News and Commentary on Space
Master Thespian John Morse, Colorado Senate Majority Leader, goes off on a rant over Amazon.com’s small act of defiance against his tax increase and privacy invasion. This is so laughable it has to be seen to be believed/appreciated:
For those who don’t know, the Democrat-controlled Colorado legislature two weeks ago passed what have come to be called the “Dirty Dozen” tax increases – blatantly ignoring the Taxpayer Bill of Rights amendment to the state constitution by raising taxes without a vote of the citizens. Among the items subjected to new or increased taxes, including soda and (some, weirdly-defined) candy, doggie bags, software downloads, and bull semen (!), are all online sales.
In the case of the latter, the tax increase mandated onerous and privacy-invading reporting requirements onto online retailers. Amazon announced early on that they would suspend all affiliate accounts for Colorado residents if the measure passed, and over the weekend made good on that promise, sending cancellation letters to all of its Amazon Affiliates in the state.
In other words, a company had the guts to stand up in a small, symbolic way to the anti-constitutional taxation policy and invasive reporting requirements of the state of Colorado – and Senator Morse won’t stand for it. How dare Amazon not meekly accept the dictates of Senator Morse and his pals in the Colorado legislature? Who does Amazon think it is?
What amuses me is that he is now going to ditch his Kindle, boycott Amazon, and take his custom to more statism-friendly Apple. While I applaud Amazon’s actions, I firmly believe that they will lose far more business from people like me, who will no longer purchase anything online, from any retailer, so long as this taxation and reporting law is in effect. Indeed, even though I am a shareholder and the move would cost the company money, I would have preferred to see Amazon go all the way, and refuse to accept any orders for delivery to or with a billing address in Colorado (or at the very least the addresses of the governor and every legislator who voted for the bill).
What’s not funny about Senator Morse’s dramatic soliloquy, though, is the unquestioned assumptions that lie behind it. The notion that Amazon being a $900 million “corporate customer [sic]” is something shameful, a sin that requires the redistribution of their profits to assuage. Or the assumption that the targets of an objectionable piece of legislation ought to know their place, and accept the imposition humbly without uttering a word of protest. Or the apallingly ignorant assumption that he and his equally-economically-ignorant colleagues can blithely pass tax increases without altering economic behavior in the private sector whatsoever.
What’s even worse is Morse’s astonishing and hypocritical attack on Amazon as being a “bully” and engaging in “egregiousness” and ”tyranny”. Senator John Morse, Democrat of Colorado Springs, may want to look in the mirror – after all, it isn’t Amazon who is pitching an over-the-top emotional fit, it isn’t Amazon who is throwing its weight around to take something it shouldn’t have or forcing people to do business with it, and it isn’t Amazon who is acting in blatant violation of the state constitution and against the loudly expressed wishes of the citizens of Colorado.
ADDED: Senator Morse is getting called out on his BS in the comments at YouTube, and is (not at all surprisingly) responding with snippy and condescending remarks. How dare we proles question him! He’s a senator!
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