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Face it, Zuckerberg [Update] + hk2′s open thread

Ever since I got online back in the 1980s, I’ve wondered how in the heck anybody would make money off the Internet, especially after the advent of the World Wide Web (except porn and gambling sites). Well, Facebook is still trying to figure that one out …

Now I hear that Congress may, again, try to force users to pay taxes for online purchases. Even Republican governor Chris Christie is in favor of collecting taxes in New Jersey — Mark Zuckerberg’s old stompin’ grounds. The Wall Street Journal shares the happy news in “Tax Break Nears End For Online Shoppers: Republican Governors, in Need of Revenue, Drop Opposition,” writing that “Mr. Christie called taxation of online sales ‘an important issue to all the nation’s governors’ and endorsed federal legislation giving all states taxing authority.” [Update at end of post.]

From the WSJ story:

Republican governors, eager for new revenue to ease budget strains, are dropping their longtime opposition to imposing sales taxes on online purchases, a significant political shift that could soon bring an end to tax-free sales on the Internet.

Conservative governors, joining their Democratic counterparts, have been making deals with online retail giant Amazon.com AMZN +7.87% to collect state sales taxes. The movement picked up an important ally when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie—widely mentioned as a potential vice-presidential candidate—recently reached an agreement under which Amazon would collect sales taxes on his state’s online purchases in exchange for locating distribution facilities there.

[...]

Having one of the most recognized and widely popular Republican leaders take this position gives other politicians comfort that the online sales tax is fair and helps state budgets in crisis,” said Scott Mason, a vice president at Lowe’s Cos. The retailer says it has a 5% to 10% price disadvantage compared with online rivals, with some customers using its stores to pick products and then ordering them online to avoid sales tax.

The move toward taxing online sales has broad implications. Online shopping will become more expensive for consumers. Brick-and-mortar retailers won’t have the price disadvantage they now have compared with online sellers. Strapped states suddenly could be flush with $23 billion in new annual revenue, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The newfound support among Republicans is a dramatic change from just a few months ago. In February, at the Republican Governors Association meeting in Washington, one agenda item was online sales taxes. The reaction was decidedly cool, with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal worried that the effort sounded like a new tax, according to two attendees. Mr. Jindal’s office didn’t return a call seeking comment.

[...]

Read all: “Tax Break Nears End For Online Shoppers: Republican Governors, in Need of Revenue, Drop Opposition.”

There’s also a WSJ video featuring Christie.

Hell’s bells. The taxmen are going to get us come hell or high water. Well, since we’re getting screwed, let’s just lie back and enjoy it. Well, of course we shouldn’t! Or should we?

Update: There’s also the “can of worms” problem.

Internet-exclusive sale of goods is in its infancy, yet already there are tens of thousands of such companies, all of which employ growing numbers of employees.

If all 50 states are permitted to charge taxes for online purchases, what is to stop counties and cities, even towns, from making the same demand?

So, you ask? I happen to know the president and vice president of a small but thriving company (hereafter “U.S. Exclusives) that sells 98% of its manufactured goods via the Internet. It’s neither here nor there, but this company is the last of its kind to exclusively manufacture all goods in the U.S., rather than China (yet ships its products to China). U.S. Exclusives is small, with around 14-16 employees, all of whom receive health care insurance, paid vacations, and other benefits.

Here’s the rub: The executives of U.S. Exclusives told me that, if every county and city passes laws requiring this company to pay its taxes, the cost of dedicated tax software (subject to constant updates as more and more government entities pass tax requirements) as well as the extra employees needed to verify and maintain the software will be highly significant.

There will be an inevitable loss of customers although how many is difficult to predict.

Then there’s the remarkable cost in man-hours, paper, envelopes, printers (and cartridges), and postage (!) required to mail out the tax payments, each of which will be due by dates unique to each town, city, and county in all 50 states.

Further, how will this small company become informed about the passage of each town, city, and county’s taxes — and any upward revisions? The cost of the specialized software — if it is even able to track so many government entities — will skyrocket.

The executives of U.S. Exclusives are plagued by an issue that many executives would ignore: They are honest, to a fault. They are unfortunately serious and sincere people who operate with already high standards of ethical behavior towards their employees and their customers. It would never occur to them to refuse to “forget” to charge their customers for each one’s relevant taxes.

And, because U.S. Exclusives sells a significant percentage of its products around the world (name the country, they’ve shipped products to its citizens). Futher, let’s not get into the prospect of other nations charging taxes or the nightmarish possibility that each state and region of each country might add their own taxes.

A mammoth company like Amazon can perhaps absorb the costs, but will inevitably have to raise its prices to pay for the costs I’ve listed above. But what chance does a small company have to honestly accommodate the taxes?

  • kaola519

    welcome to the tinyurl.com/cyk9xz2

  • Flop_Flipper

    Olympic stars praise Mitt Romney in a new ad. This will likely set Obots heads spinning. More than usual, I mean.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=OdWyxXBQvyM

  • HELENK2
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  • HELENK2

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/07/anti-communist-leader-lech-walesa-to-mitt-romney-you-need-to-be-successful-for-us-rest-of-the-world-too/

    Lech Walesa welcomes Romney to Poland
    You need to be successful for US and the rest of the world

  • HELENK2

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/07/30/Brandon-Darby-FBI-Ignoring-Sex-Trafficking-of-Minors

    FBI and holders dept of crime refuse to investigate sex trafficking of minors
    There should be such a public outcry that the noise should be heard in outer space

  • HELENK2

    http://weaselzippers.us/2012/07/29/china-using-gunboat-diplomacy-in-asia/

    China using gunboat diplomacy in the south china sea

  • HELENK2
  • EllenD818

    I actually am FOR internet merchants paying sales tax. Our local merchants have discussed the “showroom symptom” – where people come to their brick and mortar stores to finger the merchandise and then go home to order it cheaper on the internet.
    Amazon even has an app so you can instantly do a price comparison. Booooooo!
    If we don’t want to live in communities with no local stores at all we have to level the playing field.

  • BronwynsHarbor

    HEAD’S UP, ALL: I am getting the hang of Twitter — heh. Anyway, right now — at this very moment in time — I am retweeting some finds that I believe you’ll all want to check out. To see those retweets, FOLLOW @noquarterusa!

    ALSO: I just noticed Disqus’s tiny icon in the bottom left — it’s parallel to the flush-right button that says “Post as BronwynsHarbor.” I clicked it and successfully uploaded an image right off my own computer. Sweet.

  • Hokma

    I’m not sure if Helen caught this one.

    NYC’s Nany is at it again.
    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/mayor_knows_breast_WqU1iYRQvwbEkDuvn0vb1H

    Bloomers is pushing NYC hospitals to force new born mothers to only breast feed by locking away baby formula.

    Words are beyond me on this one. All I can conclude is that while his predecessor has been nicknamed “America’s Mayor”, Bloomberg wants to be known as “America’s Nanny” because he is certainly earning it.

    • BronwynsHarbor

      Holy mother (so to speak). I am very nearly a zealot on the topic of breastfeeding. However, I am opposed to forcing mothers to breastfeed.

      Breastfeeding should be the result of an informed choice. Here’s my own example of one way to become informed: while I was pregnant I realized that I had no clue how to be a mother. Being the sincere, serious soul that I am, I hit the library. I swear. And I read about La Leche League, which was championed at that time by Princess Grace of Monaco — which lent it an allure.

      So I hit the telephone white pages and started going to La Leche League meetings while I was still pregnant. At those meetings, I was enchanted by the mothers’ closeness to their children and the way that the fathers were brought into the intimacy of breastfeeding — i.e., dads didn’t feel excluded, as formula proponents would have you believe (they think that if dads can hold a bottle to feed the baby, dad will draw closer to the baby, true but dads can hold a bottle of expressed breast milk, etc., etc.).

      The exceptional mothers of La Leche League have it all figured out. They even taught me how to save a small fortune in baby clothes, blankets, etc.

      Anyway, Mayor Bloomberg might try the kinder, gentler approach of asking La Leche League moms to mentor new moms — why, even PAY those expert moms … that couldn’t possibly cost more than locking up formula and getting — who? police? social workers? doctors? nurses? — to make sure moms stay formula-free (kinda like drug-free, eh?).

