I think you remember how Congress and the President pass so-called “continuing resolutions” whenever they can’t agree on a federal budget. It’s not hard. You just take the five minutes you need to conduct a roll call and you do it.
That’s why it’s so annoying that Congress says it’s been “too busy” lately to renew a ban on Internet taxes. They are using the admittedly very serious current crisis as an excuse to let the moratorium lapse. As things stand now, there’s no sales tax on your internet service account and no tax on goods you buy over the Internet that are shipped from another state. Some retail stores who don’t do mail-order complain about this, saying it’s unfair competition. But the solution to being taxed too much is to get your own taxes reduced, not try to make sure somebody else gets socked really hard, too.
Commentators say that states probably won’t rush right away to impose lots of new Internet taxes. But that could change fast. There are lots of budget crunches now around the country. And once the foot is in the door, it will be very hard to get that door closed again. “This is no time for Congress to permit a new onslaught of taxes on the consumer, or on the tech sector,” says Representative Christopher Cox, Republican of California. True, Mr. Cox. In fact, there’s never really a good time to sucker-punch the economy. The Internet is a growing, but struggling, sector. And if you want lots of exciting stuff to keep happening there, you can’t start slapping on the shackles.
So let’s tell our congressmen to renew that moratorium on taxing the net.
This is Common Sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.