Shadow Politics, March 20, 2016
Our guest is Nelson Rimensnyder. Nelson is a noted political historian who served on the District of Columbia committee of Congress for many years. He will discuss the origins of the District of Columbia through the debates of the Constitutional Convention, early related Congressional action, and some reasons why the enfranchisement of DC residents was not sufficiently addressed. He will also review proposals and attempted actions over the past 200 years to mitigate the unique status of District residents, the only citizens of the United States who are taxed without their consent and governed by congress to which they elect no voting members.
Guest, Nelson Rimensnyder
Nelson Rimensnyder is a noted political historian who served on the District of Columbia committee of Congress for many years. In his own words:
"My platform, simply stated, is that until DC residents have voting members of Congress, they should be exempt from paying United States Federal income taxes. NO VOTE - NO TAX.
This idea is not new and has been gaining bipartisan support. In 2009, U. S. Representative Louie Gohmert, Republican of Texas, with ten Republican co-sponsors, introduced the "District of Columbia No Taxation Without Representation Act." That bill was reintroduced in the current Congress last year. The bill concludes, and I quote:
'The Congress finds the following: SEC. 2. In keeping with the early history and democratic traditions of the United States, the principles established in the Constitution, and in conformance with the other territories of the United States which have delegates but no Representative, the residents of the District of Columbia should be exempt from paying United States Federal income taxes.'
The DC Chapter of Log Cabin Republicans has endorsed my candidacy and platform advocating a NO VOTE, NO TAX policy for DC until we are represented in Congress by voting members.
We are the only American citizens who are taxed without our consent. Residents of Puerto Rico and the U. S. territories also are represented by non-voting Delegates in Congress, but they are exempt from paying federal income taxes. If elected Delegate from D.C., I will work to educate Congress and the public on the need to end the injustice of taxation without representation for DC residents. This is a goal that cannot be achieved without support and cooperation from both Republicans and Democrats. It is time to send a bi-partisan delegation to the Congress. Taxation without representation is tyranny!"
First at the Library of Congress (1970-1975), and then as Director of Research for the U. S. House Committee on the District of Columbia, I compiled the only existing comprehensive archive on the history of the complex D.C. - Federal relationship. This unique treasure barely escaped destruction when the House Committee was abolished. Rescued from the dumpster, it is now stored precariously in my Capitol Hill garage. I hope an appropriate D. C. institution will accept the archive and enable me to catalog these records and documents for eventual publication. The archive would be of particular assistance in resolving the issue of an equitable Federal payment to the D. C. government for revenues denied and services rendered. It is rich in material related to our 200 year struggle to achieve territorial status leading to statehood. The archive would provide an invaluable resource in the struggle to forge a bipartisan agenda for advancing self-government initiatives.
U. S. Army, 1964-1968 After graduation from the Army Language School in Monterey, CA with proficiency in Spanish, I spent two years stationed in Panama, traveling throughout most of Central and South America working as a translator and gathering information for military intelligence reports used in counterinsurgency operations of both U.S. and allied personnel.
Shadow Politics is a grass roots talk show giving a voice to the voiceless. For more than 200 years the people of the Nation's Capital have ironically been excluded from the national political conversation. With no voting member of either house of Congress, Washingtonians have lacked the representation they need to be equal and to have their voices heard. Shadow Politics will provide a platform for them, as well as the millions of others nationwide who feel politically disenfranchised and disconnected, to be included in a national dialog.
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