Skip to main content

View Diary: Senate takes up bill to close the online sales tax loophole (131 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  I can't get my head around that perspective. (4+ / 0-)

    I've never seen, heard, read anyone claim that sales tax is progressive until this evening. I see that as a distortion of fact and I don't know what to make of progressive people suddenly claiming regressive and progressive is the same thing.

    I'm open to anyone who can explain that to me.

    Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

    by Just Bob on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 07:44:05 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Can you accept the notion (0+ / 0-)

      That closing the internet sales tax loophole is less regressive?

      •  I don't understand why it would be? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        George3, musiccitymollie

        If a poor person buys an item online and pays $10 tax he pays an greater percentage of his income than a wealthy person buying the same item and paying the same $10 tax.

        That, by definition, is regressive.

        Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

        by Just Bob on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 07:56:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's not the case, though (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Odysseus

          If a poor person buys an item in a brick and mortar store and pays $10 sales tax and a non-poor person with internet access buys the same item online and pays $0 sales tax, that is more regressive than the non-poor person paying the same sales tax for online purchases.

          The idea is based on the belief that poor people are the least likely to buy online, so they are paying an even more disproportionate tax burden than if the internet sales tax was closed.

          We can agree that a sales tax is generally regressive, but can we agree that those effects are exacerbated if the sales tax is not collected on internet purchases?

          •  Okay...but isn't that an apples/oranges thing? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NearlyNormal, musiccitymollie

            Anthony, I'm one of those poor people and while I appreciate your thoughtfulness and concern, there are times I have to buy online and I just don't think you're doing me a favor.

            If internet access is the entire point of your argument, perhaps working to provide low cost internet access would be more helpful. Once you've done that we're back to calling sales tax regressive.

            Here's something to work on:
            http://www.one-economy.com/...

            Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

            by Just Bob on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 08:37:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You asked for an explanation (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Just Bob, Odysseus

              My intent is to be descriptive rather than to endorse a certain policy.

              There are other issues.  One concern is that a company like Amazon can pit state/local governments against each other, trying to get them to offer tax breaks in exchange for putting a distribution center in their state (since the company must have a physical presence in the state for sales tax to be collected).  Getting rid of an internet loophole decreases the incentive for shopping around for tax breaks in the same way that a corporation might look for less strict labor laws.

            •  You nailed it, Just Bob. The notion that (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Just Bob, NearlyNormal

              'spreading the misery' is somehow progressive, needs to be 'nipped in the bud,' LOL!

              Imagine what this country will look like if this meme becomes the definition of 'what is progressive.'

              I shudder to think!

              Mollie

              "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


              hiddennplainsight

              by musiccitymollie on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 09:18:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Respectfully, but (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Just Bob

            the statement that

            'The idea is based on the belief that poor people are the least likely to buy online, so they are paying an even more disproportionate tax burden than if the internet sales tax was closed.'
            That's just patently ridiculous.  
            When "progressive' means taking away benefits from low- and middle-income people in order to 'even the playing field' with desperately low-income, or poor people--GAME OVER!  [for the Democratic Party]
            What should be happening is that federal and state income taxes should be raised SUBSTANTIALLY on 'the wealthy' who have enjoyed the benefits of soaring incomes or capital over the past 30 years!

            And instead of Democratic Senator Mark Warner leading the charge to eliminate estate tax (or greatly lowering it), the federal estate tax should also should be raised SUBSTANTIALLY.

            Nothing personal to you, okay--'to each, their own.'

            However, IMHO, if folks wonder what's happened to the Democratic Party.  I'd say that this incident is a PERFECT example of what's wrong with it.

            The above notion, put forth by the supposedly left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP)--which I believe ALSO CAME DOWN IN FAVOR OF THE CHAINED CPI, IF NOT APPLIED TO SEVERAL PROGRAMS--is exactly why the Democratic Party has veered SO FAR TO THE RIGHT!

            Yikes!

            P.S.  Per Bowles-Simpson's The Moment Of Truth, it is apparent that the main 'loopholes' that lawmakers are going to close are those that mainly are paid by low and middle income folks.  [Although I don't remember if the sales tax loophole was mentioned.  Many are proposed that are aimed primarily at working class and middle income folks, though.  Like taxing group health insurance premiums, for instance.

            I've been linking to the Tax Reform Section of their proposals for months, trying to make this point.

            Now, the point has been made for me.  

            Expect to see a federal 'tax overhaul' with MANY MORE tax loopholes that affect the average guy, being the ones that will be closed, or eliminated.

            And this is exactly why the Republican Party will gladly go along with this Adminstration's proposed 'Grand Bargin.'  The bulk of the loopholes that they'll close will be those that pertain to the masses--the 'average Joe.'

            Mollie

            "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


            hiddennplainsight

            by musiccitymollie on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:47:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Here the latest from CBPP (3+ / 0-)

              http://www.cbpp.org/...

              Greenstein says he opposes chained CPI in isolation but favors it as a bargaining chip if it has protections for the very old and the very poor. He tries to make it more acceptable by comparing it to worse policies.

              So there we are...back to the lesser of two evils.

              I swear to god...there's nobody inside the beltway bubble who has my best interest in mind.

              I watched the Q&A with Tim DeChristopher last night. He made the point that we've tried only two tactics out of a possible universe of possibilities, those being voting third party and not voting at all and both have been spectacular strategic failures. He thinks we have to come up with new innovations to make our voices heard. Shhhh...don't tell me your ideas. Keep them a secret. His metaphor is millions of people pushing on a wall. Most have no effect, but when someone senses some small movement we can all get behind that spot and push though the wall.

              I guess I can see that. One or two strategies can be easily confounded. Pressure coming from a million directions may be more effective.

              Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

              by Just Bob on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 09:33:56 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  and... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Odysseus, musiccitymollie

                Tim said he subscribed to lots of liberal and progressive magazines while he was in prison, something about having lots of time on his hands. In none of those publications did he find discussion of election strategies and that was in a presidential election cycle.

                Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

                by Just Bob on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 09:42:13 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks for the updated link, Just Bob. Actually, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Just Bob

                the stated policy update is EXACTLY what the Administration's policy is, per Gene Sperling.  C-Span has the video of Sperling and several other Administration officials during a Q&A when the 2013-2014 Budget was recently released.

                Not sure that I agree with DeChristopher's strategy.  But maybe I'd need to hear him first, to fully grasp his message.

                Appears to me that the problem is that their is not enough of a super concentrated effort that IS the problem, if you know what I mean.  With all the disparate special interest groups which comprise the Democratic Party, etc.

                But I don't pretend to know the answer, in regard to how we move this party back to being the party of FDR and LBJ.

                Those were the days!

                Mollie

                "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


                hiddennplainsight

                by musiccitymollie on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 12:46:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  No (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Just Bob

        As I noted in other comments, allowing states to collect sales tax on out-of-state purchases gives them an incentive to shift their revenue models in a regressive direction (i.e. raising sales taxes rather than income taxes). Actually, it gives them a double incentive -- not only to they get more money, but they get it from people who can't vote them out of office.

        On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

        by stevemb on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:11:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site