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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 9, 2013/ 29 Iyar, 5773

Taxing Internet sales

By Cal Thomas




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In 1998 when President Clinton signed the bipartisan Internet Tax Freedom Act, which prohibited state and local taxation of Internet access and Internet-only services, the purpose was to promote the commercial potential of the Internet, especially for start-ups and small businesses. Congress extended the bill three times, the latest until 2014.

Now there's the Marketplace Fairness Act, which, writes the Washington Post, "would allow states and local governments to require large Internet retailers and other 'remote sellers' with sales over $1 million annually to collect sales taxes and send the revenue to the appropriate location." This bill, which the Senate voted 69-27 to approve, would undo the protections Republicans and Democrats once felt necessary to promote e-commerce.

The debate over taxing Internet sales isn't about "fairness," as the cleverly worded title of the bill suggests, it is, or ought to be, about spending, which is where the real problem lies. Government never seems to have enough of our money and doesn't appear to care whether we have enough.

More tax revenue only leads to more binge spending.

The reasons for promoting e-commerce and small businesses in a tax-free environment have not changed. Retailers have complained for some time about people who "shop" in their stores without buying and then go on the Internet to purchase the same product at cheaper prices because it's tax free. Real fairness would cut the taxes retail stores must charge, as some states sometimes do at back-to-school time. If cutting those taxes in order to promote commerce is a good idea, why not make it permanent? Just try convincing Congress. You'd have a better shot at getting Dracula to go vegan.

Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), whose party supposedly favors lower taxes, authored the bill, but a recent Wall Street Journal editorial noted that even he is unsure of some of its specifics. For example, under the definition of what constitutes a "state" for taxing purposes, a myriad of entities, including the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin and Marianas Islands "and any other territory or possession of the United States" could also force distant e-sellers to collect taxes.

And get this. Tribal organizations could also qualify as taxing entities. According to Steve DelBianco of the e-commerce trade association NetChoice, there are 566 "federally recognized tribes and Alaska Native Corporations." The Journal contacted Enzi's office to ask if the senator knew how many of these would be able to tax Internet sales. It reports that as of Monday, an Enzi spokesman was still "seeking an answer."



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The Journal says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been working his dark magic on the bill behind closed doors in order to re-write the definition of "state." If his definition is broadened, notes the editorial, "The new bureaucratic headaches could number in the hundreds of thousands."

Supporters of the bill claim there would be just one auditing authority in each state, not a potential claim from each of the 9,600 state and local tax collectors. But as another Journal editorial notes, "What matters is not what the bill's supporters 'have explicitly stated,' but what's in the bill." And what's in the bill gives no assurance that supporters' claims will come to pass. Any way you slice it, it's going to be a lot more bureaucracy and a burden on small businesses to collect what will amount to a paltry 1 percent increase in tax revenue for state and local governments. Better they should cut spending by that amount.

Calvin Coolidge noted, "Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery." Too bad the Senate sergeant at arms can't arrest the "robbers."

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Cal Thomas Archives

JWR contributor Cal Thomas is co-author with Bob Beckel, a liberal Democratic Party strategist, of "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America". Comment by clicking here.

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