Internet

Tax-Free for You and Me

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It looks like the scheme of the deliciously-named Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-Va.) and his colleagues to make the Internet a permanent tax-free zone isn't going to fly, despite the fact that the bill has 238 cosponsors in the House. Instead, the ban on taxing Internet access (first enacted in 1998) will likely be extended for four more years in a vote today.

Since a bill cosponsored by half of the House has good odds of passing once brought to the floor, the Democratic leadership has deep-sixed it with procedural measures instead.

"Basically, what the Democratic leadership has said is, 'Here's four years, take it or leave it,' " said Republican Robert W. Goodlatte of Virginia, cosponsor of a bill that would permanently ban Internet-access taxes. "Congress will probably take it, but I don't know. We'll have to wait and see what the vote is."

Four more years isn't ideal, but it's practically miraculous that Congress has restrained itself (and the states) from taxing this tempting target as long as it has. We'll just have to keep up the chant (rarely heard in electoral politics these days): Four more years! Four more years!

More on Internet taxation with or without representation here and here

Via The Worldwide Standard

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  1. Ah yes, 4 years. It will sunset just in time to fund HillaryCare!

  2. Is it really tax-free? Every year, my state’s tax return asked me how much I have purchased over the internet and says that if it is more than $50 (or some small amount like that) I will have to pay a “use tax” which is equal to the state sales tax. Then again, there’s no enforcement on that and its hard to prove that something I had sent to my state wasn’t given as a gift to someone in another.

  3. It’s about taxes on internet access.

  4. Has the NYT, LAT, or WaPo editorialized on this?

  5. At least the Democratic Congress will get us out of Iraq.

  6. Waitaminit – Democratic leadership killed an anti-tax bill? Alert the media!

  7. I share Katherine Mangu-Ward’s sentiment that it is an absolute miracle that they have resisted taxing this to this date.

  8. I share Katherine Mangu-Ward’s sentiment that it is an absolute miracle that they have resisted taxing this to this date.

    When it comes it will be disguised as a “fee”. Bet on it.

  9. If past experience is any gauge, the tax will appear as a “recovery fee” passed along by my ISP to me to compensate them for something The Government did at three in the morning two years ago, and if I have any problem with that, here’s a handy phone number I can stick up my ass, thank you very much.

  10. Since a bill cosponsored by half of the House has good odds of passing once brought to the floor, the Democratic leadership has deep-sixed it with procedural measures instead.

    This isn’t a lone Paul or Kucinich being being given the silence treatment by the rest of congress. We have turned a corner into a much more dangerous street. When half of congress can’t get a bill onto the floor for a vote, then we no longer live in a representational democracy. Why do we bother pretending any more? The revolution is not far off.

  11. I was going to say that the only reason they’ve held off is that the Internet produces a lot of fucking revenue indirectly–tech jobs, in-state internet sales, advertising, service centers, whatever.

    But this seems to be about taxing internet access. If that is correct, why haven’t they yet? It’s not like a tax would stop people from getting an ISP; shit, they could probably tax it a lot considering how dependent we all are on the internet now, and we’d still pay it.

    There are either some politicians with a vague idea that not taxing the internet is a good thing, or they are waiting until we are all so dependent on the internet that they can tax the FUCK out of us and we’ll pay because we have to (like gas).

    Being extrememly cynical about politicians, I must assume the latter. A few good guys are looking for permanent tax freedom, and the rest realize that by waiting they’ll get more down the line.

  12. I can already hear the arguments for it already:

    “We’ve allowed the internet to grow enough, now it’s time for the internet to give something back.”

    “The internet unfairly benefits the rich. A tax would pay for the creation of a system to provide internet to the less fortunate.”

    or, more likely, the argument will be…

    “…”

    …and then passed at 3 p.m. on a Saturday morning.

    Statist fuckers…

  13. They’ve even turned 3 p.m. into morning! Those assholes.

  14. It’s a non-news story because to so many it’s not news: Dems don’t support tax breaks. The Pope’s Catholic. And bears shit in the woods.

  15. When half of congress can’t get a bill onto the floor for a vote, then we no longer live in a representational democracy.

    It was supposed to be a democratic republic, but those days are even more remote than the days of representative democracy, I guess.

  16. I was honestly interested to hear joe’s take on this. If you’re out there, I’d love to know what you think about the actions of your party’s leadership on this matter.

  17. So, the Blues can bring themselves to use procedure-fu to kill off something that might deny them some little future tax, but they couldn’t bother stirring to stop that FISA bill from passing a little while back – or refuse to fund a continuing war in Iraq?

    They aren’t unable to be an opposition party. They just don’t want to be an opposition party.

  18. I’m curious, even if the bill making the Internet a “permanent” tax-free zone had passed, what would prevent a future Congress from revoking the status? It’s really more of an “until further notice” law than a permanent one.

  19. Taxing the net is another compounded tax. It’s like a VAT tax, imposed on a transaction that is made with discretionary income leftover after income tax is eviscerated, and after state sales tax is sometimes imposed.

    It’s like being made to pay protection money to 3 different mafia families. At least with the mafia, individual families compete for protection income, warning off or killing rival families who try and collect protection in their territory. The government is worse: individual agencies and local governments have no competitive incentive to protect the citizen from being compound-taxed into ruin.

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