"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Government Protection Racket Looks for New Sources of Extortion Revenue

The Senate is about to pass a bill that would permit states to collect sales tax on Internet sales.   Just another bill that will cause chaos and uncertainty for small business.... good job, Senators.   I guess your reelection slogans will be "Making Sure That No Jobs Get Created On My Watch!"
Small sellers with no profits could be subject to audits in dozens of states. Each of the nearly 10,000 local tax jurisdictions could specify a different tax rate. Businesses would also have to figure out how to handle the complexity of integrating as many as 46 state government-supplied software packages into Web ordering systems....
Taxpayer advocates say Enzi's amendment amounts to a multibillion dollar tax hike on American consumers that shouldn't be rushed into law without a single hearing (S.743 was introduced last week). The National Taxpayers Union set up a petition to Congress saying: "I do not want to be made vulnerable to out-of-state tax collectors." Last month, 15 conservative groups sent a letter to members of Congress saying an Internet tax law is "is bad news for conservative principles and the cause of limited government."
They're joined by a coalition called True Simplification of Taxation, which includes the American Catalog Mailers Association, the Direct Marketing Association, NetChoice, and the Electronic Retailing Association. A scorecard (PDF) compiled by the group says S.743 meets only a fraction of 12 important simplification requirements.
But it's no surprise why the governing class would want to tax Internet sales... Internet sales are booming:
Estimated Quarterly U.S. Retail E-commerce Sales as a Percent of Total Quarterly Retail Sales:

The government wants a piece of this action.   Sort of like a protection racket.

No exactly like a protection racket.   If your a small Internet retailer, you now have a gun to your head.   

Nice place you got here.   Be a shame if anything happened to it."  

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