Category Archives: off topic

26 Republicans Vote for Internet Sales Tax | RedState

rino_logo_sq Pardon me as I (once again) break with my generally non-political theme with this blog.

I am sad –but not surprised– to have to report that both of my RINO Georgia Senators name’s are on the list of those who voted in support of the proposed nationwide internet sales tax.

As a small internet business, I recently went on record in opposition to this tax scheme. If this measure is ultimately signed into law, all of us will be paying more as internet based businesses will have to collect sales taxes for reportedly 10,000 distinct tax jurisdictions.

This is an outright government attack one one of the freest markets that remains in the United States of America. I ask you to contact your representatives in the House of Representatives and demand that they oppose it.

Continue Reading : 26 Republicans Vote for Internet Sales Tax | RedState.

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Kane slams the fraudulent Marketplace Fairness Act

[Editor’s note: This article was written by the WWE wrestler “Kane.” It appeared on LewRockwell.com on March 20th. I am posting it here because I am wholeheartedly opposed to the so-called “Marketplace Fairness Act” as I have previously written here. -Rhett]

The Fraudulent Marketplace Fairness Act, by Glenn “Kane” Jacobs

The Internet is currently our best example of the free market at work. Since the government has not been able to Glenn "Kane" Jacobscapture the Internet under its thumb, the Net illustrates how well the market really functions when the government stays out of the way.

But have no fear. Control freak politicians never rest, and a few of the more dedicated ones are working relentlessly to slap chains on the world’s most unfettered market. Of course, no exercise in the destruction of free markets would be complete without a rhetorical flourish of socialism’s ostensible raison d’etre: fairness. Yes, something must be done to stop the free flow of information and commerce that is the Internet because it’s not FAIR.

The Marketplace Fairness Act is being pushed by three US senators, Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, Mike Enzi, a Wyoming Republican, and Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican. What is the injustice that the Marketplace Fairness Act addresses? Under current US law, states are prohibited from forcing Internet retailers who have no physical presence within their borders to collect sales tax on Internet transactions. This policy gives Internet retailers an advantage over traditional brick-and-mortar retailers who must tack, in some cases, up to 10% onto transactions due to sales tax.

While it is obvious that on-line retailers do have a tax advantage in this particular area, politicians sure have a perverted sense of “fairness.” After all, taxes are a creation of the government. Not all states impose sales taxes and sales tax rates vary among the states and sometimes even on different items within a particular state. So this has nothing to do with the market, but everything to do with government interventions in the market. If politicians were truly interested in fairness, they would eliminate coercive taxation from the marketplace altogether. Granted, US Senators have no power over state sales taxes (yet), but the Marketplace Fairness Act would make these taxes that much more inescapable. For Durbin, Enzi, and Alexander, the definition of fairness means that the iron fist of the government should crush all of us equally.

By giving state governments the power to tax Internet retailers, the Marketplace Fairness Act further undermines our already moribund system of federalism. One of the key components of federalism is competition between the states. The idea is that the better the state, the more attractive it will be to individuals and businesses. Folks have the ability to “vote with their feet” for the system of government and level of freedom that they prefer. Conceivably, if on-line retailers were capturing sales from brick-and-mortar retailers due to sales taxes, the brick-and-mortar retailers would pressure local officials to lower their tax rates to allow them to be more competitive or, if possible, move to states with lower tax rates. We see this happening all the time when consumers go across state lines to buy products that are cheaper in an adjacent state due to lower taxes there. The Internet represents another competitor for state governments in regard to commerce and taxes. Unfortunately, if there is one thing politicians won’t tolerate, it’s competition.

At the state level, the effort to tax Internet commerce is being led by Alexander’s fellow Volunteer, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. Haslam claims that the state of Tennessee is losing between $300 and $500 million a year on untaxed Internet sales. Haslam says, “it’s not going to begin eroding the state’s tax base; it already is. Something has to happen nationally…It has to be addressed on a national level or we’re going to keep playing these kinds of move-around games.” What’s next, Governor Haslam? Would you support restrictions on individuals and businesses physically moving from higher tax jurisdictions such as California to lower tax jurisdictions such as Tennessee? Isn’t that a “move-around game” as well?

