Dr. J. loves to read. Consequently, Dr. J. loves bookstores. In New Atlantis, bookstores are going the way of the dinosaur. One can blame the Kindle/iPad or Amazon.com, or that we’re a fat and lazy population. Regardless, unless Dr. J. wants to visit a college bookstore or a used bookstore, he has to drive about 15 miles.
Dr. J. likes to hold a book in his hands when he reads. He is especially fond of the hardback book. He doesn’t enjoy reading off of his iPad. It just doesn’t feel right.
Amazon has made it easy for Dr. J. Their prices are surprisingly fair. You can even buy the best milk in the (obscene gerund) universe while shopping for the latest novel. If one spends enough money, and is willing to wait the extra day or two, shipping is free. In addition, Dr. J. doesn’t pay sales tax. In a state like Tennessee, that matters, because there is a 7% STATE sales tax, and an additional county sales tax of up to 2.25% resulting in a whopping 9.25% sales tax. Tennessee does not have a state income tax, which, coupled with being a right-to-work state, has made it a business friendly state. Tennessee also tends to be fiscally responsible given that it’s mandated by it’s constitution that it does not overspend beyond it’s coffers.
As you know, there’s this recession thing going on that is apparently President Bush’s fault (if you ask President Obama, who owns economy according to DNC darling D.W.S. and Jay Carney). As a consequence, state and Federal coffers are smaller.
Tennessee Governor Haslam (R-Knoxville), is concerned about the shrinking coffers. As a consequence, according to the Memphis TN, Commercial Appeal, he is going to consider going after trying to get an internet sales tax.
Now Dr. J. can tell you that this is a really bad idea. One of the reasons that the internet sales have grown as much as they have is because there is no sales tax. The lack of this tax has been a catalyst for internet sales because the lack of that cost offsets the increased expense incurred in shipping.
Dr. J. hopes that Gov. Haslan reconsiders this solution to his fiscal challenges. Tennesseans do not like taxes, and in a recession, raising taxes is the worst thing you can do because it siphons money away from the recovery.
Senator Rubio said yesterday that the best thing one can do to solve a ‘revenue’ problem in a recession is to do what they can to spur recovery.
In Tennessee, that would be to keep taxes low, consider cutting the sales tax, and aggressively encourage businesses to move there so as to reduce unemployment, just like Texas has.