FEE – Just curious, but if a Washington, D.C. resident buys a pack of cigarettes in Arlington, VA, should this person pay a sales tax to the District of Columbia? Figure that cigarettes cost roughly $5.25/pack in Virginia versus $7.99 in D.C. Arlington retailers have a significant tax advantage over merchants in the District, so to “level the playing field” shouldn’t D.C. residents hand over the difference in taxes? The tax will ensure that Washington residents don’t cross the bridge in order to get a better deal, and in the process imperil Capitol-based businesses.
It all sounds right, doesn’t it? If businesses in low-tax areas exploit the tax difference, Washington’s retailers could be in a world of hurt, as will be its tax base.
Absent our ability to take our consumption elsewhere, what’s the incentive for local and state legislators to keep taxes low?
Except that tax competition among cities and states serves a very real purpose: it forces local taxing authorities to think long and hard before helping themselves to more of what we earn. Absent our ability to take our consumption elsewhere, what’s the incentive for local and state legislators to keep taxes low? Also, we seem to forget that local businesses, precisely because they’re local, have the ultimate sales advantage in that they’re nearby, sometimes walking distance, plus they enjoy name recognition that declines the farther the business is away from the consumer.
Click here to read more.
Supreme Court Rules That States Can Force Online Retailers to Charge Sales Tax
The Constitution of the United States of America, Article 1 – The Legislative Branch, Section 9 – Limits on Congress states: No tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any state. Export means articles or items shipped over state lines to any other state or country. (See Federalist Papers 42 (11 and 12) Supervision of Interstate Commerce). *Some feel this applies only to the Federal Government and not the states. Q: How do you feel about it after reading the “Federalist Papers 42 (11 and 12) Supervision of Interstate Commerce”? The following is from “Federalist Papers: In Modern Language”: #11 An important objective of this power was to give relief to the states that import and export through other States and are forced to pay improper contributions levied on them. #12 In Switzerland, where the union is very slight, each canton(state) must allow merchandise passage through its jurisdiction into other cantons, without additional tolls. Note: To the best of my knowledge before 1992, States were not allowed to charge sales tax on purchases being shipped over state lines. Why was that if not for unencumbered trade in a UNITED nation? This so-called law is nothing more but a way for the poorly run state governments trying to bail themselves out on the backs of sovereign of citizens of other states.
Article 1, Section 10 states: No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or exports,…….
For those that think that an online Sales Tax is not a duty on an import think again it is a tax on items being imported into a state. THEREFORE IT IS AN IMPORT TAX. What happens, to the economy, if the States start changing their States sales tax on an items leaving (export duty) their State and the State the item is being shipped to also collects their States Sales Tax (import tax)?
Did you know there are as of 2014 9,998 different sales tax jurisdictions in the United States. Wonder how many there are now in 2018?
In Amendment 14 it is stated: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States AND the State wherein they reside. (No state you do not physically live in or physically do business in should be able to tax you as you are not a citizen of that State. – Fremont’s opinion)
As, you know: U.S. Constitution – Article 1 Section 1 – All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives. NOT ONE word about the Executive or Judaical Branches having any power to make law. So, it is QUITE clear the U.S. Executive and Judaical Branches have NO LAW MAKING POWER!
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) released the following statement:
“When I arrived in Congress, Jim Jordan was one of the first colleagues I got to know—and in the time since, I can honestly say Jim is one of the most honorable, thoughtful, and principled men I’ve met in Washington. Jim is a fighter, a leader, and a true conservative in every way. He never backs down from a fight when his values are on the line. He listens to and cares about his colleagues. Most importantly, he remembers the most critical voice—the voice of the voters—in every single decision he makes. If the people entrust Republicans with the House this November, Jim Jordan would be a Speaker who would fight for real changes in Congress that would allow the people’s House to truly work for Main Street Americans. I fully support his candidacy.”
|Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, the House passed an amendment authored by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) to prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars to administer Obamacare’s ‘Multi-State Plan Program.’ The amendment passed with a bipartisan majority by a vote of 223-192.
Section 1334 of the Affordable Care Act requires the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to contract with at least two national health plans, one of which must be a non-profit plan, to compete directly with private plans in every state. These plans are called multi-state plans, or MSP’s. The law requires they be available in all 50 states as of 2017.
