DRAFT Contact: Jim Campi
February 4, 2000 (202) 467-5300


Americans don't want a bureaucrat on every cyber-corner.

(Washington, D.C.) – The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), America’s largest taxpayer watchdog organization, praised a bill proposed today by Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Calif.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) to make permanent the current three-year ban on taxes of sales conducted over the Internet.  The one-page bill changes a single sentence in the current federal code, striking the language ending the moratorium in three years.

"High tech companies are at the vanguard of America's current economic growth," said CAGW President Thomas Schatz.  "The explosion of the Internet has been truly phenomenal.  Left to its own devices, big government would unwittingly kill the goose that is laying these golden eggs.  Taxation and regulation of high tech industries and e-commerce is exactly the wrong thing to do.  Americans don't want a bureaucrat on every cyber-corner."

“There has been a litany of high tech horror stories from local, state, and federal governments.  Among them, the failure of the Internal Revenue Service’s $4 billion computer modernization effort, and the misguided antitrust crusade against the Microsoft Corporation."

"These are not the people we want taxing and regulating this vibrant industry.  Any taxes on Internet sales would require a massive bureaucracy to monitor and collect the tax.  Enforcement of Internet taxes could give bureaucrats the ability to invade the private communications and transactions that are now unfettered throughout electronic commerce."

“Trying to tax the Internet is like trying to tax a garage sale – it can’t be done, and it would require resources that would far outweigh any return.  Any interference from governments at any level will only serve to hinder the burgeoning e-commerce market.  The free market must continue to be the driving force in the nation’s astonishing economic success.”

Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.


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