On Internet Taxes, Democrats and Republicans Seemingly Switch Sides
Posted at 3:08 p.m. on June 18, 2014
When it comes to talking about a permanent moratorium on Internet taxes, the familiar Republican argument about the federal government violating states’ rights isn’t coming from the GOP – it’s coming from Democrats.
At least that’s what happened at the House Judiciary Committee today, when lawmakers debated a bill that would make the existing temporary moratorium on taxing Internet access permanent.
“I confess I do not understand the point of the bill, other than to say we do not trust state and local governments to make their fundamental decisions,” said New York Democrat Jerrold Nadler.
“This is a question of revenue and the authority of states, local authorities to be able to assess their revenue needs,” said California Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee.
Fellow California Democrat Judy Chu made a similar argument: “A permanent moratorium would impede on a state or local government’s ability to make taxing decisions that would be right for them.”
In contrast, California Republican Darrell Issa, said Congress had passed temporary moratoria multiple times over 16 years and likely wouldn’t impose such a tax in the foreseeable future. The preemption of states’ rights in this case has resulted in providing states more revenue through other sources, he argued.
Lawmakers have been “preempting states in good judgement” to develop a “platform that is giving all the states greater wealth and greater revenue through income tax and the like as a result,” Issa added. “We’re simply saying do not tax the goose that lays the golden egg.”