WWE's Kane Hates the Marketplace Fairness Act

May 10, 2013 -

Here's something you may not know: Glenn Jacobs, the man who plays the "Big Red Monster" Kane character on World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and a co-holder of the WWE World Tag Team Championships, is also the co-founder of the conservative group, The Tennessee Liberty Alliance.

You may also be unaware that Jacobs thinks that Republicans in the Senate have betrayed their core beliefs in voting for the Marketplace Fairness Act earlier this week. In an editorial penned over at Conservative website The Daily Caller ("Senate Republicans dropped the ball on the Internet tax mandate"), Jacobs begins by saying that Republicans in the Senate who voted for this bill are arguing (falsely) that it is not a tax increase:

Republicans who favor an Internet sales tax claim that, since “use tax” laws — which require residents to pay sales tax on goods that they buy out of state — are already on the books, this is not a new tax. While this might technically be true, the fact is that most people are ignorant about use taxes or simply ignore them, and these taxes are rarely enforced.

But people like Grover Norquist and his conservative anti-taxation group Americans for Tax Reform disagree. ATR has said that Republicans who have voted for this bill and have made a pledge not to raise taxes have broken that pledge.

Jacobs thinks these new taxes will hurt the middle class more than anyone else in the long run:

It’s also the last thing that the American middle class needs. Whether this is a new tax or not is really beside the point. If the Marketplace Fairness Act becomes law, it will be the first time that the real impact of this tax will be felt. Millions of Americans will see a rise in the cost of their Internet purchases. Because sales taxes are regressive, the middle class will feel the weight of the additional cost most heavily. With so many folks struggling to make ends meet, why burden them with yet another tax?

Finally, says that Republicans in the Senate cannot square their views on "less government spending" and "cutting taxes" by supporting this bill.

Republicans claim that the best way to stimulate the economy is to cut taxes and government spending, and let the market work its magic. Those Republican senators who voted in favor of the Marketplace Fairness Act voted against the free market and failed to live up to their limited-government rhetoric.

You can read the whole editorial here. Also of interest is this CNET article which points out that anyone who sells digital goods will now have to collect sales tax. This means that taxes will have to be collected on just about everything you buy online including music, books, movies, and video games.

Source: The Daily Caller

(Image via Kane's Facebook Page.)


Comments

Re: WWE's Kane Hates the Marketplace Fairness Act

Internet Sales tax as proposed by this bill is probably unconstitutional. Specifically, the United States Constitution states:

"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States". (emphasis added)

A law requiring merchants to collect and remit taxes for each of up to 50 different jurisdictions according to as many as 50 different sets of rules would almost certainly violate the clause that taxes be "uniform throughout the United States". I'd rather have no sales taxes (because they're regressive), but for an "Internet Sales Tax" law to be constitutional it would likely have to be a single rate for all 50 states, with the money collected by the Federal Government and distributed to the states according to some kind of regulatory criteria.

Re: WWE's Kane Hates the Marketplace Fairness Act

Actually, the Supreme Court already ruled on that very question back in 1992.

The specific case, Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, was about North Dakota trying to compell Quill to collect use tax for sales to North Dakota residents despite said corporation having no physical presence in North Dakota. Although North Dakota was barred from doing so, the ruling also stated that Congress can "decide whether, when, and to what extent the States may burden interstate mail-order concerns with a duty to collect use taxes".

In other words, your interpretation is not exactly likely to go anywhere.

Re: WWE's Kane Hates the Marketplace Fairness Act

Where in Quill did the court address the specific constitutional issue of the uniform application of taxes throughout the United States?

It seems to me the US Constitution is pretty clear on that point, but, according to you, SCOTUS's statement above is enough to give Congress carte blanche to "burden interstate mail-order concerns with a duty to collect use taxes" regardless of specifics?

Re: WWE's Kane Hates the Marketplace Fairness Act

It seems to me the US Constitution is pretty clear on that point, but, according to you, SCOTUS's statement above is enough to give Congress carte blanche to "burden interstate mail-order concerns with a duty to collect use taxes" regardless of specifics?

