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At Hill Hearing, a Proposal for D.C. Residents to Not Pay Taxes

One of the most vocal proponents of the DC vote bill offered an alternative today: stripping DC residents of the obligation to pay federal taxes.

Rep Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) told a hearing of the House Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties that he was introducing a bill this week to exempt District residents from payimg taxes.

"Taxation without representation--that slogan has made an impression on me," said Gohmert.

DC Del. Eleonor Holmes Norton dismissed the announcement as a stunt.

She said she introduced a bill several years ago relieving DC residents of the obligation of paying federal taxes since they didn't have a vote in Congress.

"I got nowhere," she said.

Norton's bill would add two seats to the House, one for heavily Democratic DC and the other for the next state in line to pick up an additional seat. That state is currently Utah, which leans Republican.

Mary Beth Sheridan

By Marcia Davis  |  January 27, 2009; 12:35 PM ET
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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The principles of full suffrage were clearly laid out by George Mason in the Virginia Declaration of Rights, June, 1776:

"6. That elections of members to serve as representatives of the people in assembly ought to be free; and that all men, having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to, the community have the right of suffrage and cannot be taxed or deprived of their property for public uses without their own consent or that of their representatives so elected, nor bound by any law to which they have not, in like manner, assented, for the public good. "

Those rights of suffrage are timeless, indestructible, INALIENABLE; ie, innate, inherent, intrinsic. They cannot be bought, sold, taken away, or traded, whether for a bowl of pottage or for freedom from taxes. At most, they may fail to be recognized or respected...that is what has been happening for the last 200 plus years with regard to DC.

Also, please note that Senator Steny Hoyer, representing the people of Maryland, made no indication, to my knowledge, that Maryland is inclined in any way to push for the retrocession of DC to Maryland.

Posted by: citizenw | January 28, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

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