It’s gonna take more than sloganeering and one-sided arguments to address the enormous challenge of reforming federal and state tax systems. That was the key message coming out of today’s Senate Finance Committee hearing on tax reform, and it’s one that advocates of the so-called “fairness” internet tax would do well to heed.
Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) did a good job of highlighting the insane complexity and uncertainty of current state and federal tax systems. And Sen. Hatch also quoted a favorite slogan of his, reminding tax reformers to follow the Hippocratic principle, “First, do no harm”.
Internet sales tax proponents have plenty of their own slogans, too, as in “Fairness!” and “Level the Playing Field!” But their solutions would harm millions of businesses who are using the internet to reach customers around the country, as they struggle to compete with the big-box chains that dominate local retail. So much for the “fairness” slogan coming from billion-dollar retailers like Walmart and Target. Read more