Whenever a career politician says the words “taxes” and “moratorium” in the same sentence, look for the candid camera and the whoopee cushion. You’re being set up.
I guess I was one of those fools who thought that a 5-year moratorium Congress passed on taxing Internet commerce had some teeth to it. But now I hear that there’s bipartisan support for a set of bills that would put the kibosh on that moratorium. Where’s gridlock when you really need it!
The Dorgan-Istook bill would let states regulate interstate commerce despite the trivial matter of the U. S. Constitution. Under that increasingly irrelevant document, state governments have no authority to tax or regulate interstate commerce. But the feds do have that authority, and allegedly they also have the authority to delegate that authority to the states by setting up this newfangled tax cartel.
Today, you can order stuff from another state by mail-order without having to pay that other state’s sales tax. Sure, retail stores think they have a bad break when they have to pay more of their gross income in sales taxes than mail-order outfits do. But the solution to bad taxes is to reform or get rid of them, not to make sure everybody everywhere suffers just as much as you do.
States actually have the power already to tax their merchants for out-of-state sales, but they know that doing so means businesses to other states. The proposed cartel gives states a way to eat their tax base and have it, too through a national tax cartel of states.
If this sounds awfully confusing to you, you might want to call your congressman and ask him to explain it.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.