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America, Meet the Mouth of John Burton

Posted on Dec 6, 2011
Still from 'The Daily Show'

California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton has a certain way of talking that is familiar and even entertaining to those who know him, but “The Daily Show” seemed genuinely shocked to discover a politician who doesn’t give a shit about our Victorian sensibilities.

The issue at hand in the video below is Amazon’s battle with California to escape paying sales tax to the cash-strapped state. Or, as Burton puts it: “because they don’t want to have a goddamn sales tax like everybody else.”  —PZS


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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, December 9, 2011 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

Well, I can’t argue with the desire to pay more taxes so the rich won’t have to.  I’m sure you’ll get your wish eventually.

As for Europe, I’ve been particularly noticing their financial expertise lately.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, December 9, 2011 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

I suggest that the issue is larger than just Amazon and just California.

Europe has a unified sales tax called a Value-Added-Tax. Consider it like a sales tax in the US, but it is constructed differently.

The point is this: It is a national sales tax and everybody pays it, whether you purchase on-line or at the mall.

Sales Tax revenues are a more stable form of revenue for governments, much better than income. Income must stop, but people keep buying and contributing to tax receipts.

A national sales tax at about 15% collected by the Federal government would mean the states no longer need to pay for collection. Then the Fed could reimburse the state its nominal rate.

Better yet, we could harmonize that rate across the US, because states should not be competing with one another on a Sales Tax basis.

Of course, this is just another idea that wont be implemented - what the hell do the Europeans know about collecting taxes. (About as much, I answer, as they know about how to put together top-notch national health systems, largely paid by ... the VAT revenues.)

And the bitching and the moaning goes on and on and on ... whilst Americans wait for Mr. TimeShift to step in and put everything back like it was in 1955 where we can, for a solution to all our woes, “Leave It To Beaver”.

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By bobi6, December 8, 2011 at 10:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When I learned of Amazon’s childish temper tantrum I decided to not use
their ‘services’. How dare they decide they want to make billions of
Californians but not pay sales tax. I wrote to them back when it first
dropped out of democracy and I say it again. Don’t buy things through
Amazon. they stink. You can get the same bargains from other websites.
California is hurting and partially because of the inability to collect taxes.
Online sales hurt small businesses a lot. They do not pay for the same
number of sales people. they do not pay rent in cities across the country
and then they don’t want to pay taxes. Perhaps Amazon would be
happier in some poor country that cannot enforce its laws. Here, in CA,
we can. I am against sales taxes in general because they are regressive
but I am also against corporations who don’t pay taxes including among
the many Amazon, GE and Apple. These rich businesses do not pay taxes
and guess what YOU PAY MORE.

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By SoTexGuy, December 8, 2011 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment

I love that guy!

But hey?! where are the Republicans and more who were outraged at the (alleged) vote buying of Acorn people? .. wasn’t it just admitted and demonstrated that Amazon is buying signatures on government-altering petitions?

Go get ‘em!


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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, December 8, 2011 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

Outraged, appreciate your comment, the GOP does seem to be in destruction mode, by the way your link to the Gingrich parodys were exceptional, I love parody, I find it almost as well timed sarcasim, though my timing may not be so well!

For now jury’s at a deadlock on Representative government until the money gets out! Corruption and influences are just out of kilt!

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, December 8, 2011 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

Democrats have certainly been in love with sales taxes here in New York.  8.875% in the city—a tax that falls almost entirely on poor, working- and middle-class people.  This tax helps the state and city reduce income tax rates for the very rich.  A family making $500,000 per year pays significantly less income tax in New York State than they did 20 years ago, where as one making $50,000 pays more.  So the principle is the same as elsewhere: pay your taxes and suffer austerity so the rich won’t be inconvenienced.  A foul-mouthed Democrat hounding Amazon for sales taxes is just a small part of this circus.

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, December 8, 2011 at 12:49 am Link to this comment

Re: Leefeller

Direct Democracy doesn’t work well for large groups
in general, look at the problems OWS is having. It
works fine in smaller groups. In fact, in very small
groups we use anarchy all the time it could be
argued. Such as, say… a small office of 4-5 people
wherein no one is actually the leader, but things are
just kind of mutually decided upon, which is
basically direct democracy too.

But with large groups of people, direct democracy
only works well when it is used SPARINGLY. This way
people have a chance to understand the issue
concretely and then make their decision, and when
used sparingly it is an extremely important option to
have available.

In a representative democracy, the representative is hopefully more skilled in dealing with all the matters at hand, such as complex laws and their ramifications. Provided they’re not corrupt, this works to your advantage and protects your interests. (which of course is why we need to get the money out, as you’ve often said)

Re: Anarcissie

Democrats by and large don’t ENDORSE sales taxes,
although they do at times. This particular issue is
that the sales tax ALREADY EXISTS, but Amazon doesn’t
have to collect it but everyone else does. For this
reason it is to Amazon’s advantage but to the disadvantage of businesses located in the state. This loss of revenue has hit the state hard, the republicans don’t care because they want a weak government so they can run roughshod over everyone in the state.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, December 7, 2011 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think it’s called regression.  As we descend into the dark age our vocabularies may become quite limited until such time as human speech is lost and we fall back on grunting and sign language.  Grab a club.

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By SarcastiCanuck, December 7, 2011 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hard truth from a political leader who is so frustrated and exasperated,he can’t check his emotions or language.Love it,now this is true reality t.v…As Mr.Burton would probably say,Fuck the Kardashians…

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prisnersdilema's avatar

By prisnersdilema, December 7, 2011 at 11:11 am Link to this comment

It’s like that old blues somg,...everyone wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to

Everyone wants to hear the truth, yet everybody lies..

..politicians want to take your money, but they don’t want you to know how or why.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, December 7, 2011 at 10:22 am Link to this comment

The Democratic Party is generally pretty anti-democratic.  I am not surprised to find them in love with sales taxes, since sales taxes are far more regressive than income and property taxes and offer more opportunities for favoritism and social manipulation.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, December 7, 2011 at 8:20 am Link to this comment

Direct Democracy is bad according to the State Democratic leader, and the Republicans like it?

Something is not computing here?

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