For purposes of this bill, that is in fact pretty much what the ruling states. If Congress wants to influence interstate commerce by requiring that retailers collect use tax as well as sales, the Supreme Court has said they're allowed to.

Re: WWE's Kane Hates the Marketplace Fairness Act

Sorry, I just don't see it. The Supreme Court tends not to rule on issues that are not before it, and at no point did the question of taxes being uniform across the United States come up. Moreover, the question of Congress being able to mandate collection of use taxes wasn't even at issue, so a brief comment to the contrary may very well be irrelevant in a future ruling.

Re: WWE's Kane Hates the Marketplace Fairness Act

What you seem to be missing is that the taxes in question are neither imposed nor collected by Congress; as such, the Uniformity Clause is largely irrelevant. Rather, it is the separate states that are imposing and collecting the sales and/or use taxes. Remember that it is already a legal requirement for use tax to be paid on out-of-state purchases if that state collects use tax on such purchases. The Marketplace Fairness Act does not change this; it merely shifts the burden on who is required to collect it; something well within the purview of the Commerce Clause.

If you're going to invoke the Taxing and Spending Clause here, I would like you to explain how it would not be overruled by the Tenth Amendment.

Re: WWE's Kane Hates the Marketplace Fairness Act

If anything, the fact that the taxes in question are neither imposed nor collected by Congress only strengthens the case against an Internet Tax. It's clearly an attempt to elevate state law to the status of federal law, which is valid under no constitutional principle I can think of.

The tenth amendment doesn't enter into it. Declaring an Internet Tax law unconstitutional doesn't deny the states any rights whatsoever.

Re: WWE's Kane Hates the Marketplace Fairness Act

Holy hell, you seriously don't know what it is you're arguing about, do you? The only taxes this law has anything to do with are taxes you are ALREADY LEGALLY REQUIRED TO PAY.

I don't even know why I'm talking to you anymore. Just go bitch about how admirality flags are an attack on your Freeman On The Land status or whatever Wesley Snipes is babbling about these days.

Re: WWE's Kane Hates the Marketplace Fairness Act

If you've read Chris Jericho's books, then you already know that Glen is surprisingly well read.

Re: WWE's Kane Hates the Marketplace Fairness Act

IIRC, he also has a English degree...

Re: WWE's Kane Hates the Marketplace Fairness Act

Didn't they rail Obama over pretty much the exact same point during the Affordable Care Act's time on the table?

Re: WWE's Kane Hates the Marketplace Fairness Act

You know, I really want to hear the Humble Bundle guys' opinion on this matter. The current bundle is nearing $1million right now. So they are clearly going to be affected by this. But there is also a monkey wrench in there too. Part of all purchases are donations to charities. How will sales taxes be calculated on that? 

Re: WWE's Kane Hates the Marketplace Fairness Act

"How will sales taxes be calculated on that?"

The law doesn't say, so the answer is "however each state decides they should be calculated". That, more than anything, is the problem with the law. It tries to elevate state law to the status of federal law.

Re: WWE's Kane Hates the Marketplace Fairness Act

Probably varies by state, but here, if the entire revenue is going to charity, there is no sales tax. However, if any part of it does not, then there is sales tax on the whole sale.

Re: WWE's Kane Hates the Marketplace Fairness Act

Since I just posted below that I wasn't able to find examples where sales tax wouldn't be charged, would you mind telling me what state you live in?

Re: WWE's Kane Hates the Marketplace Fairness Act

It varies by state, obviously. In all the cases that I've been able to find after about ten minutes of Google, though, sales tax would still be charged on the full cost due to Humble Bundle, Inc. being considerd the seller of the games in question rather than the EFF or Child's Play. (Or due to the state charging sales tax on stuff like this regardless; you'd be getting something in return; so it's considered a sale of goods for taxation purposes.)

 
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