Republicans Now Leading the Push to Tax the Internet

Republicans Now Leading the Push to Tax the Internet
September 24, 2013

Seton Motley

Seton Motley is the president of Less Government, a DC-based non-profit organization dedicated to... (read full bio)

The national Republican Party has a serious brand problem.  Too many Establishment Elephants are too often Diet Democrats - taking positions just slightly less Large Government than the Donkey Party.  That is - when they’re not agreeing with them in totality.

Which disheartens and drives away American grassroots Conservatives - the lifeblood of any hope for Republicans in any election. 

And it drives average Americans crazy, because they see too much damage being done by DC - with two Parties too often agreeing on the obviously wrong solution. 

Democrats want to continue to spend us into oblivion - a $17-trillion-and-counting national debt be darned.  Republican Paul Ryan’s allegedly Draconian proposed budget doesn’t even purport to (maybe) balance the budget for a decade.  Conservatives want it done much sooner.  72% of Americans want it done in five years or less.

Democrats are for amnesty for the 12-20 million illegal aliens currently in the United States.  So are many Republicans.  Conservatives are against amnesty.  Americans also overwhelmingly oppose it

Democrats and Republicans both wanted for their Hill offices an ObamaCare exemption - and President Barack Obama illegally delivered.  Conservatives oppose this Establishment cronyism.  So too do 94% of Americans. 

Republican leadership has been the largest contributor to their brand problem.  Far too often they fight ten times harder against Conservatives - who are often championing the policy positions preferred by the American people - than they do against the men and women across the aisle. 

Time and again the Senate Republican leadership backed one primary candidate, and Conservatives another.  Charlie Crist-Marco Rubio.  Bob Bennett-Mike Lee.  Trey Grayson-Rand Paul.  David Dewhurst-Ted Cruz.  These Conservatives are now just about the only ones in the Senate trying to right the interminable DC wrongs.  And their colleagues - in bipartisan Establishment-fashion - loathe them for it.

President Obama wanted to bomb Syria.  The House Republican leadership almost immediately also came out for it - despite Conservatives and, again, most Americans being overwhelmingly opposed. 

Wouldn’t it be nice to have an opposition Party in Washington?

Then there is the recent Conservative push to tie defunding ObamaCare to (yet another) Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the Leviathan.  How’d that play with Establishment Republicans? 

'Top' DC Republicans Sent Opposition Research to 'Hammer' Cruz

On Sunday, Chris Wallace, the host of Fox News Sunday, said that Republicans in Washington were savaging Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) behind Cruz's back before Cruz's appearance on the program to discuss defunding Obamacare.... 

"Since we announced that Ted Cruz was going to be on the show, I've been getting background research and questions going after Cruz not from Democrats but from other Republicans," Wallace said on Fox 5.

Where was all this Establishment Republican opposition research on Barack Obama?  That certainly is a target-rich environment.  But I’ll bet these Elephants didn’t slip any notes to Wallace before any of his sit-downs with the Senator cum President. 

So there is, in fact, an opposition Party in Washington.  The Establishment Party - made up of Democrats and Republicans.  And they stand opposed to Conservatives specifically and Americans generally. 

So it should come as no surprise that the Establishment Party is looking to pass a bill that would allow the 9,600+ different state and local governments to tax the Internet.

Behold the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA). 

Current law dictates that a state can only require a business to collect its sales tax if it is physically present within its boundaries….

(The MFA) would countenance an enormous expansion in state tax collection authority by wiping away the “physical presence standard,” a baseline protection that shields taxpayers from harassment by out of state collectors….

Dismantling this protection for remote retail sales would create a very slippery slope for states to attempt collection of business or even income taxes from out of state entities.... 

(The MFA will) forc(e) online retailers to calculate and remit to more than 9,600 distinct taxing jurisdictions.

As per usual, when someone in DC says “fairness” - grab your wallet, because they are about to do so.  The MFA is a gi-normous, omni-directional, multitudinous-government tax and power grab - and a colossal compliance headache for just about every U.S. business. 

It on May 6 passed the Senate - with twenty-one Republican votes.  And now, even more inexplicably, House Republicans are taking the lead on ramming it through. 

H.R.684 - Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013

Sponsor: Rep. Steve Womack (Republican-AR) 

Co-Sponsors: 66 - 24 of whom are Republicans. 

(Republican) Rep. Bob Goodlatte To Move Forward With Online Sales Tax Bill 

House GOP Takes Step on Internet Sales Tax Legislation

Yet another example of Republican anti-Conservative ideological muddle.  Is it any wonder the Party brand is so horrendously damaged? 

And yet another example of the bipartisan DC Establishment forcing upon us a law we don’t want. 

New Poll Shows Marketplace Fairness Act Universally Opposed 

Is it any wonder Congress consistently polls below the margin of error?

Republicans should take note - those two facts are not unrelated.  If they spent more time in opposition to Democrats - and less to We the People - they would unify much of the nation and start seriously winning many more elections.

Seton Motley

Seton Motley is the president of Less Government, a DC-based non-profit organization dedicated to... (read full bio)