D.C. Donnybrook

Mike Tyson vs. High Taxes.


In this corner, weighing in with an enormous tax burden, no middle class, no affordable housing, and embarrassing public schools — that shining city on the hill, the pride of the nation, the Capital City itself — Washington, D.C.!

And in this corner, weighing in with three years in prison, a rape conviction, two counts of deviate sexual conduct, two more sexual misconduct investigations, and a suspension for ear biting — the savior of Washington, D.C. — straight from the holy fields of jail — Mike Tyson!

How desperate we in Washington have become. We're enlisting Mike Tyson for salvation. We all need help.

Last week, the D.C. Boxing and Wrestling Commission (of which the late Clinton Commerce Secretary Ron Brown's son is vice chairman) voted to move forward on Tyson's request for a license for a possible June 8 heavyweight fight at MCI Center against champion Lennox Lewis.

As Jay Leno said, "Mike Tyson was given a license to box in Washington, DC. Vegas turned him down. It's nice to know Las Vegas has higher moral standards than Washington, DC."

But for many fight opponents, it's not just about moral sleaze. It's about helping Mike Tyson — from himself.

D.C.'s Downtown Cluster of Congregations issued this statement: "The well-publicized history of Mr. Tyson — inclusive of recent events — are indicative of a person in need of help and guidance."

Tavis Smiley said on CNN: "The man needs help, but nobody in the boxing world cares about Mike Tyson getting help."

Meanwhile, Lennox Lewis said he wouldn't fight Tyson until Tyson gets professional "psychiatric help."

And Gov. Gray Davis said he didn't want the fight in California: "I don't think we should grant Mike Tyson a permit, certainly not now. I think he needs to get treatment and get help."

The world to Mike Tyson: Get help! Suddenly, everyone's in Tyson's corner. Mike needs help! Yes, by all means, let's help Mike Tyson. But help me, too. Cut my taxes!

Huh? Taxes? What's that got to do with Mike Tyson? Simple. According to The Washington Post, D.C. will not put up its own money to host the fight here, but may consider some tax relief to the organizers.

Meanwhile, the rest of D.C., those of us not eligible for a shot at the heavyweight title, suffers from cruel and unusual tax rates.

The District's highest tax bracket, starting at $30,000 of adjusted gross income, is a whopping 9.3 percent. According to the Washington Post, Northern Virginia is 5.75 percent, and the highest bracket in suburban Maryland is 7.75 percent.

Meanwhile, the District's five-year tax rollback program ended last month after only two years, a victim of the recession. And D.C. has far lower bond rating than the triple-A's of Maryland and Virginia.

Meanwhile, Mike Tyson is getting professional help: Tax relief.

Then what about us long-suffering, highly taxed residents? I wanna be like Mike. And not necessarily D.C.'s other famous Mike, Mr. Jordan.

I wanna be the one who's getting tax relief.

A Mike Tyson fight — with all its "immorality" — we can survive. High taxes we can't.

Send help!