Monday’s Quick Hits

Many are called but few get up. – Oliver Herford

Today I take a look at Montana’s gas tax, immigration raids, Stephen Miller, the Grammy Awards, and Saturday Night Live.

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Senate Passes Marketplace Fairness Act

As expected, the U.S. Senate yesterday passed the “Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013” (S. 743). I wrote a commentary about the bill yesterday morning.

According to a website that was created to promote the bill, if passed the bill “grants states the authority to compel online and catalog retailers (“remote sellers”), no matter where they are located, to collect sales tax at the time of a transaction.”

In my opinion, it’s a tax increase no matter how they spin it.

S. 743 passed the senate 69-27. Four senators did not vote. There were 22 Republican senators who voted for the bill (and to increase taxes) which is ironic since Republicans supposedly hate taxes. Here’s a list of the “Yea” and “Nay” votes on passage of the S. 743 with “Yea” votes a vote to increase your taxes:

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Marketplace Fairness Act = Tax Increase

Many readers may remember an e-mail floating around the web several years ago about a bill, called 602P, which would allow the Federal Government to collect a five cent surcharge on every e-mail received. According to the information contained in the e-mail, the Feds would charge your internet service provider who in turn would charge your account five cents for the e-mail. The money would be used to help the Postal Service. That e-mail was false and there was no bill called 602P, but it did generate a lot of anger from the wild and untamed World Wide Web users.

Fast forward to 2013 and there’s a bill in the United States Senate called the “Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013” (S. 743) which, according to a website supporting it, “grants states the authority to compel online and catalog retailers (“remote sellers”), no matter where they are located, to collect sales tax at the time of a transaction.”

Unlike 602P, S. 743 is an actual bill.  Maybe they should call it the “Tax Increase and Burden on Small Business Act?”

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Military/Veterans Potpourri

Happy Tuesday! As a veteran I always enjoy writing about military and veterans issues! Today I write about the Montana Legislature and HB 49, Congressman Daines hires military/veterans staffers, the Montana GOP, Chuck Hagel, and much more!

House Bill (HB) 49:

Sometimes the Montana Legislature does something good, and when they do I like to write about it (I like to write about the stupid things, too).  A bill (HB 49) which is “An Act Exempting Military Pension or Retirement Income and Survivor Benefits from State Income Taxation” is making its way through the legislative process. The bill was introduced by Representative Pat Ingraham (R).

You can read the bill HERE.

What troubles me is the number of votes against the bill. In the House Taxation Committee it passed 12-8. On second reading it passed 57-43. If my tabulation is correct, 36 Democrats and seven Republicans voted against the bill (and against military retirees and military survivors).

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TWW Poll: The Fiscal Cliff

In case you are lacking knowledge about the “Fiscal Cliff” the Wall Street Journal’s David Wessel posted a video explaining it back in October.  You can watch “Everything You Need to Know About the Fiscal Cliff’ by clicking HERE.

Today’s Poll Question: “Do you think Congress and the White House will come to an agreement before the United States reaches the “Fiscal Cliff” on January 1, 2013?”

Click on “Continue Reading” to take the poll.

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Yard & Bake Sale Time?

And there it was….on Monday the United States Federal Government reached the limit on how much money it can borrow.

Have no fear! Our Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (who has been known for not paying a few bills in his lifetime) is shuffling around some money (kind of like paying off your Visa with your American Express credit card) and that pushes the inevitable back to August.

So let’s party this summer!

I heard that Geithner has even placed a call to “Peggy” from USA Prime Credit to ask for help. Here’s a videoContinue reading

Spiking the Ball

Faithful readers – pardon me while I give my personal commentary about a local issue…

When the local Great Falls (Montana) school levy was defeated, I wrote a commentary about it and figured that would be about all I’d have to say about it. I had written a column before that expressing my support for the levy request, which would cost me a little more than $15.71 per year.

The levy was defeated and life goes on…

But then I happened to read an advertisement in the local newspaper from a group called Citizens Against Higher Taxes (CAHT). In my opinion they kind of had the “spike the ball” attitude toward those who supported the levy. So I must offer my commentary about this advertisement:

It seems the group purchased some advertisements called “An Open letter to the GFPS Administration, Board of Trustees and Teachers Union” in which they claim the school district “is implementing a new bullying program and is now acting like the bully.” They contend “Anyone who opposes their viewpoint is a target of retaliation.” They also say they “expect a new attitude from the Board of Trustees and top administrators…” Continue reading