An Unfair Advantage

What if when cars were invented someone had said, “There should be higher taxes and fees and fines for the cottage industries that exist around cars (manufacturing, oil and gas, mining, etc.), and there should be subsidies and tax breaks and incentives for the cottage industries that exist around horses (blacksmiths, traders, breeders, trainers, farmers, etc.) After all, it’s not ‘fair’ that these good, hard working people are being put out of work by this new technology. These cars have an “unfair advantage.”

These questions come to mind as I consider the growing effort to levy sales taxes on internet transactions. In my own state of TN, they are trying to collect sales taxes on all back sales that Amazon.com has done in TN.

Where does this effort to raise taxes come from?

Proponents say we need these taxes because huge online retailers like Amazon have an “unfair advantage” in the market place since they are able to avoid significant state taxes, thanks to the Interstate Commerce Clause, (whose fault is that, btw? Maybe if sales taxes weren’t so high in the first place, it wouldn’t be such an advantage?)

But the idea that we need to raise taxes to make things “fair” is stupid.

First of all, the two sales channels (online and retail) are not equal, so they can never be fair. Like all other humans, I like instant gratification. Therefore the biggest hurdle that online retailers have in closing a sale is the delivery time of their goods. Brick and mortar stores have an “unfair advantage” in that they can deliver a product to a customer instantly. As soon as the transaction is complete, the customer has the item in their possession. Furthermore, brick and mortar stores have the “unfair advantage” of allowing potential customers to handle and inspect the item in person before they buy. So instant gratification and pre-purchase evaluation are both tremendous “unfair advantages” that brick and mortar stores have over online stores. Where is the commensurate tax for that?

But we are getting away from the point…

Since I like instant gratification, if I can buy something at the local store that I can also get online, I’ll go buy it at the store, since I would rather have it instantly, than wait a few days or even weeks to get it. And I’m sure there are many other people like me out there.

Where do you buy your groceries, Amazon.com or the local supermarket? Why?

Get this, Congress and left wing douche-bags – The only things I buy online are things that local retailers don’t carry and won’t sell.

While it is also true that there are many people who will buy things online that they could buy at a local store to avoid the tax, there is nothing wrong with that. That is their right and their freedom to do that. It’s not “unfair.” And no one is “losing” tax revenue. The government still ends up making money of that transaction.

The point is that leveraging new technology to build a better mousetrap or have a better business model or position in the marketplace is not an “unfair advantage.” It’s called progress.

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You Didn’t Build That (road or bridge)

In the wake of all the uproar over the President’s comments a few weeks ago, I just want to point out that although Republicans are mischaracterizing what he said, he is still wrong, and not for the reason most people are citing.

Other conservatives are right to say that statement sheds light on his economic mindset. He believes wealth and prosperity flows from the government rather than from private enterprise.

But his error is deeper than that. The fact is businesses pay far more in taxes than individuals do. Furthermore, if it wasn’t for businesses giving people jobs, those people wouldn’t have any money to pay taxes either.

So in fact the roads and bridges and infrastructure that enable businesses to thrive were indeed built by tax dollars that flowed from businesses, not taxes collected from individuals, as the president claims.

 

 

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South Carolina Primary, Spotlight: Winners and Losers

So Newt wins. This isn’t bad news, in my opinion. I would have loved to see Ron Paul win and I’m dismayed that he came in behind rick Santorum.

The best candidates are, in descending order, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrinch, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum last. In another blog, I outlined why Santorum is a bad nominee. He can’t beat Obama because he represents everything that moderates, independents and swing voters hate about Republicans. Ron Paul is the best cantidate for all the obvious reasons. Mitt is marginally acceptable and he might -MIGHT be able to beat Obama. Newt is a slightly better nominee than Mitt and I hope that he beats Mitt, if Paul can’t.

I like Newt. I feel bad that he is so easily mocked, demonized and ridiculed. I worry about his radical opinions about the court, but aside from that, I like him. No one disputes that he orchestrated the Republican Takeover in 94. And that alone is a huge accomplishment that has helped the country and the conservative cause tremendously over the past 15 years.

I don’t begrudge him for working with Nancy Polosi, and I don’t think others should ether. Although I can’t stand her, it shows he’s capable of bipartisanship.

There is also no question that he is very intelligent, forward thinking, and creative in his ideas. I also think he has a fair chance to beat Obama, perhaps even a bit better than Mitt.

If Newt were president, I think we would have relatively dramatic improvement to our country and I would be confident that an intelligent, realistic, competent man is in the White House.

People need to stop voting for Santorum! He’s not even on the Ballot in some states so he almost certainly can’t win the nomination. A vote for Santorum is a wasted vote!

