On D.C. Statehood and Taxation

by Sal on March 12, 2009

in Politics

When the argument surrounding D.C. Statehood comes up, the frequent mantra used is the old Revolutionary War Phrase, “No Taxation Without Representation.”  The current bill in Congress to give D.C. “voting rights” in congress is flawed because it is unconstitutional.  There are remedies, such as making much of the city of Washington, D.C. a state, ceding it back to Maryland, or a constitutional amendment.  Robert Book at the Heritage Foundation has come up with a unique and absolutely fabulous solution to the taxation without representation argument:  make Washington D.C. residents exempt from federal taxes.

D.C. residents complain that they are forced to pay federal income tax despite not having a voting representative in Congress. But the remedy for this problem is not a constitutionally dubious plan to make the District into a quasi-state by adding a Member of Congress to represent it (cynically trying to buy off Republican votes in the process).  Rather, simply exempting D.C. residents from federal taxes would help revitalize the District–and do so in a way consistent with what the Founders had in mind for the “federal city.”

The article touches on how the repeal of federal taxes for D.C. residents could revitalize the District and serve as an example of the positive effect lower taxes has on a city.  It’s also a win for Democrats, as all of the members of Obama’s administration who live in D.C. would no longer have to cheat on their taxes.

H/T: The Corner

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike March 12, 2009 at 4:53 pm

It would never go through precisely because of the example it sets, but what an excellent idea. I would happily waive right to representation in exchange for not being forced to pay federal income tax.

Come to think of it, I’m from Rhode Island. I would gladly waive my right to representation period.


Mr. Blue March 12, 2009 at 10:13 pm

it would never fly, why? precisley because the dems in power know how bad it would hurt them politically.

the problem for them is that it would create unparalleled prosperity, thus proving that income taxes are a joke as well as indirectly making their tax & spend policies sink right before their eyes.


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