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Cruz Takes a Brave Stand on Internet Taxes

Sometimes doing the right thing in Washington means calling your allies out when they’re in the wrong. It’s a brave move for any lawmaker, and one we don’t see often enough in the halls of the Capitol.

That’s why its important to acknowledge Senator Ted Cruz’s brave decision to speak out against shadowy backroom dealings between Democrats and Republicans.  This shadow plan would sneak into law Sen. Reid’s new internet tax burden, the Marketplace Fairness Act, before the new Republican Senate arrives in January.

“There are some voices in Washington who want a lame duck precisely so they can engage in corporate welfare and blame it on the Democrats,” Cruz told National Review Online.[pullquote]One of my greatest concerns during a lame duck is that we could see leaders in both parties pushing through a nationwide Internet sales tax.[/pullquote]“One of my greatest concerns during a lame duck is that we could see leaders in both parties pushing through a nationwide Internet sales tax. That is one of the favorite causes of the corporate lobbyists on K Street, to jack up taxes on millions of mom-and-pop Internet retailers. Now, that helps all the big businesses at the expense of the little guy.”

In the face of huge spending by big box retailers, and insistent lobbying by cash-hungry state legislatures, many in Congress are apparently eager to make the Internet sales tax issue go away. If that means passing a bad bill when nobody is paying attention, and then theatrically pointing fingers at each other, so much the better.

Cruz hit the nail on the head in calling out this craven strategy as abdication of principle in favor of politics, and one that should be roundly rejected by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

As we have painstakingly documented, MFA is a deeply flawed, deeply unfair piece of legislation that heaps unnecessary burdens on Internet and catalog sellers, in exchange for little benefit.

MFA has been hemorrhaging support since passing the Senate in 2013, and its supporters have rallied around the lame duck session in a last ditch effort to pass it before reason prevails.

The only good news is that if we can survive the lame duck without Congress imposing a sweeping new tax regime on American businesses and consumers, there are good signs that an fairer, smarter alternative may emerge in the republican controlled Congress.

Given the Republican election wins last night it would be even stranger if House leadership gives a win to Senators Harry Reid and Dick Durbin.

Senator Cruz has shown the way. It’s now time for lawmakers of conscience to stand up against transactional politics as usual, and for American entrepreneurs and consumers.


Image via Flickr