Friday, March 12, 2010

Greedy Government, Colorado Edition

I get fighting mad every time I have to endure someone label a person who tries to preserve what they earned or own as 'greedy'. The real greed lies with rapacious governments, ever trying to spend other people's money. That's greed.

Now, while I am woefully underemployed right now, the next time I am buying a CD or book, it's coming from Amazon, who reacted to the State of Colorado's greedy hands with a a cutting of ties with their online referring associates. From Huffington Post:

In response to recent legislation in Colorado (HB 10-1193), has sent a letter to its affiliates in Colorado informing them that the on-line sales giant will no longer be advertising through businesses in the state that that make money by referring buyers.

In order to close a $1.5 Billion budget gap, Colorado Democrats this session have passed a law that would make it possible to collect sales taxes on on-line purchases by creating an economic nexus between state residents and on-line retailers.

The bill, which was part of a package of tax measures aimed at increasing revenue, originally sought to create a nexus between the state and on-line retailers based on their ties to local affiliate websites, which link to products. The bill was ultimately altered due largely to fears that retailers like Amazon would simply cut ties to Colorado companies that make money by referring buyers.

The final bill, which was signed into law in February, instead required large online retailers to start collecting sales taxes or provide a summary of people's web purchases in the state, leaving affiliates out of the equation. This created an economic nexus without making local affiliates a scapegoat for paying local sales taxes.

Amazon has apparently elected to cut dies (sic) to its Colorado affiliates regardless.

Good! I can't blame any business that decides the tax burden is too onerous to carry on, and quits or moves to a less offensive location. Do we learn nothing from history? This country was made on being a place of lower taxes, fewer wars, and cheap labor. Got any idea how the British Empire sank? Higher taxes, endless war, and very expensive labor.

Too bad Amazon didn't decide to stop selling to Colorado entirely. That would have been a wise pre-emptive strike message to any other state that wants to crush the economic engine that powered the Clinton years.

In a press release, Governor Bill Ritter admonished Amazon:

"Amazon has taken a disappointing - and completely unjustified - step of ending its relationship with associates. While Amazon is blaming a new state law for its action, the fact is that Amazon is simply trying to avoid compliance with Colorado law and is unfairly punishing Colorado businesses in the process."

Well, go pound sand, Governor Ritter. Your lack of understanding is profound.

Is Amazon trying to avoid future taxation? You bet! That makes them smart. Unjustified? Should people and their business be chained to locations? Should they be forced to make decisions to work against their own interests? Ritter apparently thinks so.

Too many elected officials forget why businesses exist- so that goods or services can be sold, to the mutual benefit of consumer and provider. Nobody goes into business for the purpose of fattening the coffers of state government. Only an idiot- a greedy idiot- would lose sight of this. When too put upon by greedy pinheads, of course sensible people want to leave. For reference, see: Cleveland, Detroit, Youngstown, DC, and a host of cities that have bled population as a result of their tax policies.

Lucky I visted Colorado in 2008. It's off the list for places to spend money for some time to come.

Note: Huffington Post is one of the most irritating sites to use. There is so much junk going on that scrolling down, and cutting and pasting is a painful chore, waiting for all the crap to load. Great that they get the ads, but HuffPo makes Facebook look sleek and elegant by comparison.

1 comment:

Diana Hsieh said...

Thanks for posting some sensible commentary on this issue! The tax-happy left seems determined to blame Amazon for terminating the Colorado Associates, when the Democratic legislature is clearly to blame.

You and your readers might be interested in my super-quick web site:

(I'm going to add a link to your post to the "further reading" section.)

If you want to help pressure the Colorado legislature to repeal this awful law, please join the low-volume e-mail list, NoAmazonTax:

Please spread the word! Thanks!