The Politicians' Scam: Taxing People Outside Their Voting District
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Politicians' Attempt to Stay in Office: Taxing People Outside Their Voting District
The United States is one of the most democratic nations in the world. However, for our elected representatives, government is also a business, and these officials want to do anything they can to stay employed, or get re-elected. There are several ways they can do this, but one way has been used repeatedly since the American Revolution. It has been used in many examples, including the trade wars between the states of the 1780’s, the taxation of the federal bank by Maryland until 1819, the speed trap in Macks Creek, MO in the 1990’s, West Virginia’s current tax on river traffic, increased taxes for hotels and rental cars, and finally in the states’ dependency on federal grant money. All of these are examples in which the politicians are taxing people outside of their voting district, in hopes of staying in office.
The idea behind all of these schemes is that the people paying the taxes and fines are not the people that vote for the local or state politicians creating these laws. Therefore, the people in the politician’s district receive the benefits of this increased revenue, but don't have any of the cost, causing the elected official to look more favorable. Furthermore, the visitors to the area rarely have an easy way to fight these taxes or fines. They can't vote the officials out of office, and they usually can't avoid the situation. The only choice they have is to comply with the fine or tax, or spend a lot of time and money to fight it in court. The following examples were all devised by politicians who wanted nothing more than to stay in office, and they were created under the same line of thinking – take advantage of people who have no way of protesting. These examples all have this common theme, only the implementation and the legality of them differ.
This process of taxing others began before the Constitution was even written. Under the Articles of Confederation, the federal government had no control of commerce between the states. Because of this, the states taxed each other’s goods, creating trade wars. Although they were hurting commerce in the process, the politicians knew they were gaining revenue without alienating their own voters.