Inside the Beltway

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The "Beltway" refers to the I-496 Interstate Highway that encircles Washington, D.C. Thus "Inside the Beltway" refers to the area within the city of Washington, and its immediate suburbs in Maryland and Virginia, where many businesses associated with the Federal government operate. In political discussions, the term implies a place separate from the outside world, a sort of political ivory tower, operating under different rules and assumptions, where people are disconnected from the concerns and opinions of the larger American public.

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