Guest Post: This New Law Will Ensure You Pay More For Online Purchases...

Tyler Durden's picture


Via Simon Black of Sovereign Man blog,

In another brilliant move aimed at destroying the few table scraps of economic freedom which remain in the Land of the Free, a bipartisan group of esteemed lawmakers in the United States Congress has introduced the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013.

Remember the golden rule of legislation: the more noble the name of the law sounds, the more disastrous its results. This one is no exception.

Generally speaking in the United States, retailers must collect state and local sales tax at the point of sale. When you walk into a Main Street shop in Anytown, California, you’ll pay the sticker price PLUS hefty city and state sales taxes that can easily be 10% or more.

But if you purchase goods through the mail from a company in, say, Nevada or Oregon, either through the mail or online, no sales tax is charged. This goes back to a 20+ year old US Supreme Court decision which exempted out of state companies from collecting sales tax.

Well, according to the intellectual luminaries in Congress, local retailers are at a disadvantage, effectively having to charge 10%+ more for their products than an out-of-state retailer.

And by God, they’re going to do something about it. After all, it’s just not ‘fair’ that mom and pop retailers on main street have to charge sales tax, while mom and pop retailers on the Internet do not.

The Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 aims to level the playing field by requiring online retailers to collect some sort of sales tax from their customers. Needless to say, if the bill is passed, it will be the customer who ends up paying the price.

The thinking on this is completely absurd.

One of the primary reasons people shop online is because online retailers have reduced overhead costs, and these cost savings are passed along to consumers in the form of lower prices.

So if the idea is to ensure that brick and mortar retailers don’t suffer any competitive price disadvantage, why not just regulate prices altogether? Or even better, why not just abolish sales taxes altogether?

That’s because this bill has absolutely nothing to do with fairness, and everything to do with the government taking more of your money. This bill constitutes STEP 1 on the road to a national sales tax, which, given the state of national and state balance sheets, is a financial inevitability.

It’s the most insidious form of deceit – creating new taxes masquerading as ‘fairness’. It’s a total fraud, brought to you by the same people who tell us that there is no inflation, and that we must sexually assault airline passengers in order to protect ourselves from men in caves.

Have you hit your breaking point yet?

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Wed, 02/20/2013 - 13:12 | 3259916 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Who could be against fairness?!

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 13:13 | 3259921 Careless Whisper
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 The Careless Whisper News Update & Threadjacking

A Day In The Life Of Greenwich; New Hedge Fund Started With $300 Million Seed Investment From Another Hedge Fund; High-Yield Bonds, Distressed Securities

FAU To Name New Football Stadium After Private Company That Operates Prisons; FAU President: "We Partner With The Community"

Supremes Elena Kagan And John Roberts Heart Monsanto

Michigan Fraternity Suspended Over Party Invitation Thats Mocks American Drone Attacks; If the preceding two paragraphs didn't excite you at all, I suggest that you stay alert for a forthcoming drone attack, you terrorist whore.

We Fight For Every Inch; Al Pacino Does Jeep Commercial;  VIDEO

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 13:35 | 3260049 DJ Happy Ending
DJ Happy Ending's picture

Time to pay up bitchez. No more tax-free online gold buying for you.

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 14:16 | 3260291 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

"Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013"

Ayn Rand would have loved this one!

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 14:17 | 3260298 TPTB_r_TBTF
TPTB_r_TBTF's picture



A national sales tax would be "fairer"


Wed, 02/20/2013 - 14:29 | 3260354 GubbermintWorker
GubbermintWorker's picture

And barter "fairer" yet!

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 15:14 | 3260614 espirit
espirit's picture

Black Markets Bitchez.

No tax there.

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 18:15 | 3261344 Overfed
Overfed's picture

Please. We prefer to call them free markets.

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 23:00 | 3262058 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

Sales tax have existed since the American Revolution in every single state in one form or another.  Just saying.  

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 14:43 | 3260423 CheapBastard
CheapBastard's picture

"must...destroy....middle class...."


Note to self.


Wed, 02/20/2013 - 15:48 | 3260773 Cathartes Aura
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those MichFrat boys sure are creative, at least in their beliefs,

What is America? America is a place where drinking until you puke means drinking until you win. America invented the blunt. And LSD. America is disregarding next week's midterms because Kamchatka doesn't drink itself. America does not let the bartender cut her off. America. America is the love child of 2 Chainz, Kate Upton, and Tim Tebow. America is the Doritos Locos taco and Mountain Dew Baja Blast. America is John Wayne and Ice Cube and Ronald Reagan and Andrew Carnegie. America. America is the Louisiana Purchase and defending The Alamo. America gave the world Hostess and then pioneered the capital management metrics which shut that shit down. America is losing legs in 'Nam and hazing terrorists in Abu Gharib. America invented the condom, and promptly outlawed it. America.

with pics of their loins wrapped in the amrkn flag - fuck yeah!!!

there's yer student loan monies, for anyone wondering why they can't getta jawb when the party's over. . .

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 17:55 | 3261265 Never One Roach
Never One Roach's picture

The USPS has been so successful, it's going to expand into another business ?!

Cash-strapped US Postal Service to launch clothing line

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 21:20 | 3261833 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

Maybe they will have a line of oversized Flat Rate Boxes for people to live in?

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 13:15 | 3259930 BandGap
BandGap's picture

I think it's fair to say non of us are. Especially us fair skinned people who have pretty much run the show around here for years.

I'm past the breaking point.

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 13:35 | 3260045 Drunken Monkey
Drunken Monkey's picture

Who is John Galt?

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 13:47 | 3260129 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

What is the Gospel of Thomas?

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 14:08 | 3260244 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

the word contains its own freudian slip. How are we doing? "fair"

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 13:14 | 3259923 Obama4Ever
Obama4Ever's picture

Have you hit your breaking point yet?

Laughably, no.

Yawn. ZH authors are delusional if they think some magical mass uprising is coming. No one gives a shit about the falling (or rising) stock market, global economic collapse, global warming, high taxes, endless henny penny the sky is falling reports. All these are Someone Else's Problem.

Tune in. Turn on. Drop out. The empire revolves around money. Stop using it. Stop needing it. Stop incuring taxes on it.

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 13:16 | 3259936 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Only those still on the Blue Pill will break. 

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 13:29 | 3260002 Obama4Ever
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Regarding taxing online purchases... I was interested in getting one of the new 7" google android tablets. About $250 on Amazon, no sales taxes charged. But about $200 at google's online store, only they charge sales taxes. If I'd bought it at the google store, less money would have gone out of my pocket.

What did I do in the end? Didn't buy a goddamned thing. Fuck 'em.

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 13:37 | 3260064 Trying to Understand
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Want a tablet?? try (no affiliation or reward for mentioning url)

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 13:54 | 3260171 donsluck
donsluck's picture


Wed, 02/20/2013 - 13:22 | 3259973 Spastica Rex
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How long does it take for a tree to know it's dead, after it's been felled?

Boiling frogs.

Frog stew is already being served.

I also learned it's OK to eat frog on Fridays of Lent.



Wed, 02/20/2013 - 14:14 | 3260277 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

only on a leap year

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 16:30 | 3260943 Spastica Rex
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Puntastic +1

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 13:30 | 3260022 harami
harami's picture

Covet gold instead, that'll save you.


Wed, 02/20/2013 - 13:14 | 3259925 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

only important if it applys to Apmex

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 13:15 | 3259927 cossack55
cossack55's picture

I bend like the reed in the wind. 

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 13:15 | 3259929 pods
pods's picture

When the matter involves increasing the power of The State, you will always find bipartisan support.


Wed, 02/20/2013 - 13:30 | 3260024 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

The most egregious legislation will always come with fluffy terms attached, too, like fairness, affordable, security, patriot, etc. That way if you're opposed, it means you're opposed to fairness, affordability, security, patriotism, etc. These are almost always the worst offending pieces of legislation.

If it sounds bland and boring, it probably isn't a big deal. If they stick happy language right in the damned title, run like hell. I'm surprised they haven't started printing some of this shit with pictures of babies and puppies in the margins.

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 14:07 | 3260240 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

It's all for the children.

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 14:16 | 3260289 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

bipartisan is like bisexual. It ups your odds while being hypocritical

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 14:30 | 3260360 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

National Defense Authorization Act sounds like a boring spending bill, but they were able to stick the ability to rendition American citizens whom disagree with and criticize the government into it.   We live in the era of "You can't know what's in it till you pass it" CONgress.

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 17:00 | 3261075 RichardP
RichardP's picture

That has always been the case in the U.S.  And people won't know what is in a particular bill unless they read it.  Legislative Riders are the norm, not the exception.

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 19:22 | 3261527 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture

If AL 500+ elected reps were to "magically" disappear tomorrow, would the USA be better or worse off ?

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 20:28 | 3261712 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

500+ less people to support, plus their staffs.  Would save us billions every year.  Just let the banksters and lobbyists write the rules directly.

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 14:48 | 3260459 monad
monad's picture

Its all for the 3rd world children.

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 16:04 | 3260837 espirit
espirit's picture


Wed, 02/20/2013 - 13:16 | 3259937 duo
duo's picture

Remember, illegals and foreigners pay sales taxes.  When a good chunk of our economy goes underground due to high income taxes, sales taxes are all that will be left.

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 13:33 | 3260036 aerojet
aerojet's picture

I'm pretty sure that it's just as easy to avoid sales taxes as it is to avoid income taxes.  Maybe not if you're buying gasoline, but then again, we really aren't yet trying to break the back of the state yet.

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 13:56 | 3260176 donsluck
donsluck's picture

Try riding your bike, it's lonely.

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 13:17 | 3259941 dcb
dcb's picture

I disagree, I think on line stores should have to collect taxes. at least from point of shipment, and then if the states start to playy around (no sales tax there) you gotta do something else. the tax arbitrage game is bad!!!

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 15:09 | 3260568 ejmoosa
ejmoosa's picture

There is absolutely no reason a business in(enter state name) needs to act as an agent of tax collection for (enter your state name here).  

Seems like forced servitude to me.


Wed, 02/20/2013 - 17:13 | 3261117 monoloco
monoloco's picture

I totally agree with dcb, it's hard enough for a brick and mortar store to compete with the online retailers' reduced overhead, without the online stores being able to knock another 10% off because they don't have to pay state sales taxes. Pretty soon you'll have to order everything online because there will be no way for a store to make a profit, you can already see what Amazon's competitive advantages have done to retail.

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 22:19 | 3261950 thisandthat
thisandthat's picture

Fact is it wouldn't even have to hike overall taxes at all - just lower local taxes to compensate for extra income from online commerce and pronto! Now, would they do  that?

We pay them in Europe, btw (VAT) and it's actually more complicated than it looks: depending on per-country sales volume, you either pay taxes to origin or destination country, and at each own rates (you have to be registered in each, too, then); on top of that, bigger/smaller countries have different thresholds for that (35k/100k/country/yr).

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 08:47 | 3262664 fajensen
fajensen's picture

Just following the prime directive of bureaucracy: No law or procedure shall result in less bureaucracy!

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 13:41 | 3263899 thisandthat
thisandthat's picture

Actually that's not always true - we managed to significantly debureaucratize some procedures: you can now start a company within minutes with turnkey solutions (well, if you're willing to bet your money on the most inane range of names ever...):

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 13:17 | 3259942 suteibu
suteibu's picture

So, they raise taxes on tobacco and gas to stifle the consumption of those items, but when they tax online enterprise, it is about "fairness?" 

Wed, 02/20/2013 - 13:18 | 3259953 Catch-22
Catch-22's picture

Never mind congress… What’s Barry up to…?  I posted this yesterday:

 “Nothing IS what it IS…

For instance, we are told that the GOTUS (golfer of the united states) was playing a round with Tiger Woods on Sunday…

Well Sunday, here in Fort Lauderdale, temperature was 50 degrease (F) with up to 20 MPH gusts. That usually means that inland or farther north (where they are) it had to be around 40 to 50 all day…

That was the most miserable day in the past year. To bad for the blackout, I would have loved to see the only two guys out of 18 million Floridians play golf that day.”


Guess what?

Today, they had to have a press conference with Woods saying “…yes, yes, really, we played together…it was great…we won…” with no reporters, no pictures or photo op of any kind.

What’s Barry up to…? 


Wed, 02/20/2013 - 13:45 | 3260115 GeezerGeek
GeezerGeek's picture

Recently there was a picture of Woods close behind a squatting Obama, who was holding his putter vertically. (Or was it Woods' putter?) Are you suggesting that the picture was from an earlier golf date?

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