      • Hokma

        This could present a terrible quandry for Bloomers, if this mandate conflicts with another one of his mandates and woman are caught delivering more than 16 oz. of breast milk.

        Then Bloomberg might seek to mandate breast reductions for pregnant women who exceed . . . . . .

        • Flop_Flipper

          Frickin hilarious!

          • Hokma

            Rush MUST be reading NQ because he just said exactly what i wrote about Bloomberg and breast reduction to limit intake of breast milk to no more than 16 oz.

            • Flop_Flipper

              From your fingertips to Rush’s ear. Congrats!

      • EllenD818

        Good for you, Bronwyn. I had my children in the 70s when I was lucky enough to get 2 weeks vacation. (Actually, the second one I had my own company and got NO VACATION). It was impossible to breastfeed. What does Bloomberg propose to do about career moms? Expressing breast milk is pretty much impossible in a corporate environment.

        • HELENK2

          that was my first thought. I had infants when I had to go back to work, the newspaper and the railroads I worked for really would not let me bring my kid to work

    • Flop_Flipper

      Yeah, this is crossing a line. A mother should be the only one making decisions like that. Bloomberg seems to think that because he is a mother f*&ker he is qualified.

  • HELENK2

    http://weaselzippers.us/2012/07/29/mayor-bloomberg-hospitals-should-lock-up-baby-formula-to-force-women-to-breastfeed/

    there is something seriously wrong with this man.

    bloomberg hospitals should lock up baby formula to force women to breastfeed

  • HELENK2

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/1760654457001/

    Justice Scalia on Chris Wallace show

  • HELENK2

    http://weaselzippers.us/2012/07/29/british-daily-telegraph-white-house-admits-it-sent-churchill-bust-back-to-britian/

    white house admits it sent churchill bust back to britian.

    the backtrack do the dumbest things

    • Flop_Flipper

      Soon there will be an Obama commercial telling us what he really said about the bust.

    • getfitnow

      They were shamed into admitting it.

  • Pingback: Romney talks tough on Iran and Obama but is cordial to Netanyahu and Israelis [Video Update & Hokma's Comment] : NO QUARTER

  • HELENK2
    • foxyladi14

      like peas in a pod. lollol

    • getfitnow

      It really is. HotAir runs a weekly Obamateurism poll. Early in That One’s presidency you could make a distinction between the levels of amateurism. Not anymore. It’s become easy to say “all of the above.”

    • HELENK2

      add bloomberg to the toss up

      • Flop_Flipper

        Add Obama to the mix and you have a great cast for the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse.

  • HELENK2

    meeeschele’s jacket costs $6800. More then the average American family makes in a month

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/07/while-americans-suffer-michelle-obama-sports-6800-jacket-at-london-party/

    • Flop_Flipper

      Not to mention that it is kinda ugly.

  • HELENK2
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  • HELENK2

    http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/politicalcalculations/2012/07/29/the_regulation_of_the_american_people

    the regulation of the American people.
    number of government regulations from 1936 to 2011
    WOW

  • HELENK2

    http://www.dailytopseven.com/readmore.php?newsid=NzcyMQ==

    if backtrack loses the election here’s why

    • getfitnow

      hog wash.

  • HELENK2
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  • HELENK2

    http://commoncts.blogspot.com/2012/07/jewish-group-releases-powerful-ad.html

    this is the 3rd ad that I have seen from Jewish groups against backtrack. Think he has a problem

  • HELENK2

    http://thehill.com/opinion/editorials/239637-do-your-job-youre-lucky-to-have-one

    editorial from The Hill
    to congress

    do your job, your lucky to have one

    • getfitnow

      And when was the last time POTUS intervened to try to move things along?… crickets.

  • HELENK2
    • Flop_Flipper

      Looking forward to seeing whether or not this will be adopted.

  • HELENK2
    • getfitnow

      They PULLED OFF a wedding/Diamond Jubilee? WTF? Hey, Michelle, according to your husband, ‘they didn’t do that’; ‘they had some help’.

      • foxyladi14

        OMG!!!! Did she really say(they PULLED of a wedding?)

  • HELENK2
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    • Flop_Flipper

      The title is a little misleading. It’s a memorial to the victims of Islamic terrorism. I think. Quite beautiful. Especially like the lub dub heart beats.

