The Corner

Politics & Policy

Ask D.C. Residents If They Prefer Statehood or No Federal Income Tax

The Washington Monument seen through the annual cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C., March 29, 2021. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

The Democratic effort to change the rules and pack the Senate with two more liberals isn’t slackening. On Wednesday, the House Oversight Committee approved a bill to make Washington, D.C., a state on a party-line vote of 25–19. The full House will vote on it later this month.

It faces an uphill climb in the Senate, where Democrats lack the 60 votes to overcome a Senate filibuster.

The proffered reason for the bill is that the District of Columbia lacks full voting rights in Congress, a form of “taxation without representation.” Many members have suggested that the District — save for key federal buildings — be transferred to Maryland, a process which would give it full voting rights. A similar procedure transferring the portion of the original Washington, D.C., known as Arlington and Alexandria, to Virginia in 1847 accomplished that goal. But supporters insist that District voters won’t settle for anything less than full statehood and opposition to the idea is “racist.”

But Deroy Murdock, writing at Newsmax, floats an ingenious idea to test the intensity of average Washingtonians on the statehood issue. Let’s allow D.C. to enjoy non-representation, without taxation.

Murdock says that D.C. residents should be excused from paying federal individual income tax. The Tax Foundation estimates that if that had happened in 2018, the district’s 541,450 taxpayers would have kept $6.7 billion in their bank accounts. “The economy would boom,” Murdock writes. “Tax-bludgeoned Americans would flock to D.C. to keep more of their hard-earned money. D.C. would blossom into Singapore on the Potomac.” He suggests letting District residents vote on the idea.

Liberals, of course, would be aghast and never allow the public to vote on the proposal. If D.C. residents would be excused from income tax, you can bet that residents of heavily taxed Virginia and Maryland would start demanding the same thing.


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