy driven by spending on security and defense is booming. No pun intended.

Just in our little county, “federal procurement amounted to $16 billion last year alone”, about 10 times what the feds spent in LA. Far more than is spent anywhere else.

“Procurement” is just the “goods and services” the government pays for. That doesn’t count things like leased office space and the salaries of the people who work in those buildings.

And, of course, it doesn’t figure in the spending of the fast growing number of companies that hang around this area to develop and sell “solutions” to the government and others. Solutions like missiles, computer systems, and consultants.

When it comes to fear, we seem to have attracted a lot of those consultants and others in the category of “professional services”. And more are on the way.

The war on terror has given Washington an E-Z Pass for the turnpike to the future. These are precisely the sort of jobs that experts believe will hold the key to tomorrow’s economy. The region has roughly 2 percent of the total American workforce, but more than 10 percent of the computer systems designers, 8 percent of the consultants and the scientific researchers, 6 percent of the professors and the technologists and the Internet operators. “This is the new economy,” Fuller sums up. So we should be very well positioned to prosper indefinitely, provided we don’t get incinerated.

Incinerated? Why would terrorists want to destroy all this deficit spending? We seem to be doing a great job of spending ourselves into bankruptcy, which in the long run, will be far more effective than a couple of bombs.

Of course, buried in all this is the question of whether all this government spending is actually buying better security. There doesn’t seem to be much interest in studying that.

government spending, washington area, security