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Comment Re:So from here on out ... (Score 5, Informative) 2416

SCOTUS accepted the government's theory that it was a tax. The government advocated two mutually exclusive constitutional theories:

1. Congress has the right to force citizens to enter into commerce, under the commerce clause -- the mandate penalty was just that, a penalty.

2. Congress has the right to tax any behavior it sees fit -- the mandate penalty was, for this purpose, a tax.

SCOTUS rejected the first claim (proving that they do see limits to the commerce clause sometimes), and accepted the second claim. SCOTUS did not create the idea that it was the mandate was a new tax -- the government did.

Comment Re:Pentagon work (Score 1) 115

Anyone got McGuyver's phone number? I'm sure he can get the robot to do *something* with the duct tape and swizzle stick.

Hmmm, duct tape.
Note to self: Pitch reality TV show to A&E hosted by Richard Dean Anderson and Steve Smith. Contestants must solve high-tech problems using only the household items that they are given. The items always include duct tape and empty beer cans.

Comment Re:Link soup (Score 1) 79

If I tell you it's Katie's birthday today, it would be polite of me to tell you who Katie is. Similarly, a news report should provide, at least epithetically, a description of its subject.

Comment Re:Sure, but (Score 5, Informative) 229

no retailer, ANYWHERE, pays sales taxes on purchases you make

That may be true somewhere, but it isn't true in Illinois. Quoting the Illinois Department of Revenue: "Sales tax is a combination of “occupation” taxes that are imposed on sellers’ receipts and “use” taxes that are imposed on amounts paid by purchasers. Sellers owe the occupation tax to the department; they reimburse themselves for this liability by collecting use tax from the buyers."

And, 35 ILCS 120/2 "A tax is imposed upon persons engaged in the business of selling at retail tangible personal property ...".

In Illinois, at least, sales tax is quite clearly imposed upon the retailer, and not the retail purchaser. On a related note, when I was running a small business in Illinois I contacted the DOR and asked if I was obliged to collect sales tax from my customers. They advised me that I was under no obligation to collect sales tax, my only obligation was to pay it.

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Quantum Mechanics is a lovely introduction to Hilbert Spaces! -- Overheard at last year's Archimedeans' Garden Party

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