It is a lose for all Americans that Ron Paul came in last, even behind Santorum. Ron Paul’s ideas would transform America and bring us back to financial stability and save western civilization. It is critical that we listen to him and vote for him. He isn’t “crazy” or “radical” or “kooky” or any of the other words people use to disparage him.

I can’t believe he got booed in the first SC debate simply for saying that we should obey the rule of law, interrogate people rather than assassinate them, and we shouldn’t bomb other countries without any declaration of war because we wouldn’t like it if they randomly bombed us.

And WTF is it with the CONSPIRACY against him. I was watching the CNN South Carolina debate the other night. Rick Santorum got a lot more time than Paul. Paul was completely overlooked on several topics, left standing on the side, while the other three went back and forth with multiple exchanges. He was completely ignored on the question of abortion, until his supporters in the audience started yelling and screaming. “Do you have something to say on this?” Jon King asked.

“Well, again, John, I’m a doctor, and this is a health care question, so yeah, I’ve got a few things to say.” Paul answered.

And at the end of the debate, the camera was panning down the line of candidates, we saw Santorum, Romney, Gingrich then cut! We saw Santorum again. Then it cut to John King wrapping up. WTF!!!

Why does there seem to be a very subtle conspiracy against Ron Paul? You don’t see him as often. You don’t hear from him as often. He is disparaged and dismissed as not serious and “can’t win.” Why?

He has the best chance of beating Obama. Half of his support is independents and Democrats. If he went up against Obama, and the Republicans supported him, he would beat Obama in a landslide.

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The Rick Santorum Edition

So now Rick Santorum is the Anti-Romney, surging in all the polls. From my perspective there are at least 2 things that require pointing out.

First, every pundit out there seems to have a theory about why he is surging now. Some say it’s because of his blue collar background. Others say it’s because of the exhaustive retail politics he did in Iowa that got him to 2nd place. It’s not.

The reason he is surging is very obvious and simple. Clearly there are a lot of Republican voters out there who don’t want to support Romney. So they have been looking for another candidate. First they were supporting Rick Perry. But after his series of gaffs, they started looking at Herman Cain. But after the sex scandals and harassment were revealed, he lost all his support and Newt started surging, because all those supporters jumped off the “Cain Train” and coalesced around Newt. But after Romney assassinated Newt on the airwaves, supporters left and started looking for another candidate. Is it any wonder that Santorum surged as Newt was crashing? It’s not because of his retail politics or his blue collar background, it’s because he is, in the opinion of many mainstream Republican voters, the next best choice after Perry, Bachmann, Cain, and Gingrinch. It’s not because of anything he did or anything unique about him, he just happened to be in the right place at the right time to come in 2nd in Iowa. Duh.

That brings me to the 2nd point about him. He is the WORST Republican candidate in the race at this point. I have been calling for him to drop out for a long time and now it seems I need to increase the volume. Rick Santorum cannot beat Barrack Obama! Rick Santorum is a poster child for everything that independents and democrats hate about Republicans. He is a hard core social conservative who believes that the government has a role in legislating morality. His position on gay marriage alone will lose tons of votes. He’s also a war monger who wants to bomb Iran. Therefore he can’t pull independent and blue dogs from Obama and he will actually energize the opposition, increasing the turnout for Obama.

All of this is made worse by the fact that he isn’t even on the primary ballot in several big states. So he can’t win the nomination anyway. He is just screwing up the process and stealing votes from other non-Romney candidates who could be Obama.

Rick Santorum needs to get out of the race right away. If you live in New Hampshire, South Carolina or Florida, do NOT support him. Vote Ron Paul… always.

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Dec 4 Update

I’m hoping that Herman Cain calls it quits today.He started out good, but he’s become a joke. (oh, look, he just did)

 I’m still holding out hope for Ron Paul, but I’ll be ok if Newt is the nominee instead.

Rick Perry needs to hang it up too. He’s a fool. People didn’t want him for president, they wanted Texas for president. Once they got a look at him, they realized what a clown he is. I seriously doubt he has a future in national politics.

Michelle Bachmann is also done. She needs to quit before it gets any worse.

I’m glad to see Huntsman getting more attention. I’d love to see Gary Johnson get some more attention too, but I think Ron Paul is sucking up all the libertarian oxygen. And that’s ok too.

Rick Santorum needs to get out too. He’s too churchy. That’s one of Bachmann’s problems too. Now is not the time for the social conservatives to run the party. Now is the time for the fiscal conservatives to take control. That’s why we see Paul doing so well.

Like most Republicans, I think, I could tolerate Romney, but he’s not my first choice.

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