I was going to send my response only to our correspondent. Then I decided to send it only to a few people inside The Heartland Institute. Now I’ve decided to share it with you all.
This letter comes in response to an article quoting someone here at The Heartland Institute who opposes the Internet taxation bill, now moving through Congress:
You guys suck on your position on the Market Fairness Act [sic]. The article I read calls your group “conservative.” I say bullshit to that.
I say you guys are “on the take” from the online merchants. How much money does Amazon, Ebay, etc give you guys? There is no other possible reason you would oppose this legislation unless it is just not tough enough.
You guys sound like crooks to me.
S . . . . . H . . . . . . .
Here is my response:
Dear Mr. H . . . . . . :
Thank you for your thoughtful letter.
May I ask . . . if we were in favor of this bill, would you accuse us of being “on the take” for Wal-Mart, Target and other big-box retailers?
Also, you apparently are under the mistaken impression that online merchants such as Amazon oppose the bill. Amazon in fact supports it. See here, for instance:
The biggest online retailer backs the bill because the company has the resources to crush small competitors who will struggle to comply with the bill if it becomes law. Does it make sense that we’d be “on the take” for Amazon when we oppose Amazon’s position?
Life is not always as cut and dried as we like to think, a lesson you no doubt will learn with age and experience.