In addition, Haslam’s estimate of $300 to $500 million in lost tax revenue is problematic. If folks are forced to pay more for their purchases on the Internet, they will have less money to spend on other purchases. This means that they might not buy as much. Thus, tax revenues may drop in other areas. While tax-and-spend politicians like Haslam are always looking for ways to tighten the onerous net of taxation, they ignore the reality that the more burdensome the tax load becomes the less money they actually collect. Meanwhile, higher taxes further stifle and suffocate the economy. As the great Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises said, “capitalism breathes through those [tax] loopholes”.

Likewise, many brick-and-mortar retailers may be surprised to find that taxing their Internet counterparts may not necessarily result in increased sales in their own stores. Again, higher taxes mean that consumers have less money to spend on other items. In some instances, consumers will pay higher prices for certain items, in other cases they will simply do without, wait for bargains, etc. Thus, higher revenues for all brick-and-mortar stores are not a guaranteed outcome of the Marketplace Fairness Act. Brick-and-mortar retailers should also realize that the Internet offers consumers more convenience and more choices than traditional shopping does. Put simply, the game has changed, and this controversy about taxes is just one aspect of this evolution.

Advocating higher taxes, even on your competition, ends up hurting everyone. But the people that are hurt the most are consumers, everyday working families. The Marketplace Fairness Act will end up forcing consumers to pay higher prices for the goods they desire. It will limit consumer choice. As with all tax programs, it will transfer resources from the productive sector of the economy to the parasitic sector, thereby inhibiting capital formation and investment. It will put shackles on one of the economy’s fastest growing sectors, Internet commerce.

As the debt crisis caused by the spendthrift Congress intensifies, Congress will look for more ways to extract tax dollars from Americans. The Marketplace Fairness Act is particularly terrifying because Congress is insinuating itself into an area that has traditionally been left to state governments. Will a national retail sales tax be next? What about a value added tax? Or a “wealth” (property) tax? The Marketplace Fairness Act may be the camel pushing its nose under our tent.

Don’t be fooled by its title, the Marketplace Fairness Act is anything but fair.

Glenn Jacobs is the actor and wrestler Kane. Visit his blog.

Copyright © 2013 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.


It’s only fair: to oppose the internet sales tax!

dollar

The Almighty Dollar

I normally avoid political subjects on this blog, but I need to put the word out about something that should concern online shoppers:

The National Internet Sales Tax. This bill was filed in Washington D.C. as The Marketplace Fairness Act in both the Senate (S. 336) and the House (H.R. 684). In an economy where many are already struggling and have seen their payroll tax and other taxes increase, along comes another sucker punch from the political class.

Watch any video critical of big-box retail and you’ll hear the complaint that these giant corporations helped to destroy the small “mom and pop retailers.”  Many small online retailers are the “mom and pop” operations of our day, and governments, trade associations, and giant big-box retailers are coming after them again by backing a nation wide internet sales tax in the name of “fairness.”

All I see is greedy local and state politicians, along with their large corporate backers, trying to use the Federal government force new taxes and regulations on one of the last truly free markets that exists. This is cronyism, pure and simple. Because of wasteful spending at all levels of government, the search is on for more ways to tap into new revenue. They’re leaving no stone unturned. Here on the web they find a largely untapped stream of revenue from which to siphon more money out of the private sector.

The big-box retailers 800px-Walmart_exteriorsay they want “marketplace fairness.” They say they need the government to level the playing field for them to compete with online sellers such as me. Let’s talk about marketplace fairness for a second, shall we?

Consider the following:

I’m not out there asking for special tax incentives and other government subsidies to build new stores and shipping facilities. I don’t utilize the Georgia Quick Start program to help train employees on the taxpayer’s dime. I don’t require the city or county to provide my business with special public utilities, install intersections or traffic control devices around my operation, and I don’t have to summon local law enforcement multiple times per week to arrest shoplifters at taxpayer expense. The big box retailers are the ones consuming a greater amount of public services to sustain their operation.

I’m sorry, but it’s  only “fair” to let them collect taxes to help fund what they consume. I just want to sell whips and be left alone.

This may read as if I don’t want to pay my “fair share.” The fact is, as an internet seller, I already collect sales taxes on sales I have within my State. I pay state income tax on the money I make. I pay property taxes on my home from where I conduct my business. I even pay sales taxes on the supplies I buy within the state to run my business –though I could easily exempt myself because of having a business sales tax certificate. I’m taxed enough already and my business isn’t consuming all the crony subsidies and tax breaks that the large corporations recieve.

