Republicans claim to oppose high taxes, but they vote for more Big Government — and higher taxes. The latest case in point is a U.S. Senate vote to pass an Internet sales tax bill that would force online retail outlets to start collecting taxes on behalf of state governments.
I can’t tell you just how bad an idea this is. Much like some other recent legislation that died in the Senate (cough gun control cough), this is legislation that pretends to fix a problem that doesn’t exist, and actually makes a real problem worse.
The problem it pretends to fix is the failure to tax businesses that sell online. Fun fact: every American business that sells online pays sales taxes to every single state (and county, in many states) where it has a physical location. I wrote the sales tax code for DriveThruRPG, so I know for a fact that this is not a trivial amount of work for a small business. Expanding that added bureaucracy and back-end work to pay every single county in the USA is GODDAMNED INSANE (I am speaking for myself here, not for DriveThruRPG).
Adding injury to insult, it actually makes a real problem worse. The real problem is that local brick-and-mortar retailers can sometimes be undercut by online retailers. A solution to this problem would be to make sales tax lower, making the local retailer more competitive. Erecting a massive bureaucratic impediment, discouraging local brick-and-mortar businesses from selling their products online, actually makes their situation WORSE.
And, as usual, the only political party with two clues to rub together are the Libertarians.