Multi-state plans were intended to drive competition on the health care exchanges. However, the program has failed to meet the Obama administration’s 750,000 enrollment projection or the 50-state statutory requirement. The program has been so unsuccessful that in 2018, there is only one participating state (Arkansas).
Elimination of the program is supported by the OPM and the National Active Retired Federal Employees Association, among other groups. The Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation have also conceded that eliminating funding for the plans will not affect the level of competition or premiums in the insurance market place, nor would it affect any Obamacare subsidies.
Rep. Meadows released the following statement on the amendment:
“The Multi-State Plan program amounts to a textbook waste of taxpayer dollars and needs to be eliminated. It makes no sense for the OPM to dedicate funds to a program that does nothing other than spend money and stifle competition in the marketplace. Bottom line: the program was a poorly conceived provision of an even more poorly conceived bill in Obamacare, and repealing it is a positive step in the right direction of improving America’s healthcare markets. I appreciate the support of my colleagues.”
To watch Rep. Meadows floor speech on the amendment, click here.
Rep. Meadows speaks in support of his amendment
Carolina Journal – It would be easy to dismiss the recurring political battles between Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and the Republican-led General Assembly as pure partisan posturing.
Easy. And wrong.
A dissent from a case decided earlier this year in the N.C. Supreme Court offers a clue about why leaders of the executive and legislative branches have pushed their feud to the foreground of Tar Heel politics.
Sure, Democrats and Republicans are gearing up for another election in November. Much of what they’re saying and doing now is designed to win support for their respective “teams” this fall. (Why else would the governor launch a publicity tour touting a statewide school bond more than a week after lawmakers left Raleigh — shutting down any possibility of placing that bond on the November ballot?)
But regardless of partisan calculations, much of what divides the governor and his legislative foes stems from a fundamental disagreement. Cooper and state House and Senate leaders disagree about their respective roles in running state government. These differences could divide legislative leaders from either major party from a governor of either party.
Click here to read more.
FEE – Aristotle’s arguments on property are still relevant today. Many free-marketeers have forgotten that there are more benefits of private property than mere economic efficiency.
In “The Communist Manifesto,” Karl Marx aptly summarized the implications of a communist society, stating that “the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.” As an institution, private property has been a crucial factor in the flourishing of Western society and its political thought. However, its defense rarely extends beyond a calculation of its economic benefits. Many defenders of private property simply state that there is no viable alternative system and that private property is simply the best option of a bad bunch. This argument, with its pessimistic tone, hardly inspires much love for the concept of private ownership.
Thankfully, there have been numerous thinkers throughout history who have robustly defended and justified the institution of private property. Such figures are Cicero of Ancient Rome, Thomas Aquinas of medieval Europe, and John Locke of the early modern period.
Who Was Aristotle?
The first extensive defense of private property comes from Aristotle, writing in the 4th century B.C. in response to the idea of communal ownership as espoused by his teacher Plato. Aristotle was a polymath who wrote extensively on ethics, logic, metaphysics, biology, astronomy, and rhetoric, to name a few of his interests. To this day, he is considered one of the most influential philosophers to ever live. In the thirteenth century, Thomas Aquinas referred to Aristotle as “The Philosopher,” demonstrating the immense level of respect Aristotle commanded.
Click here to read more.
Click here to read: Why wealth creation (and private property and property rights) is good for the planet.
Article V of the U.S. Constitution
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.
As anyone can read there are no rules, regulations, guide lines, etc. on how to run a Constitutional Convention.
The New American – “The tide has turned. The Convention of States did not win a single state this year,” Janine Hansen, national Constitutional Issues Chairman for Eagle Forum, told The New American Monday night after the latest defeat of the Article V Convention of States (COS) in North Carolina. “That is 18 states.”
And the person Hansen credits above all others in North Carolina for defeating the COS is Wynne Coleman, a tireless leader in the fight against the proposal in the Tarheel State. Coleman is the daughter of the late General Andrew Gatsis, who served for years on the National Council of The John Birch Society, the parent organization for The New American. This author personally heard General Gatsis speak in the 1980s on a national speaking tour for the JBS on the topic of the dangers of the feminist movement on the American military. Wynne’s mother, Alice, was also an activist, heavily involved in the fight against the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s and 1980s.
