Undemocratic Debt

Seems like everyone around the country is blaming the “mess in Washington” for the debt crisis. Well little do they know that we in Washington, DC, we the citizens of the District of Columbia had no voice or vote in building up the debt nor did we have a voice or vote in the debt crisis deal. It’s the representatives from around the country that for over 200 years have come to Washington and at times brought great change and progress to the country and at times (last week) brought great pain to the country. Washington, DC gets the blame but it’s the folks from the 50 states that made this mess and now we, the citizens of the District of Columbia are being told how we’ll help dig the country out of a debt crisis.

As ugly as things got on Capitol Hill and at the White House during the debt ceiling debate I figured it’s important that we discuss the fact that the members of Congress from the 50 states caused this (& Bush & Obama) horrid display in governance and decision making while DC residents had no or vote voice in making the debt or raising the debt ceiling. With no voting members of the House or Senate all appropriations and tax decisions were made by representatives from the 50 states yet we in the District bear the same burden of basically saying that each District resident “owes” $46,922 to pay off the national debt. Of course we don’t really owe that per person but somehow the nation dug itself in a financial hole and needs help digging itself out.

At $46,922 per person that means that the citizens of the District cumulatively owe $28,200,122,000. Ouch!!! All for something we had no hand in creating but we will be told how we will have to sacrifice to solve the problem. Some so-called super committee is now going to propose cuts to programs and services and maybe tax hikes to help control the debt but without our vote or input. We’ll have no choice if Social Security or Medicare are cut but will have to accept what the system offers and if we’re told to pay higher taxes we’ll have to accept that too. Our neighbors in the 50 states have the choice and the opportunity to vote their voting members of Congress out, we don’t.

District residents have served in the military and the Peace Corps, paid our taxes, marched for equal rights all because we believe in our country and want to make it a better place. Yet we are still denied the fundamental right for full representation and autonomy (statehood) that others in the 50 states have. We simply want an equal voice in the governance of the country so that if the budget needs balancing we can send folks to Capitol Hill to help craft a plan to make it better and more representative of all Americans not just in the 50 states but in the 51 states.

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