Elizabeth Warren on Technology
America's middle class was built through investments in education, infrastructure, and research--and by making sure we all have a safety net. We need to strengthen those building blocks: Upgrade infrastructure--mass transit, energy, communications--to make it more attractive to build good, middle-class jobs here in America.
Even though Warren praised the Obama's administration's reforms of its surveillance apparatus earlier this year, she said they might not go far enough: "Congress must go further to protect the right to privacy, to end the NSA's dragnet surveillance of ordinary Americans, to make the intelligence community more transparent and accountable."
But I wasn't a member of Congress and he was. And the Tea Party had just helped dozens of people like him make it into public office, all loudly committed to unraveling just about everything the federal government had ever built.
For businesses, the real battle isn't whether we need the government to invest in education & infrastructure & scientific research--businesses need all those investments. There's nothing pro-business about crumbling roads and bridges or a power grid that can't keep up. There's nothing pro-business about cutting back on scientific research at a time when our businesses need innovation more than ever. There's nothing pro-business about chopping education opportunities when workers need better training. To most people, it's pretty obvious that businesses need government investments.
These are fine notions; there's a reason they've long been the mainstays of an imagined liberal revolution. But they're also the ideas that cause Congress to immediately grind to a halt and that, when packaged in nonspecific campaign-speak, are quickly drained of meaning.
Opponent's Argument for voting No (Cnet.com): Online retailers are objecting to S.743, saying it's unreasonable to expect small businesses to comply with the detailed--and sometimes conflicting--regulations of nearly 10,000 government tax collectors. S.743 caps years of lobbying by the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association, which represent big box stores. President Obama also supports the bill.
Proponent's Argument for voting Yes: Sen. COLLINS. This bill rectifies a fundamental unfairness in our current system. Right now, Main Street businesses have to collect sales taxes on every transaction, but outbecause -of-state Internet sellers don't have to charge this tax, they enjoy a price advantage over the mom-and-pop businesses. This bill would allow States to collect sales taxes on Internet sales, thereby leveling the playing field with Main Street businesses. This bill does not authorize any new or higher tax, nor does it impose an Internet tax. It simply helps ensure that taxes already owed are paid.
Opponent's Argument for voting No: Sen. WYDEN: This bill takes a function that is now vested in government--State tax collection--and outsources that function to small online retailers. The proponents say it is not going to be hard for small businesses to handle this--via a lot of new computer software and the like. It is, in fact, not so simple. There are more than 5,000 taxing jurisdictions in our country. Some of them give very different treatment for products and services that are almost identical.
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