D.C. Invokes Revolutionary Rallying Cry

If you've been to Washington D.C. in the past few years, you may have noticed that their license plates invoke the centuries-old issue of "taxation without representation." But these plates aren't meant to celebrate the historic Revolution as much as they are protesting the problem that exists today. What's that? You thought this debate was over and done-with in America ever since the colonies won independence from the British crown? If so, you were wrong.

According to the organization DCVote.org, it's unfair that District of Columbia residents bear the same burden of taxes as everyone else, but do not have a voting representative in the U.S. Congress. They make an interesting point, and their cause has recently won some momentum in Congress, according to a recent New York Times story. But, why did the Founding Fathers, who risked their lives to rid us of such tyranny, put D.C. in this situation in the first place?

An interesting article at Heritage.org argues that the Founding Fathers were not being absent-minded or hypocritical when they left D.C. without Congressional representation. Instead, they regarded the district as a special exception. It reaps special privileges by virtue of housing Federal Government. As a city built on swampland, it owes its monuments, its National Mall and its very existence to the Federal Government, argues authors Postell and Ward.

The article also adds that D.C. residents are represented as much as any other resident in the Executive and Judicial branches of government (making this different from the tyranny the American colonists experienced). Surprisingly, Postell and Ward argue that D.C. might be harmed by attaining a voting representative: The district could lose the special funding they've relied on for so long.

Some support D.C. getting a vote in Congress, but consider this latest initiative unconstitutional. They'd rather see an all-out constitutional amendment to attain voting rights (for more, see this Politico article).

What's your take?

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