The Main Street Fairness Act

In yet another example of an action taken directly from the pages of Atlas Shrugged, Patrick Ishmael at Hot Air relates how Illinois, mismanaged into near insolvency by a succession of Democrats (remember, this is The One’s home state), is grabbing for every last cent. They enacted a sales tax for online retailers and guess what? The retailers are pulling out of the state to avoid the levies:

Illinois has budget problems. It also has a job problem. So as blue-state governments are wont to do, Illinois’s political class took on the “how could we possibly make things worse?” challenge and… successfully made things worse, imposing an internet sales tax on online retailers that has not only cost the state jobs, but ultimately makes Illinois a less attractive place to live and do business.

As NPR reported last Friday in a segment entitled “Illinois-based Amazon affiliates go dark”:

TONY ARNOLD: Brad Wilson runs the aptly named BradsDeals.com — a coupon web site based in downtown Chicago.

BRAD WILSON: Ultimately, Amazon and Overstock hold the trump card in this situation.

Wilson says after today — Amazon will boycott business with BradsDeals — and roughly 9,000 other retailers in Illinois to skirt the tax. Illinois residents can still go online and get the latest best seller from Amazon, they just won’t be getting that book from any Amazon affiliate in Illinois.

WILSON: We’re looking at a lot of options that I wouldn’t want to have ever had to think of, unfortunately.

Wilson says he’s considering picking up shop and relocating to another state to make up for the money he’ll lose. He wouldn’t say how much.

Well – Illinois can’t physically tie a rope around them to make them stay but they can’t stand to lose the tax revenue and jobs, so what’s a legislator to to?

If you are a sharp collectivist like Dick Durbin, rather than drop the tax and save the jobs, you come up with the Randian named “Main Street Fairness Act” to require ALL states to collect sales tax at a national level so that Illinois won’t look so bad.

As early as this week, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told The Post he will propose sweeping legislation to tax all online purchases — in a move aimed at closing state budget shortfalls.

Such a tax would plow more than $1 billion in tax revenues into the state coffers for the 2012 budget, according to some estimates….

Durbin’s bill, dubbed the Main Street Fairness Act, is being portrayed as an end to the tax holiday that online shoppers on major Internet vendors like Amazon.com, Overstock.com and even Apple’s App stores have been enjoying for years.

Online companies already pay state taxes in the states in which they reside, but many politicians, including those in New York, Illinois and Connecticut, recently have been pushing to collect taxes from customers on purchases made outside the state if the sites have vendors that physically reside within their states.

Durbin’s proposal, which he plans to introduce as soon as tomorrow, intends to push Internet vendors to collect state taxes on items purchased out of state.

Don’t you also just love the phraseology the writer uses?  “An end to the tax holiday”? Really? As if there always was an Internet and Internet businesses and the money always belonged to the government – and they benevolently gave us a “holiday”?

Durbin reminds me of Wesley Mouch.

When people tell you that Atlas Shrugged is some sort of fantasy and could never happen, show them this.

Stacy McCain has more.

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