Internet taxes but no broadband
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- $1.7 billion. That is the amount West Virginians spend on internet purchases each year according to Sen. Jay Rockefeller. He said the state is losing out on $100 million in taxes that go uncollected each year. The West Virginia department of revenue puts the amount more in the range of $50 to 60 million. Even at that lower amount it seems wildly exaggerated that $1 billion is spent on internet sales that the state cannot collect sales tax on. Recently The Charleston Gazette quoted Sen. Rockefeller saying "None of this would come out of the pockets of West Virginians; it would be the companies that would pay."
I believe the senator is out of touch with reality if he thinks the companies would not pass that cost right on to the purchaser. The politicians say they will spend the money collected on things like Medicaid expansion or road improvements. What about the lack of broadband infrastructure in West Virginia, considering these purchases are from internet sales.
Sen. Joe Manchin, who is also for the federal legislation, blocked state legislation to spur broadband development when he was governor. At the time, then Gov. Manchin said that Cisco, a private company, would be better equipped to help develop statewide broadband coverage by the end of 2009 or early 2010 instead of state legislation.
Well, it is not late 2012 and we do not have broadband available in my area and many parts of the state according to newspaper reports. Now when I am unable to purchase an item locally and instead turn to the internet, they want it to cost more. Both senators bemoan the continuing downward spiral of bankruptcy at the U.S. Postal Service. You would think they would like more business flowing to the U.S. Postal Service. They must forget purchases are increasing using the internet, will continue to do so in the future and most likely will be shipped via the U.S. Postal Service. They want to hamper this trend by passing on more costs to the consumer without improving broadband availability or current infrastructure. None of this will help me in my rural Clay County. It will just boil down to more money for legislators down in Charleston to spend.
Will Manchin back enemies of coal?
As a native of Mineral County, I still manage to keep my eyes on the politics of my mother state since crossing the Potomac River to live, some 36 years ago. As a current resident of Garrett County, Md., along with a majority of people who also live in these lovely Appalachian Mountains, we realize that much of our economy is tied to the coal and gas industries. Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, as well as West Virginia, are all seeing these industries being destroyed by the likes of Barrack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and the EPA!
Coal production is at low levels and much of the reserves now sit in extremely large stockpiles. I have contacted U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin's office on several occasions in regards to one key question concerning his possible re-election. To this date, his office has not bothered to give me any type of response! I simply asked, "Will Sen. Manchin continue to support Harry Reid, a clear enemy of the coal industry, as the Democrat majority leader, or will he vote for Republican Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who is a great friend to the coal mining companies and their employees?"