Adrian Fenty is running for Mayor of DC. He’s also, as of this evening, asked for the city council to start the process to add a referendum to overturn the Congressional ban on a commuter tax, according to NBC 4 news tonight at 11. The problem here is thus: the Referendum is preaching to the choir. It’s asking DC residents to decide that the city has power to tax the people who work in the District, but don’t live there. Please note that last part. It’s asking DC residents whether or not it’s okay to tax people that won’t be able to vote in the referendum. So, essentially, asking them if it’s okay if they shake down those people who are required to come into the city for their jobs for half their tax money while their own schools and road suffer as a result of the neglect. Why gee, thanks DC, that sounds like a great idea! Isn’t it bad enough I pay double the sales tax on my lunch than were I to buy it in Clarendon or Rosslyn or Bethesda? Isn’t it bad enough I pay double for the tax on my beer and dinner after work? Apparently not.
But what about all those license plates? The ones that read “Taxation Without Representation”? The ones whose mandate seems to say “We’re getting royally fucked by congress”? That’s exactly what you want to do those commuters. Fuck them. Fuck their communities. Fuck their schools. Fuck their roads. We have no vote in the mayoral or city council election, those of us who live in Arlington or Bethesda or PG County or Annapolis and brave the trip into the city. We have no say in your process, but somehow you want a good chunk of our change?
No way. Nuh uh. Sorry, dude, that’s not how this government of ours works. I’m sorry that you’re getting fucked by Congress on this whole budget oversight thing, really, I am, but decades of corruption and mismanagement aren’t our fault. Remember, we can’t vote in DC. We live in Maryland and Virginia, we vote for our own politicians, pay taxes in our own communities. I’m for your right to representation in Congress, I believe that the framers of our Constitution wanted Federal Representation for all of the citizens, not just those who live outside the federal city’s borders. But that belief in representation as a function of taxation is grounded in the citizen’s right to participate in that process through exercise of their franchise, and DC will be committing the same egregious sin that they are the victims of.
Do not rob Peter to pay Paul, Councilman Fenty. It’s the wrong way to go about this.
This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs