Over the years, I’ve often found myself enlightening various tourists and relatives about D.C.’s voting rights issue and the varied arguments over the “last colony” status of the District. It never surprises me that most people from outside the Greater Washington Metropolitan Area have no idea about D.C. residents’ disenfranchisement, and that they usually assume we carry on like lucky residents of Puerto Rico or Guam, not having to pay federal income taxes as a result of our “special status.” When I inform them otherwise, they’re usually surprised and think it unfair. So imagine my surprise reading this gem today on the Washington Post’s discussion about yesterday’s House bill result:
College Park, Md.: The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration. So says the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
If D.C. gets full voting rights like the other states, then won’t they have to start paying federal income taxes?
Mary Beth Sheridan: D.C. residents already pay full federal income taxes.
This isn’t a tourist or an out-of-towner. This is a Maryland resident in a close-in college town on the Red Line. Shocking? Ignorant? Just amazingly uninformed? An area newbie? I have no idea, but I practically spat out my afternoon mocha upon reading it.
UPDATE: The irony of my saying College Park is on the Red Line. Oh, the horrible irony. Green Line, Green. My own line too. It’s humble pie tonight!
This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs