Andrew Langer

While it is certainly worth advocating an end to the somewhat cowardly practice of localities, states, and even the federal government turning video service providers into private “tax collectors,” it would seem to be a sorry state of affairs of we begin to forbid states from lowering the tax burden on citizens. If there is one thing that is certain in this nation, it is that the federal government will eagerly and greedily assume powers and property from the people and will not easily give either back. Furthermore, if states are inclined to give people back some of their hard-earned cash, then it is not the proper role of the federal government to stop them.

The federal government is free to give the people back some of the money it collects in taxes if it perceives some inequity in tax rates and what goods and services are taxed. Should HR 3679 pass, it could open the door to all manner of federal interference in states’ efforts to lower taxes. Who is to say that at some point down the road, a future Congress, acting on the precedent of the so-called “State Video Tax Fairness Act”, wouldn’t move to enact a “State Income Tax Fairness Act”, and prohibit states from offering tax breaks to seniors, small businesses, or college students. Or perhaps they would go a step further, and find that it is “unfair” that some states spurn taxes on income while others tax income?

Federalism, one of the bedrock principles on which this nation was founded, works to protect the people from such gross abuses of power, and ultimately, it is the people who will lose out if HR 3679 passes. Left to their own devices, the people will, time and again, advocate that they should be taxed as little as possible. The Federal government has no business telling them to advocate otherwise.

Andrew Langer

Andrew Langer is President of the Institute for Liberty, an organization that works to ensure that America stays both exceptional and strong.