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After meeting with the nation's governors for two hours yesterday, President Clinton told them that states should be responsible for solving the Internet tax "problem." A White House spokesman immediately clarified the president's position and explained that the president is opposed to any discriminatory taxes on the Internet or taxes on Internet access.
We say, good for him. Pernicious Internet access taxes already increase the cost of getting online. Just to mention a couple, there is the multi-billion dollar Gore tax and the federal excise tax on telecommunications services.
On Sunday, David Ignatius of the Washington Post reported that Clinton has taken a great interest in the issue of Internet taxation. Clinton told the scribe that he might even see a post-presidential job for himself in figuring out the issue.
Fortunately for Clinton, there is not much more to figure out. It is unconstitutional for one state to tax consumers and economic activity that occurs in another state. Electronic commerce should have the same tax benefits and tax burdens as other remote commerce. And, all taxes on communications should be reduced, if not eliminated.
Clinton also told the Post that an alternative is to "get rid of the sales tax and go to a new system of revenue raising." It sounds like the president is ready to Scrap the Code!