> That isn't self-consistent.
No, you missed everything. That is simply what the law is right now, despite your attempt to impose your own structure on it.
>but your word game is about something different than what I said.
My "word game" is explaining that what you wrote just isn't the issue here, but rather a common misconception.
Texas cannot pass a tax on a New York Merchant.
But no such tax is involved when Texas imposes a use tax on a Texan for a purchase from a New York merchant. The issue is that it can only look to the Texan, not the yorker.
(Actually, at *some* level of sales, the yorker would have sufficient contacts with Texas that Texas could assert jurisdiction under International Shoe and its progeny, but that would only make money for lawyers, and the costs of litigating these would drive what happened).
>Congress is welcome to pass a law requiring states who do collect a sales or use tax to require
>reciprocal reporting with other states that also require it,
There are issues about mandating the state participation. Again, states probably have to opt in
>but you're going to need some very new rulings from the Court before you manage to put
>requirements on people in states like Oregon that have neither of those things.
No, not if you are actually familiar with the past rulings. USSC has made it clear that they are interpreting in the absence of legislation, no mandating. This is properly Congress' domain, not the courts. However, when Congress doesn't act, the courts still have to handle disputes.
As I wrote, it would be difficult to force states in, but Congress can also regulate the shipments themselves if it comes to it. Even if it can't force a state in (that could go either way at the USSC), it can impose requirements on the shippers.
And as a practical matter, states without sales taxes have nothing to collect, so might want not to opt in (again, assuming their Constitutional issue is decided in their favor), so as to give their merchants an edge in other states. For better or worse (and I'd argue worse), Congress has been quite effective in using road construction and other issues to trample on state prerogatives in the past (55, .08, and so forth). Or different postal rates for states that opt in. Or (more practically) regulating the large sites that most sellers use to get found. Or an excise tax on the act of shipping (rather than the goods themselves) out of that state. Or . . .
But in the end, this is for Congress.