Another Blow to Small Businesses

May 7, 2013

Small businesses today are fighting to survive.  If the U.S. Senate has its way, many won’t.

By an astounding vote of 69-27, the U.S. Senate today passed another tax hike – one that will require even the smallest online businesses to track and charge sales and use taxes based on the country’s 9,600 different taxing authorities.

Calling this legislation the Marketplace Fairness Act is like calling ObamaCare the Affordable Care Act.  Big retailers like Wal-Mart and online giant Amazon support the tax hike, because they believe it’s unfair that they collect it while small online retailers do not.

However, it’s not unreasonable to expect Wal-Mart or Amazon to track 9,600 different sets of tax regulations.  It is unreasonable to expect a mom-and-pop retailer to track all of those regulations.  Yes, there is software that can do the job – but can a small business that’s barely surviving in the Obama economy afford it?

While Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) played a major role in rushing the legislation through the Senate, it had bipartisan support and was initially proposed by Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.).  The bill, of course, has the support of President Obama.

After more than four years of stimulus spending and quantitative easing, the U.S. economy remains stalled.  Jobs remain scarce, in spite of modest improvements, and the economy has been growing at a rate far below its historic average.  Given actions like Senate approval of the Marketplace Fairness Act, it’s no wonder why.

Is the top priority of Congress fixing the economy or taxing Americans and spending as much as possible?  There should be no doubt about the answer to that question.

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