Tuesday, February 17, 2009

No Taxation Without Representation

First of all, can I just say Eleanor Holmes Norton may be an obnoxious, irrational fruit fly of a woman, but at least she has a sense of humor as evidenced by her repeated barbs with my man, Colbert.

Putting aside her entertainment value though, I truly hope that this new ploy for DC voting rights doesn't actually pan out. I fear, however, it's gaining steam because of the op-eds I've seen recently:
Washington’s lack of representation is profoundly undemocratic. Its residents are American citizens who pay taxes, vote for the president and serve and die in the military. Although the city is relatively small, it is more populous than Wyoming and nearly equal to those of Vermont and Alaska.
Now this isn't some vast right-wing, racist conspiracy to keep the predominantly African-Americans in D.C. from having voting rights...it's simply a matter of the Constitution. D.C. is NOT a state! I sympathize with the bureaucracy involved in having to have Congress approve it's budget, set school policies, etc. but it's NOT a state! Nor do I think it should be - it's economy is far too dependent upon the federal government for it to ever function properly.

The one point of sympathy I do have is that D.C. residents have to pay federal taxes. The age-old argument of "no taxation without representation" is still relevant today. So, I say fine! Don't require D.C. residents to pay federal taxes - problem solved.

1 comment:

benzta said...

Finally-- you're back to saying stuff I can agree with. :) Actually, there was debate about this very point way back in 1800 when the new district welcomed the seat of government for the first time, and it was decided that preventing DC residents from having a representative in Congress and voting in federal elections would help prevent collusion between the voters, representatives, and other elected officials (they only recently received federal election voting rights in a 1961 amendment). However, the population and demographic makeup of the electoral block in DC was vastly different back then, and there's some credence to the argument that DC has grown enough to warrant its own voice in Congress.

As a Constitutional conservative, however, I think the Constitution is fine just the way it is, and it doesn't need to be amended to allow DC representation. If you want to have a representative and a couple of senators, then don't live in DC-- it's a choice you make based on your priorities. It's no secret you can't have those in DC... But I agree with your solution, Whitney: just don't tax DC people. Boom. There's your fix.