One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
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As we asked last week – who says bipartisanship is dead?
“We’ve put together a helpful list of bipartisan bills (Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid) can start with that have passed the House with over 250 votes and are stuck sitting idly in the Senate. The do-nothing Senate really must do-better,” (Congressman Eric) Cantor spokeswoman Megan Whittemore said.
Therein lies the problem. Senator Reid remains an obstinate obstruction to advancing good legislation. He only moves bills that lessen our freedom – and lighten our wallets.
On November 1 – and remember, Election Day is November 4 – a since-1998 federal moratorium on Internet-only taxes ends. Meaning you and I will pay the government even more coin to surf the World Wide Web.
When you next fume at your Internet or cell phone bill – check the litany of taxes tacked on. (And forget not the built-in government costs you pay but never see.) That way you’ll know at whom to actually be angry.
Governments already bite huge chunks out of our hide. But they view our money likeJello – there’s always room in their stomachs and wallets for more.
But the House just passed – by mega-bipartisan voice vote acclimation – the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (PITFA).
(T)he law has attracted large bipartisan majorities every time it’s been up for a vote in either house. That’s because the law has allowed the Internet to grow into an engine of interstate and international commerce.
Except Senator Reid won’t allow the bill up for a vote in his Senate. Unless he can tether it to a whole new Internet tax scheme – the woefully misnamed, incredibly destructive Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA).
A new Senate bill may force lawmakers this week to make a tough choice on internet taxes: they must agree to expand the reach of sales taxes on out-of-state retailers, or else see the end of a law that forbids states and cities from imposing a tax on internet access.
…(T)he dilemma stems from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s handling of a bill called the Internet Tax Freedom Act. That bill, which passed the House by a large margin, would permanently entrench a temporary moratorium on ISP taxes. The measure is politically popular because it means consumers won’t see “service fees,” akin to those that appear on cell phone statements, on their broadband bills.
Instead of putting the same bill to the Senate, however, Reid has decided to attach it to a proposed law called the Marketplace Fairness Act. That bill, which first passed the Senate last year, would require online retailers to collect tax on sales they make to out-of-state consumers.
Get that? Under the MFA, uber-tax-happy states like California would no longer be confined to taxing into oblivion just Californians. They’d have access to the wallets of every business – every person – in all fifty states.
Turning Huge Government states into additional Huge Government federals. And tempting Less-Huge-Government states to grow – with the siren song of new coin taken from people in forty-nine states that can’t vote against them. That’ll help the economy and spur growth.
These people need to be told: Stop looking for new ways to take our money – instead, stop spending quite so much.
The underlying assumption when government looks for new money – is that every current penny is being spent wisely and well. And there’s your Joke of the Day.
Senator Reid is constantly decrying the lack of bipartisanship in Washington. He could get a whole lot more of it if he stopped serially, unilaterally blocking things that garner it – like PITFA.
Or tacking to it things like the MFA – which both sides oppose.
Hold on a sec. Senator Reid’s actually getting more of the bipartisanship he says he wants – against him and his Huge Tax, Huge Government policies.
That’s one mean to an end, I guess.
[Originally published at Human Events]