09 Jan 2013

Dear President Obama: Can We Talk About Your License Plate?

HomeAdPlate3Whether or not you believe that DC should be granted statehood, I think that there is a case for raising awareness that the more than half-a-million residents of the Nation’s Capital pay more federal taxes every year per person, yet they lack voting representation in Congress. Heck, we don’t even get a final say on how we spend our local tax dollars.  According to a study from DC Vote, 78% of Americans are unaware that DC doesn’t have voting representation.

To help change that, DC Vote has started a petition to get President Obama to put the “Taxation Without Representation” license plate on the presidential limousine before the inaugural parade.  The last president to do so was Bill Clinton.

Will a simple license plate fix the awareness issue?  No. But every little bit helps, especially as the budget autonomy fight continues.

Learn more at DCVote.org, and then head over to petitions.whitehouse.gov and add your name.

A few more facts from The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights:

While Washington, D.C. does not have voting representation in the U.S. Congress, the nation’s capital has a larger economy, pays more federal taxes, and has lost more servicemen and women in our nation’s wars than many states that do have representation.

Here are the facts:

  • Fact: Washington, D.C., has approximately 600,000 residents – more than the approximately 500,000 residents of Wyoming.
  • Fact: Twenty states have lost fewer residents in our nation’s wars than Washington, D.C.’s families have lost.
  • Fact: Washington, D.C., residents pay $1.6 billion a year in federal taxes – more per person than the residents of every state.
  • Fact: Washington, D.C.’s economy is larger than the economies of 14 states.
  • Fact: Congress treats Washington, D.C., as a state for the purposes of 500 of the nation’s laws.

Regarding that first fact, Greater Greater Washington recently reported that as of the last census, “DC has just passed Vermont in population, and was already larger than Wyoming.  The estimate now puts DC at 632,323. Vermont has 626,011. The District is also the 2nd fastest-growing state or territory, growing 2.15% from July 2011 to July 2012, second only to North Dakota’s 2.17%.”

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