Home Opinion Anne Anderson: "Once Again, with Feeling, on DC Statehood"
Feb 03
Friday
Free DC! - Statehood Now!
Anne Anderson: "Once Again, with Feeling, on DC Statehood" E-mail
Once Again, with Feeling, on DC Statehood
Anne Anderson,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

I, for one, refuse to be bought off with the thought of paying no federal taxes in return for giving up my right to an equal voting voice in the government of the United States. I don't enjoy being kept by anyone, no matter how benevolent, and I can't imagine that things would actually get better if we paid no taxes. Please check in with the residents of our various territories to see how that status works for them before you recommend it to us. If this were a federal income-tax-free zone, it would be interesting to see who would want to move here — lots of very rich people, I suspect, who have access to the powers that be through other avenues than the ballot box. On the other hand, it would also be very interesting to see who would want to move to the new state of “New Columbia,” once they knew they would continue to have an equal voice in our national legislature. Perhaps we would actually fix the broken one-party system that we struggle with under our current system.

Of course, if we were a state we would need to create a state government! We would also no longer need the unlovely structure of Home Rule, so there would be many changes to how we govern ourselves. We already are treated like a state in some five hundred instances to interact with the federal government, so just about all that would change is that it would become clear where the buck stops — on the governor's desk, or with the state legislature. No more running to various members of Congress anytime someone with money and power doesn't like what our council is doing. By the way, as a state, we also become an equal player with our neighbors, and can negotiate things like reciprocal agreements on who gets to tax whom, depending on where they work and where they live. I have not kept track of the billions of dollars annually that Maryland and Virginia siphon off from people who work in DC and pay taxes in the suburbs, but it is billions.

As for the idea that people pushing for Statehood are just out to get more Democrats in Congress — please save your accusations for after you have done some real study of the issue. Are you actually accusing the League of Women Voters of partisan activity? They have been working on this issue since the early 70's, just as I have. I joined the DC Statehood Party in 1971 because I could not see a way out of this mess without DC's becoming a state, or retrocession to Maryland, and Maryland would have to vote to accept us. We tried a constitutional amendment; that failed. We have actually reached the floor of the House once with our petition for statehood, and lost, but we would not be the first state that lost the first vote and were eventually admitted into the Union. Sir, this is about equity and joining the rest of the United States of America, not partisan politics.

 
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