By Steve MacDonald, Granite Grok
Democrats in the Vermont legislature overrode a veto by Gov Scott, allowing 16 and 17-year-olds in Brattleboro to vote in local elections. My first question is, why are you discriminating against 13-15-year-olds?
I thought they were old enough to choose live-changing pharmacological gender transition or mutilating surgery. The pat answer to my query undergirds the entire argument for letting anyone 16 and upvote in the first place. They pay taxes.
“One of the biggest selling points for me is the fact that teenagers do work and they do pay taxes,” said Daims. “And we are a country built on the foundation of ‘no taxation without representation.’ When I was 16 I started working, so this felt really close to home in that way.”
Wouldn’t it be easier to stop taxing them? We’re talking about Democrat rule, so that is never an option. But their taxation argument leads nicely to a point I’ve made for years.
If being taxed justifies the right to vote because of all that taxation without representation business, then no state should legally be able to tax anyone who is not represented in the state legislature. Democrat states tax out-of-state residents who work in their states but do not allow them to vote in that state. It must therefore be legal and reasonable to deny the right to vote without regard to taxation.
Federally, the government has run up more than 30 trillion in federal debt, upon which there will be tens of trillions more in interest payments for debt service, paid for by people who are not yet alive to work or be taxed. They did not vote for anyone who spent that money or for the spending but must shoulder a tax burden decades before they have the shoulders to bear it. As I’ve been prone to add: talk about a voting rights issue.Then there is Governors Scott’s argument, which balances on another ideological hobby horse of mine regarding Democrat policy. Contradiction.
“…the Legislature has repeatedly raised the age of accountability to reduce the consequences when young adults commit criminal offenses,” he said in his veto letter. “They have argued this approach is justified because these offenders are not mature enough to contemplate the full range of risks and impacts of their actions.”
Democrats have led the charge on state-wide laws prohibiting anyone under 21 from legally consuming alcohol, owning a firearm, or purchasing tobacco or vaping products. Still, they are responsible enough to sit on boards and committees and vote to spend other people’s money, including bonds that transfer the debt to future taxpayers. (Note: there was a past concern about state law prohibiting minors from such powers while they can enter into some contracts and file lawsuits with the assistance of someone of majority age.)
And it looks like municipal and county governments can regulate possession, consumption, and open container laws concerning alcohol. If I read that right, lowering the drinking age to 16 is on the table, and if not, why not? They are responsible enough for this but not that.
How about tattoos? Vermont restricts the employment of 16-18-year-olds, prohibiting them from higher paying jobs that would result in more of those taxes you’ve decided give them the right to vote.
Here’s a big one: Anyone under 18 cannot by law give consent except for treatment for sexually transmitted disease or substance abuse (parents or guardians must be notified).Lots of contradictions, but it’s okay. These are Democrats, so nothing needs to make sense, especially when the only goal here is to tap into what is more than likely a majority Democrat voting population to secure the one-party state.
As if that is a problem in Brattleboro or anywhere else in Vermont.
The author is editor at Granite Grok, a New Hampshire news and commentary outlet.