No Net Tax Gains … Or No Net Taxes

Originally published by American Issues Project
By K. Daniel Glover

Politicians and bureaucrats love taxes. If you build it, they will tax it. They’ll do the same if you buy it, sell it, drive it, eat it, drink it or smoke it. The National Tax Foundation captured the governmental tax spirit perfectly last week in a spoof video called the “Nanny Tax Rap.”

The government’s penchant for taxing anything and everything explains why hundreds of thousands of Americans rallied at “tea parties” on Tax Day last month to protest taxes and spending. It also explains the opposition to new taxes on Internet sales.

But fans of free markets and tax reform shouldn’t impulsively dismiss the Internet tax movement. Instead, they should consider embracing it as an opportunity to deter money-grubbing state and local officials from raiding the wallets of their constituents every time they get in a tight spot.

Back in 1989, the first Bush administration imposed a no-net-loss policy for wetlands. In 21st-century America, it’s time for a no-net-gains policy for taxes, and the latest push to start taxing Internet sales provides a big opening to pursue that goal.