Not surprisingly, Wynne Coleman has followed in her parents’ footsteps, and is also a proud member of The John Birch Society. Coleman formed and led a grass-roots committee, No Convention of States North Carolina, dedicated to the defeat of any attempt to call a Constitutional Convention, by whatever name, that she and others fear could lead to a re-writing of the U.S. Constitution.
Click hereto read more.
Click here to learn more about an Article V and make up your own mind.
Short Session in Review
I guess if one were to look back at the session that ended last Friday, one could say that it was the shortest session in recent memory. Under normal circumstances, the “short sessions” traditionally run from mid-May to the mid-to-latter part of July. For a session to last longer than that in an even-numbered year, one only needs to go back to 2002, where the session did not end until November 13 of that year.
The 2018 session can be broken down in three phases. The first phase, of course, was the budget. The second phase was a smattering of local bills, while the third phase was a combination of local bills, veto overrides, and constitutional amendments.
Of course, the process for constitutional amendments are, by no means done. As I stated in the previous two newsletters, the votes taken in the General Assembly only means that voters will have a say as to what gets added to the North Carolina Constitution.
Local bills are bills that, by rules of the legislature, effect fifteen or fewer counties. With few exceptions, local bills generally have either unanimous or near-unanimous support, and does not require the signature of the governor. Some issues that might inspire a local bill might be about personnel policy issues that only effect small counties and municipalities, or the need to establish fire districts in a particular county.
During the session, there were several overrides of gubernatorial vetoes. Here is a summary of some of those bill. Other bills has been covered in previous newsletters.
One of the main missions of the General Assembly since 2011, was untangle businesses’ and entrepreneurs from the ever growing amount of red tape that was hampering growth of the economy. Here are the main provisions of this years’ regulatory reform bill.
House Bill 382 would 1) incorporate model act language from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) into North Carolina’s Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association Act; 2) amend the Surplus Lines Act to allow an insurer to be designated a Domestic Surplus Lines Insurer (“DSLI”) and be domiciled in and write surplus lines insurance in North Carolina; 3) amend the notice provisions in the consent to rate statute and add data collection provisions; and 4) amend and make technical changes to other insurance laws, as recommended by the Department of Insurance.
House Bill 717 would do the following:
.Restructure the assignments of Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba Counties to establish two districts for Prosecutorial districts, and establish residency requirements for filing in district court.
Also in this session, I had a chance to make at least some progress on getting some of my own bills moved.
While the bill did pass the House, the bill did not become law since it got bottled up in the Senate. My hope is that the bill can go through the complete process, and become law next year. This bill stemmed from a challenge of candidacy against the Sheriff of Swain County, Curtis Cochran. The intent of the bill is to put the burden of proof on the challenger, since even candidates should have the same presumption of innocence as any other citizen would.
One bright spot for me in this session was the passage of House Bill 414. The original language was kept intact, but the Outdoor Festival piece was added in the Senate. I supported the addition, and at my behest the House concurred with the Senate version, and was signed by the Governor on June 15th.
Naturally, I would’ve loved to have seen all my other bills move. Sometimes, it may take several sessions before a bill moves through the entire process. All in all, more than half of the bills on which I was a primary sponsor made it to the other chamber. That is not a small feat for any freshman. My hope is all the bills I introduced in 2017 and 2018 can be introduced early next year so that the chances of them moving in the other chamber, and eventually becoming law are improved.
A Dream Come True
This past Saturday, I has the opportunity to join US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, US Senator Thom Tillis, US Rep. Mark Meadows, and the Swain County Leadership in formally receiving the full payment of the $35.2 million that was owed to Swain County by the federal government for the unfinished North Shore Road Project.
I am glad to see that this finally came to fruition, thanks to persistent follow up between myself, Senator Tillis, Congressman Meadows, and Secretary Zinke.
Congressman Mark Meadows, Swain County Commissioner Phil Carson, Rep, Mike Clampitt, Sen. Jim Davis, Rep. Kevin Corbin, US Sen. Thom Tillis, Secretary Ryan Zinke
Please remember that you can reach my office by phone and by email. My phone number is (919) 715-3005, and my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, you can listen to the session, or most committee meetings by visiting ncleg.net,and clicking the audio tab.