In actuality, if this thing passes, it won’t be the online retailers who pay more in taxes. This is the truth with all taxes levied on businesses: the cost is passed on to the consumer. We all will get less for the money we spend online and politicians will have more of our money to squander. Meanwhile, the large corporate retailers such as Walmart, Target, and even Amazon.com will continue to benefit from all the kick backs and subsidies granted to them.

If you want to continue to save money online, contact your Senators and Congressman and tell them to oppose so-called Marketplace Fairness Act.

– See more at: http://www.activistpost.com/2013/02/us-lawmakers-push-for-internet-sales-tax.html#sthash.MRLWzWZT.dpuf


RK t-Shirt on Iraqveteran8888 Channel

I recently sent a shirt to Eric who runs one of my favorite Youtube channels and he was gracious enough to wear it in a very important video message about gun safety.

Check the other great videos they have as well.


Rhett Kelley Whips, LLC. & Thoughts on Liability

On 9 July 2012, the sole proprietorship commonly referred to as “Rhett’s Whips” was organized in the State of Georgia as Rhett Kelley Whips, LLC.

After becoming a full time whipmaker in May, I decided it was about time to further legitimize my whipmaking business. I went with an LLC (Limited Liability Company) because it is somewhat of a hybrid between a corporation and a partnership. It provides simplified management and  the liability protection of a corporation. The impact of this change will be minimal because the LLC won’t really change much about how I’ve already been doing business as a sole proprietor.

I mostly decided to go this route because of business liability. It’s something I’ve had on my mind for a long time. As whipmakers, we make a product that can injure someone. We hope people take our advice to wear safety glasses and protective gear, but I’d bet most don’t.

Sure,  most whipmakers put notices on their website saying their not responsible for any injuries or misuse, but how well will that hold up in court if someone decides to take legal action because Lil’ Johnny put his eye out with his new bullwhip? Probably not very well.

Today all business owners should be looking into ways of protecting themselves from business and product liability. You might look at your whip business as “just a hobby” and think that will protect you, but a personal injury attorney will see it differently. If you’re unprotected, all of your assets are at risk.

With an LLC, the members of the company are not personalty liable for debts or claims against the LLC. That combined with business liability insurance could potentially save lots of headaches in the future. Of the whipmakers I know personally, the only one I know for certain that has an LLC is James Emory of Classic Bullwhips. Ironically, getting protection for your business isn’t as expensive as you might think.

For those who have been thinking of forming an LLC or other corporation, let me suggest using MyNewCompany.com. I found their URL on a website where I go for financial advice and saved $330.00 over Legal Zoom! If you’re interested in forming an LLC, click on the ad box. If you want to save even more, enter the code “MNCRF” at check out and you’ll get a 15% discount.


Respect Outdoors Trip

Cordell and I just returned from a father/son fan appreciation trip complements of the Respect Outdoors TV show that airs on The Sportsman Channel. Host Robert Arrington took us on an amazing trip to Panama City, FL. where we got to check out the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base.

The next 2 days we spent fishing Red Snapper and Amberjack fishing 40 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico. Robert has fished all over the world and says that he’s never seen such great fishing. The Leveral family of Family Tradition Charters in Panama City put us on some great fishing action. The trip was being filmed and will appear on an upcoming episode of Respect Outdoors.

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I first became acquainted with Robert a couple of years ago when he contacted me about purchasing a 12ft cow whip. If you watch his show regularly, you can sometimes see Robert cracking  the whip I made for him. Below is some fun footage I took of Robert Arrington cracking one of Cordell’s cow whips on the stern of the fishing boat “Best Bet.”

It’s not often opportunities like this come along. I really appreciate Robert Arrington for selecting Cordell and I for this trip. We had a great time, ate some great seafood, caught some nice fish, made new friends, and made memories that will last a lifetime.

Contact information for Family Tradition Charters:

Capt. Leveral Raffield

850-235-4610

850-819-4610


Rhett’s Getting in Shape!

Pardon the off-topic post, but in effort to extend my life and thus my whip business as well, I started a fitness program about a month ago that is really helping me to get healthy,  in shape, and feeling much better. If you’re wanting to find a good program to help you meet your fitness goals, I highly recommend the following product because it’s really working for me!