Very few politicians actively campaign for lower taxes, and then mean it. Most, especially if they have been around for a while, are always looking for new revenue streams….
…as if they really believe that they always have the right to take more out of the pockets of those that actually earn it (yeah, I am in a cynical mood – but then again, they are even more cynical for actually believing it).
Well, they’re at it again:
Politicians weigh renewal of Net access tax ban
WASHINGTON–With only months left on a moratorium restricting state governments from taxing Internet access, the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday began a debate over whether the ban should be made permanent or allowed to lapse.
At issue is the scheduled expiration on November 1 of a law, initially enacted in 1998, that says local governments generally cannot tax Internet access, including DSL (digital subscriber line), cable modem and BlackBerry-type wireless transmission services. The law also prohibits governments from taxing items sold online in a different manner than those sold at brick-and-mortar stores, but it does not deal with sales taxes on online shopping.
That’s the way it should remain, some politicians said at a brief hearing here convened by a House of Representatives panel on commercial and administrative law.
"If we could liken the Internet to a mall, a place where you can go in and purchase goods and services, and also liken it to a library, a place where you can go and pull a book, pull a resource, and obtain some information, why would we tax a person upon entering a mall or why would we tax a person upon entering the library?" asked Rep. Hank Johnson, a Democrat from Georgia.
I like this guy..I like this guy’s thinking….can I vote for him?????
But previous attempts at renewing the ban for more than two to four years have failed, in part because of resistance from state and local government lobby groups. State government representatives caution against making the moratorium permanent, saying it would deprive states indefinitely of vital revenue sources and that its original purpose–boosting the nascent Internet to commercial viability–has essentially been accomplished.
Oh why, Oh why am I not surprised. I see it now….more politicians swarming around around with butterfly nets ready and waiting for the dollar bills that are just waiting to be plucked out of the air just for "good ideas". After all, it is generally for "the common good" (or the other phrase: "it’s for the children").
Don’t get me wrong – government does need money. But c’mon folks, with the proposed $2.9 TRILLION budget being proposed by the Democrats, where does it end? Look at it another way – WHEN have you seen a governmental budget go down year over year? We common folk are limited to our incomes – why permit government to just order up theirs?
A separate issue on one politician’s mind was what to do about the collection of sales taxes on the Internet. State governments have long griped that they are losing revenue to booming e-commerce businesses that aren’t required to collect taxes from customers in states where the businesses don’t have a physical presence. Rep. Bill Delahunt, a Democrat from Massachusetts, said he was planning to try again at enacting a bill designed to address those concerns.
As for the Net tax ban, he said, "my own position is we ought to have a temporary moratorium until we finally resolve the issue of how the states are going to support public services with an eroding tax base predicated on the growth of e-commerce."
I dare anyone to do the math: percentage of e-commerce to "bricks and morter" commerce. For Delahunt (of course, a liberal Dem from my home state) to be crying over pretty much nothing.
"eroding tax base"
Oh really? Have tax revenues in MA been decreasing with a commisserate decrease in the the MA state budget?
(H/T: CNET News)