Internet Taxes are Inevitable :( Why BERNIE and BEZOS are at WAR

As a small online business owner, I hate to admit it but Internet taxes are inevitable. Senator Bernie Sanders introduced a bill called the "Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies Act" also known as the "Stop BEZOS Act" because Sanders found out that many of Amazon's warehouse workers live on food stamps and Medicaid. Since Amazon gets government subsidies, that forces the American taxpayer to cover these costs, which in turn helps Bezos and Amazon shareholders become richer and richer. In case you haven’t heard, Amazon is now worth $1 trillion dollars and Bezos is the richest man in the world.

Under this Sanders plan, if an Amazon employee receives $300 in food stamps, Amazon would be taxed $300.  Great idea Bernie! Make Bezos and Big Tech pay, but better still, help Congress wake up. If 1 in 3 Amazon employees in Arizona receive food stamps and you recognize these workers need this type of help, Congress should also see the bigger picture that companies like Amazon are getting rich off of low worker wages and instead paying high shareholder returns. We now know that if Lowe’s, CVS, and Home Depot wouldn’t have “bought back their own stock” they could have provided each of their workers a raise of $18,000 a year; Starbucks could have given each of its employees $7,000 a year; and McDonald’s could have given $4,000 to each of its nearly 2 million employees. The workers would rather have a raise than food stamps! Yes, we all want to be rich like Jeff, but not with taxpayer subsidies.

Why does Amazon get a subsidy “cost of aid, hand-out” like this in the first place anyway --and then not have to pay it back-- when millions of small businesses are trying to compete with no assistance from the government at all? While Congress couldn't figure out who should get an online sales tax, Bezos was allowed to build Amazon through un-taxed revenue and low-wage employees, but every other brick and mortar store across America was obligated to pay, for 21 years and counting.

Who should get the Internet tax: Should it be the state where it was shipped FROM (sold) or the state where the product was sent TO (purchased). C'mon Congress, is that so difficult?  Make a decision. The online buyer, where the product is shipped TO and where the product is USED, gets the sales tax. All those years of taxes could have been helping to rebuild this country. Or look at it this way: Due to a low 5.46% sales tax in Wyoming and a high 10.02% sales tax in Louisiana, Amazon was able to charge 5 to 10% less for any product in America even before the small business discounted their product. Yes, Amazon is responsible for the demise of the sole proprietorship, there's even a NetLingo word for it: you've been Amazonned.

So, is Sanders right in asking Congress to seriously look into Amazon’s monopoly and business practices if we want to remain a country where small business really matters? YES. In fact, where is Congress in any of this?  Why did you not foresee the loss of revenue to the States and the economic burden ahead when Bezos and pals began profiting from hiring mostly part-time employees that would not be eligible for the ever-rising health care costs? Smells like lobbyists to me.

Bravo Bernie, the 77-year-old Senator from Vermont, who is leading the charge with his Stop BEZOS Act.  It’s long overdue but face it, Internet taxes are inevitable. Restoring the American dream and supporting a middle class should not mean subsidies from Congress. No to subsidies, yes to a living wage! Amazon's decision this week to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour means Bernie Sanders' strategy is, so far, working magnificently. Et tu Congress?

- Erin Jansen, Internet Specialist, Social Psychologist, Founder of