WASHINGTON, DC – This has been a week of furious activity for liberty activists nationwide. The sudden arrival of the ludicrously misnamed Marketplace Fairness Act (S.743) on the floor of the Senate without any hearings or prior debate, has spurred outrage and generated an unprecedented grassroots reaction against this effort to tax internet retailers and destroy them with an overwhelming paperwork burden.
Working with Senators like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, the Republican Liberty Caucus has taken a lead in this effort, generating over 40,000 phonecalls and emails to Senators, in an ongoing effort to make them aware of how unacceptable this regulation is to most Americans. It’s bad for the economy, bad for small business and bad for consumers.
This bill would amount to a devastating nationwide tax increase, shutting down internet businesses with crushing paperwork and additional expense, driving business overseas and creating an unprecedented and unconstitutional system where states are required to enforce the taxes of other states against their own citizens.
This bill is backed by big box retail corporations that don’t like competition from entrepreneurs and are using government regulation to kill internet businesses the way they killed small local retailers, all with a big payoff to state and local governments.
On Tuesday Senator Rand Paul said this about the bill:
“At a time when businesses are already being strangled by job-destroying regulations, such as those imposed by Obamacare, the Internet Tax Mandate would add even more costs to our nation’s small businesses and job creators. The requirement to calculate sales-tax rates, much less collect those taxes, for each customer becomes even more burdensome when considering the various state, city and county sales taxes that will be imposed across the United States.”
This is not a partisan issue. It’s a common sense issue. Opposition is strongly bipartisan. Senator Ted Cruz is one of our RLC endorsed senators who signed onto a bipartisan letter against the bill, which states
“At a time of tepid economic growth, Congress should enact measures that are designed to encourage innovation and entrepreneurial risk-taking: its priority should not be to look for creative ways to plug state budget holes.”
Republican Liberty Caucus National Chairman Dave Nalle had some very strong words on this issue:
“Congress cannot be allowed to continue to make war on the middle class and on small businesses. They do not understand how the economy works and their policies lead to unemployment and growing economic inequality. The Marketplace Fairness Act makes the marketplace less free and competition less fair. It’s another bailout for big corporations which will cost jobs and drive productive middle class people into poverty.”
Since we started promoting activism against the bill, the RLC has been inundated with emails from small business owners who are threatened by this oppressive legislation. We’ve heard from stay at home moms, people on disability and retirees earning extra income on the internet from home, from workers laid off from the auto industry who took their severance package and used it to start online businesses and even from consumers concerned about losing access to specialized products which local retailers no longer carry because big box stores have forced niche retailers out of business and don’t carry their unique products.
This is a classic example of bad legislation which is being rammed through by the Senate leadership at the behest of special interests and contrary to the best interests of citizens and the nation. As we send this out the second cloture vote has wrapped up with somewhat more opposition than there was on Monday night.
The good news is that there was no time to schedule the vote before the upcoming recess, so the vote is now planned for May 6th, giving us time to generate more opposition. During this period RLC leaders will be available for interviews and appearances and we will continue encouraging grassroots activism and publicity so that by the time the vote comes around the opposition with be impossible to ignore.