|Federal taxation of the District with negligent and almost criminal lack of
representation, is as linked to George W. Bush's salivation for a tax cut, as
it is central to the call for Statehood.|
This is why the outspoken, but non-voting Congressional Delegate is suddenly
finding open white ears on both sides of the political aisle. Democratic
colleagues want political ammunition (translated: black votes) to throw at
conservative ideologues boasting electoral gains while Republicans,
especially moderates, figure this is a safe and subtle backdoor to boost
The unwritten, but plausible common ground for both is this: the Northern VA,
Montgomery County, NW elite, including spreading city yuppies, will be damned
before they see a predominantly black state. Recent Census numbers give a
re-assuring portrait of an ethnic shift favoring little likelihood of that.
That would give less chance of a re-apportionment nightmare for the Capitol
of the Western World. Think of an At-Large addition to the Congressional
Black Caucus and two Black Senate seats - can you say Sen. Marion Barry?
Barry single-handedly dropped that pipe dream. So now, we're stuck on tax
cuts - who doesn't want a tax cut? You take a look at each week, every
bi-week and sometimes once a month and go: "man - either it's time to add
more exemptions and pay Uncle Sam's piper on tax day or maybe I should raise
another dependant." Our newly selected - ... (dope!) I, of course, mean
newly elected, grammar-deficient Quarterback in the White House wants to
lower the Federal tax. Bump that, Mr. President. The payroll tax and FICA
is what it's about. Without the slightest liberal slant or incantation in
these notes, one discovers this is where the modern conservative principle
and policy is somewhat flim flammy. Common democratic sense would take
another look at which tax is really the most fundamentally whacked. But,
that's too people-oriented ...
As unfair and as burdensome as taxes are, one must kindly remind themselves
of what those paycheck-devouring critters are supposed to provide: working,
sustainable public services; continuous trash pick-up; regularly shoveled
snow when the white flakes fall; protecting, serving, non-brutal and
relatively educated community police smart enough to know that company or
organizational emails are not - we repeat - NOT private domain; and, perhaps,
a Mayoral mansion for Anthony Williams' Upper North-crust aspirations. Hey,
leave the brotha alone if he wants to pick his morning paper from cleaner,
swept streets. I would, too ... man, the playa hating is thick: then get
your own spacious Foxhall Rd palace. However, we're told not a District dime
is expected to go into the wealthy philanthropist offer. Now, upkeep -
that's a whole separate issue when it's built.
But, most District residents, as overtaxed as they are - and especially those
living in certain undesirable, yet cheap property in targeted locations
throughout - don't even get that much. Their plight is steadily saddening.
Back to my beef with the proposed, now $1.2 trillion tax cut legislation
awaiting hammer and anvil in the U.S. House of Representatives. It's not so
much the idea or theory of revolutionary tax cutting as it is the reality of
what in the Federal budget gets cut and who experiences it. In fact, I'd be
inclined to support it if the rebates were much larger ($300 - $1300 returns
for a working to middle class family living from paycheck to paycheck), the
cuts not so severe and if the District of Columbia were considered as a
significant portion of the equation.
Let me admit that I'm a once Philly-raised, now nine year D.C. Metro outsider
looking in. Maybe it's not my place to comment - yet, your city's
arrangement confounds me, as much as the twisted, downtown circles and the
infamous, tire-busting potholes. The residents are as brutally taxed as the
rebellious Founding Fathers who threw the British monarchs out over 200 years
before. Even conservative commentators, such as the National Review's Jonah
Goldberg are hip to a federal tax cut for D.C. residents. Says Godlberg in
The Washington Times: "But, why not take the idea seriously? Conservatives
have a lot more invested than liberals in the idea that high taxes are the
root of, if not all evil, then a whole lot of evils."
Hence, D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton's alliance with fantasy VP, 2004
Presidential aspirant-extraordinaire and Democratic Connecticut Senator
Joseph Lieberman is the smarter, strategic path to take - at the risk of
losing your black state. That was also the catch to Goldberg's point: "The
African-American base of the Democratic Party is gung-ho on the issue,
largely because it would almost surely result in two black, hard-core
Democratic Senators ... Meanwhile, conservatives oppose D.C. statehood for
two reasons. One faction emphasizes the partisan Republican considerations;
they don't want two permanent hyper-liberal senators."
Sorry about that - but, it beats those impractical cries for Statehood
(albeit well intentioned) in a small metropolis where no building can be as
tall as Washington's phallic, a city where there is no agricultural base and
an industrial center reliant upon it's two suburban sprawling neighbors.
However, some color in the Senate wouldn't be such a bad idea.
C.D. Ellison is a contributing writer to Metro Connection. Please feel free
to contact him by email - firstname.lastname@example.org - or phone: