The Internet is awesome, right?
Tell that to Kane, the World Wrestling Entertainment’s 7-foot monster who lives in Jefferson City, just outside of Morristown. His real name is Glenn Jacobs, and when it comes to the pending
Marketplace Fairness Act, he’s jumping out of the ring and into the social and political arena.
The legislation would change a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court ruling thatdoes not allow sales to be taxed over the Internet if the purchase is made in another state. Jacobs, the co-founder of the Tennessee Liberty Alliance, is actively voicing his opposition to the new tax. He’s even challenged Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, who favors the new legislation, to a debate over the issue.
By the way, his signature move is the “choke slam.” What say you,
Reason magazine has suggested the professional wrestler is weighing a challenge to U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander. Now that would be a political cage match worth the price of admission.
In recent weeks, Jacobs has made appearances on nationally syndicated terrestrial radio, satellite radio and local radio stations in Tennessee. Jacobs has written multiple blog posts and op-ed pieces against the national Internet sales tax mandate.
“Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey claims that the Internet sales tax mandate is not a new tax,” Jacobs wrote Wednesday in a blog post at www.tnliberty.org
. “Nor, according to Ramsey, is it an unfair tax. Ramsey is wrong on both counts. I, therefore, invite Lt. Gov. Ramsey for a policy debate on the issue of the Marketplace Fairness Act in a public forum at his convenience.”
The national Internet sales tax mandate likely will come up for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives later this year. The bill is being opposed by the Campaign for Liberty, eBay, the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the National Taxpayers Union, Americans for
Tax Reform, Americans for Prosperity, Freedomworks, the Heartland Institute, U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn and many other conservative figures.
“States with sales tax also have a complementary tax called a ‘use tax,’ ” said Jacobs, who goes about, oh — 360 pounds or so. “You are supposed to pay a use tax on a product if you buy the good without paying sales tax on it. So, for instance, if you buy a product in New Hampshire, which has no sales tax, and then bring that product back to Tennessee to use or consume, you are supposed to pay a use tax — equivalent to the sales tax rate — to the state of Tennessee.
“This tax, despite Ramsey’s claims to the contrary, is a new tax. Sales tax would now be embedded in the final price of any product purchased online from out of state. So perhaps he would like to explain to surprised Tennesseans that ‘this is not a new tax’ when
they see the cost of their Internet purchases increase by almost 10 percent.”
The Spanish-born WWE giant, who has a degree in English literature, also had a conversation about overtaxation and the waywardness of the federal government on the Jerry Dolye Show on Friday. He described himself as a Libertarian blogger and said “fortunately, I won’t be
testifying before Congress anytime soon.”
The barriers to entry for an Internet business are virtually nonexistent, he said. While it is true that out-of-state online retailers hold a sales tax advantage over local brick and mortar retailers, there is nothing stopping a brick and mortar store from selling its wares to consumers in other states on the Internet, thereby negating the tax advantage enjoyed by its online competitors.
That, he says, would protect big Internet retailers like Amazon — one of the largest advocates for an Internet sales tax — by making it more difficult for the little guy to start and grow an Internet
“Millions of Americans have discovered the path to prosperity by starting their own business,” he added. “That’s why our country has been dubbed ‘the land of opportunity.’ This proposed legislation will crush an untold number of Internet startup businesses, dashing that dream for countless deserving Americans who want nothing more than the opportunity to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.”
Jacobs said Tennesseans and all Americans should be concerned about the growth of government and the fact that it has overstepped its bounds.
“Before we had an income tax, the government was forced to live within limits,” he said. “The whole concept of an income tax is, you are entitled to this percentage of the fruits of your labor. But it’s actually the other way around. Taxation is very detrimental. It transfers the capital from the productive part of society to the government. I see it as the political class versus the rest of us.”
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