The Los Angeles Times had another one of its long chin stroking op-eds this morning. (It took me two bathroom trips to get through it.) This one bemoaning the difficulty with taxing internet sales. The impetus of this was the ongoing fiscal crisis here in the (once) Golden State. Apparently the state is losing an estimated 1 billion dollars per year in sales tax revenue by greedy retailers that fight tooth and nail the simple technological fixes that would enable them to collect sales tax from their buyers so they can then turn it over to the gaping maw of the California state government. For those of you not privileged enough to live here there are a couple of facts you need to know. First, state government can never be too big. It has to be there to take care of the burgeoning illegal alien population, don'tcha know. Second, once a union card carrying government worker is hired he must be given benefits beyond the dreams of all avarice. Also, said worker can never be fired, laid off or asked to take a salary cut or reduction in the heretofore mentioned benefits package.
The op-ed is filled with eye-glazing details (you can read the whole thing here if you run out of Ambien and need some sleep).
I'm just a simple man but I do have a couple of observations:
First, I love this part. (From the article)
But some sellers don't bother to do the calculation, leaving it instead to you, the buyer, to add up the 9.75% (in most of Los Angeles County; the state remits amounts over 8.25% to the counties) and send a check to the state Board of Equalization or, at the end of the year, to the Franchise Tax Board. You know those sellers -- they're Internet giants such as Amazon.com and Overstock.com. They have revolutionized shopping, mostly for the good. But they exploit their position as out-of-state sellers by insisting that it's up to their California customers to know about, calculate and separately mail in their sales taxes. (Technically, when the customer pays it directly to the state instead of through the retailer, it's called a use tax. But it's the same 9.75%.)
Now, I must admit, I only read the LA Times when I'm on the crapper so I may have missed it when the Times editorial board wrote..."Oh, my god, do you realize that the sales tax is now 9.75%? How in the hell can we countenance such thievery by the State of California? Good lord, we're going to lose some of our most productive citizens if this shit keeps up."
But this is my favorite part:
We sympathize with innovative online California businesses that were about to be cut off by Overstock, just as we sympathize with brick-and-mortar businesses that are being undersold by companies that don't add sales taxes. And we sympathize with California shoppers who don't really want to be tax deadbeats but are unaware that they owe use taxes on items they buy online from out-of-state sellers.
First of all, the LA Times never "sympathizes" with any kind of business (except their own). Businesses to the LA Times types are nothing but cash cows for liberal social engineering schemes via Big Government. And check that last line (my emphasis in bold). I mean seriously, I can hardly stop laughing. Do they really think that consumers are so stupid that they are not aware that when they buy online they are getting a 9.75% discount? Now I know there's a possibility that there might be some complete head-up-his-ass liberal in the Peoples' Republic of Santa Monica that sends the State Franchise Tax Board a check after his online purchase of Birkenstocks, but somehow I don't think that even those mopes are that altruistic.