If the Republicans convened a council of renowned political half-wits to try and come up with a plan to simultaneously strengthen its opponents while hurting its supporters, it would be hard to beat the so-called Marketplace Fairness Act.
The Marketplace Fairness Act, which has as much to do with “fairness” as global warming does with “warming,” was designed to cure a problem that doesn’t exist. Currently, rapacious states and municipalities that levy a sales tax on their inhabitants can force those merchants residing within their borders to collect their taxes. However, they cannot touch merchants outside their jurisdictions. Naturally, locals avoid these levies by using the internet to buy their stuff sales tax free, leaving the tax collectors fuming and fussing.
For Republicans, this is not a problem. The people who consider it a problem when tax collectors are unhappy are called “Democrats.” When tax collectors are unhappy, Republicans should be reaching for the champagne as they point and laugh.
Well, one would think so. But then one would have to disregard the GOP’s unique ability to put aside principle in the pursuit of alienating its most loyal supporters. It’s gone beyond being the Stupid Party. Now it’s the Kamikaze Party, except they are crashing their figurative Zeros into their own carriers.
The Marketplace Fairness Act would require businesses grossing more than a million dollars a year to start collecting taxes for all these states and municipalities for free. In other words, it takes the kind of small businesses that Republicans say they love and forces them to spend their time and their money doing the dirty work of literally thousands of different state and municipal entities.
How could that possibly go wrong?
The high tax states and cities and their Democrat patrons love the idea. It gets them a nationwide army of tax collectors working for free to rake in more money which these entities can then squander. And, of course, much of that squandering comes in the form of government paychecks that go largely to unionized government flunkies who then kick back a chunk of their salaries to the public employee unions who then give it over to their local Democrat politicians. Then these Democrats use that money to beat…Republicans.
Call it the Republican Circle of Defeat.
But it’s not just the Democrats and the local machines that want it. Brick-and-mortar retailers in high tax localities want it too. Anything that makes internet shopping less attractive – like jacking up the price of web buying with sales taxes – is a-ok with them.
Kurt Schlichter (Twitter: @KurtSchlichter) has been published in the New York Post, Washington Examiner, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times and elsewhere. He was personally recruited by Andrew Breitbart and since 2009 his work has been frequently published on the Breitbart.com web sites.