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The New York Times article has one explanation:
The main lesson the rest of the country should take from the capital’s prosperity is, per Leonhardt, that “education matters.” D.C.’s “high-skill” economy boasts more college degrees than any other major metropolitan area in America. “If you wanted to imagine what the economy might look like if the country were much better educated,” Leonhardt writes, “you can look at Washington.”
The fact that the federal government is spending trillions of dollars, mostly in Washington, DC, is apparently only a side show to this New York Times reporter.