  • HELENK2
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  • HELENK2

    http://rt.com/usa/news/dhs-unrest-gear-283/

    NOT LIKING THIS AT ALL

    DHS gearing up for civil unrest before elections.
    drones to be used

    • Flop_Flipper

      Don’t care much for it but considering some of the violence that has been occurring with OWS types it’s probably a good idea. And they may have some intel to support the need. Hell, you should have seen them at the Dem Convention in Denver. Almost like a police state.

    • getfitnow

      They are stoking the fear fires. I’ll be so glad when the election is over.

      Remember Sharpton’s threats re: the ’08 convention?

  • HELENK2

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/07/29/cnn-plays-stupid-girl-bumper-over-palin-story/

    the media in this country really really does not like strong women.
    Alwaysl have to get some kind of dig in.

  • HELENK2

    http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2012/07/28/White-House-Obama-Running-On-His-Record

    per whitehouse backtrack IS running on his record.
    now that is a short run

  • HELENK2

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2012/07/28/Democrats-Backpedal-As-China-Readies-15-1-Billion-Canadian-Oil-Deal

    dems thought it was a wonderful idea for backtrack to kill the keystone pipeline deal.
    Canada said “Bummer we will make a deal with China”
    Now democrats are upset and backpedal and want to stop the deal between Canada and China.
    Canada new national anthem How do you like me now

    • Flop_Flipper

      It’s close to the elections so no wonder they are suddenly so concerned about this. Romney should jump on this as soon as he gets back. With Mitt leading the charge and Pelosi and Schumer agreeing with him, Obama might relent. Of course he will find some way of making it appear as if it was his idea all along. Because he really cares about the American people and the American economy. Just ask him. Then plug your ears.

    • EllenD818

      If we are talking about the tar sands, how is it going to get delivered to the Chinese?
      If the Texas pipeline was in place the oil would STILL be going to the Chinese. The crazy thing is that Americans think the pipeline is so the US would get the oil. If that were the case, it could stop in the middle of the US for distribution. It is going to the gulf to be EXPORTED. To China.
      The Canadians keep threatening to run a pipeline to BC to export it. But there are two things stopping them.
      The ROCKY MOUNTAINS.
      The Canadian ecological community – Vancouver is Canada’s San Francisco.

  • HELENK2
  • HELENK2

    NBC News
    ‏@NBCNews

    Military drafted in to fill empty seats at London Olympics http://nbcnews.to/OymCCn #NBCOlympics

  • no_longer_a_democrat

    I find it interesting in the CNN news report, they read Zuckerberg’s IPO statement…”Facebook was not originally founded to be a company. we’ve always cared about our social mission.”

    Gee, then why did go public? Maybe they didn’t quite understand that going public means you have to deliver revenues and profit, ooh that evil word, to your investors.

  • Hokma

    In the late 1990’s during the initial internet boom and before the NASDAQ crash, I had been involved with a few people who developed internet companies and at one point was given a study from Morgan Stanley on the value of internet website as an investment. The Morgan Stanley study was a book about 300-400 pages and to be frank was total bullshit.

    There were internet companies who were getting millions of dollars or even tens of millions of dollars from major investment firms for their web company even though they were drawing a very little revenue.

    Even something like Facebook, they are only as good as their ability to survive a website that is new and works better. Remember, before Facebook, there was My Space.

    I am sure Facebook has value, but not sure what that is and certainly Wall Street overstated what they value was with the IPO and people lost big-time.

    • BronwynsHarbor

      Zuckerberg is worth how much? And I cannot shake the notion that his wealth is entirely “funny money.”

  • Hokma

    I have been very concerned about Obama and Axelgrease abusing power by forcing the imposition of military action against Iran for only one reason – to win the election.

    This clearly was a well timed (coincide with Romney visit) security leak from Obama (again) to a very Obama-friendly newspaper, Haaretz:

    “Haaretz said National Security Adviser Tom Donilon laid out the plans before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a dinner at a visit to Israel earlier this month. It cited an unidentified senior American official as the source of its report, which came out as presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was telling Israel he would back an Israeli military strike against Iran.”
    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/ML_ISRAEL_IRAN?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-07-29-09-04-29

    The article also stated that Israeli officials completely denied any such thing happened at all.

