Internet Tax Update

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

A conservative is sounding the alarm I did a few years ago about an Internet sales tax. An upcoming Supreme Court decision may effectively enact one, but Ken Blackwell, head of the National Taxpayers Union and the Club for Growth, warns of more danger down the pike:

Absent a renewed appreciation for individual rights, we will continue to get "representation" like this from both parties -- and more taxation. (Image via Pixabay.)
The coming court decision is not the only danger to small businesses. In recent years, many members of Congress, including Republicans who should oppose higher taxes, have tried to advance legislation that would allow such Internet taxes. During the omnibus spending bill debate, members tried to include this tax -- with the support of Speaker Ryan. Many believe there will be another attempt during a lame duck session. With Republicans having great success in cutting taxes, rolling back regulation and turning the economy around, the last thing we need to do is allow higher taxes and more intrusive government -- as an Internet sales tax would do. Polls have consistently shown that Americans overwhelmingly oppose an Internet sales tax.
I applaud Blackwell's opposition to such a tax, as well as also bringing to light another problem it might usher in:
[D]ismantling the physical presence protection for remote retail sales could throw open the floodgates for states to aggressively attempt enforcement of not just their states tax laws, but also business and individual income tax rules, and even activist regulatory obligations on out-of-state entities.
That noted, there are several arguments Blackwell marshals that, although they might stop this round of attempts at enacting the tax, are no substitute for making a moral stand for individual rights (which would include ultimately phasing out taxation). To name a few: (1) Even if the tax were popular, it would be wrong to impose it; (2) Even if it were easy for businessmen to comply, it would remain wrong to take their money; and (3) It is wrong to "stick it" to any business whose profits have been earned honestly, regardless of its size or income.

I appreciate many aspects of this piece, but if conservatives want to quit seeing their political efforts amounting only to temporary holding actions against an ever-expanding entitlement state, they should start doing a few things differently. For starters, they should leave it to the left to praise unlimited majority rule, redistribution of income, and plundering the productive.

-- CAV


Today: (1) Fixed a formatting glitch. (2) Corrected wording in next-to-last paragraph.
6-7-18: Corrected a typo.

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