    Also timed in with Romney’s trip was Obama coincidentally signing more defense money for Israel and announcing a trip by Panetta to Israel as well as other mid east countries with the purpose to discuss Iran.

    • no_longer_a_democrat

      Ah, the same Tom Donilion that was leaking top secret info to the NYT, the same Tom Donilion who former sec of defense Robert Gates told to “shut the F up”!

      • Hokma

        Gates would have been better to address that to the person who really needs to “shut the F-up,” That being Obama.

  • no_longer_a_democrat

    Facebook IPO reminds me of Barry’s presidency…. all hype in both cases.

  • no_longer_a_democrat

    NO internet tax!

    as for facebook, or faceplant as I call it.. not sure why they even went public, they don’t make that much money, I listened to the earnings call on thursday? Zuckerberg seem to have no clue, kept complimenting mobile ads and how its great area for FB to expand into… duh!
    that’s why some companies massively success and some don’t, the invention by those individuals matters, of course don’t tell that to Barry, he’ll say, YOU didn’t build that!!

    • BronwynsHarbor

      I forget if this made it into Burnett’s video clip — her producers stupidly cut off the videos for god knows what reason — but she and a guest discussed the reality that Zuckerberg knows NADA about being a CEO and that he needs to hire one. But he’s a control freak … so yeah, that’s why some companies succeed and some don’t. You are so right.

  • BronwynsHarbor

    I just added a “can of worms” update that’s rather important. Please read and assess the unique info I’ve shared — unique because I know the executives well and have listened to their worries about the prospect of additional taxes. There are ramifications that no one may be considering.

    • Flop_Flipper

      Just read your Update. Can of Worms ain’t the half of it. Wish I could offer a solution that made sense. Unfortunately, everything you mentioned is relevant and not even being discussed at the moment.

      What gets me is that the government taxes us, mismanages the revenue then taxes us again to make up for their incompetence. When I review some of the foolish ways our government has wasted money it begins to dawn on me that we are now experiencing taxation without representation and my patriotic spirit starts to boil.

      Like it or not, our Constitution gives Congress the power to tax us. And like it or not, our Constitution offers no limitation on this power, that I am aware of.

  • getfitnow
  • KenoshaMarge

    Mark Levin Hits Kathy Griffin For Vile Remarks

    link: http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/20….or-Vile-Remarks

    I find it ironic that Kathy Griffin would have the chutzpah to
    call anyone else a “whore.” Look in the mirror you POS!

  • Flop_Flipper

    What I get from reading about Christie’s stance is that he would accept the taxes if Amazon located some of it’s distribution centers to NJ. That’s not the same thing as an “online” tax. The business (or part of it) will actually reside in the state. Unless I am misreading or missing something.

    • BronwynsHarbor

      Is that a reasonable request? What if all 50 states’ governors made a similar demand?

      • Flop_Flipper

        It would surely be interesting but likely impractical. I certainly do not support an online sales tax and can see how on the ground retailers would be upset with the advantage Amazon and other online companies receive. But many online companies offer products we can’t find anywhere else. I just think Christie was smart in the way he approached this.

  • BronwynsHarbor

    Confession: I kind of enjoyed the “outlaw” status of being able to buy online and get around all those taxes.

    • Flop_Flipper

      I’ve always suspected you were an outlaw. The nice kind.

    • FormerLiberal9

      I am kind of torn over this issue as I too have enjoyed and profited from buying online. But on the other hand I would like to support my local brick and mortar stores. Most of the strip malls around my burb look like ghost towns thanks to Obama’s growing economy.

      But with free shipping (on big ticket items) and no sales tax local stores don’t have a chance. An example I wanted a particular item which a local store was selling for $299.00 (mfg recommended price). So with sales tax of 8% that would come to almost $323.00. I found a deal on the Internet for the same equipment for $249.99 and included another piece of equipment which sold seperately for $39.99. I paid no shipping or sales tax.
      As an outlaw I stole $23 bucks from the governor, $50 bucks from Ma and Pa and had the stuff within a week.

      Another bad thing is that everything I bought was made in China. So the Free Market is alive and doing well in Cowtown USA in part due to the Internet. But that is another topic.