On his nationally syndicated radio talk show Thursday, host Mark Levin blasted conservatives for sounding “like a bunch of leftists” when it comes to taxing the internet and calling for a level playing field for businesses in competition with those like Amazon.
“What the hell is going on with conservatives in this country?” asked Mark Levin. “Do they stand for anything, anything? We stand for government interference on a massive scale in the private sector? ‘Oh, wow. They don’t treat us right.’ Well, out produce them. Create something else. Find another way. That’s the American way. ‘Oh, they should be taxed so they’re on a level playing field with other people we tax.’ And I’ll get into that in a moment. But we sound like a bunch of leftists, old-time leftists.”
Mark Levin’s comments came after President Donald Trump tweeted out his “concerns with Amazon” paying “little or no taxes to state & local governments” on Thursday. Trump also complained of Amazon using “our Postal System as their Delivery Boy (causing tremendous loss to the U.S.),” and claimed Amazon’s actions “are putting many thousands of retailers out of business!” In a tweet on August 16, 2017, President Trump wrote similarly, “Amazon is doing great damage to tax paying retailers. Towns, cities and states throughout the U.S. are being hurt – many jobs being lost!”
Below is a transcript of Levin’s remarks concerning calls for further government regulation of the private sector:
“Well, here I am again, I guess a lone wolf. That doesn’t sound right. A lone voice maybe? No, I don’t believe the government should get involved in regulating Facebook. I don’t believe they should be broken up. I don’t believe the government should get involved in regulating Google. I don’t think they should be broken up. I don’t think the government should get involved in regulating Twitter. I don’t think they should be broken up. I don’t think the government should get involved in harassing Amazon.
“What the hell is going on with conservatives in this country? Do they stand for anything, anything? We stand for government interference on a massive scale in the private sector? ‘Oh, wow. They don’t treat us right.’ Well, out produce them. Create something else. Find another way. That’s the American way. ‘Oh, they should be taxed so they’re on a level playing field with other people we tax.’ And I’ll get into that in a moment. But we sound like a bunch of leftists, old-time leftists.
“‘We should unleash the anti-trust division against them.’ No we shouldn’t. Is everybody a progressive now?
“Now let’s go to Amazon for a moment. The President put out a few tweets, and he said a few things that I strongly disagree with. First of all, he says they’ve gotten a free ride with their cushy treatment from the U.S. Postal Service. No they haven’t. Amazon makes the Postal Service money. The Postal Service loses money on First Class Mail, the envelopes, the envelopes. You know, where you put the little letter in, you lick it, and you mail it. They get killed with the Forever stamps and everything. They get killed. They make money on packages. Amazon ships boxes and packages, not letters, which is exactly why the Post Office now provides service to Amazon on Sundays because they make money off of Amazon. That’s number one. But I should add. Amazon isn’t in the business to make money for the Post Office any more than the rest of us exist to make money for the Post Office.
“Number two: We should tax all sales on the internet. Well, as of today, states have the ability to do exactly that, and some do. And big companies like Amazon are able to muscle up their bureaucracy and to handle it. It’s the small businesses that are on the internet that can’t handle it. They can’t file sales tax returns in 50 states and the territories. And so, if you pull this and you do that, you’re going to have less competition on the internet, not more.
“Number three: I hear the Republicans talking about taxing sales on the internet – you know, Republicans in Congress. Why? ‘Because it’s fair.’
“Let me ask you folks this question: When you buy something on Amazon, do you buy it because, if you live in a particular state that doesn’t tax the sale, is that why you go on the Amazon or go on the internet to buy something? Of course not! You do it because there’s an endless number of choices not only in your own town, in your own state but all over the country and all over the world, and for convenience. That’s why you do it. You don’t have to go to a store. You don’t have to go to a mall. Now, I’m sorry if people are upset about that.
“My parents owned a nursery school and a camp, and when they sold that they opened a very small retail shop in a town called Jenkintown outside of Philadelphia. Some weeks were good. Some weeks were very bad. It had nothing to do— It had everything to do with the weather, the state of the economy and so forth and so on.
“‘But we need a level playing field.’ If I hear this one more time— That’s the Bernie Sanders, Marxist crap. What do you mean you need a level playing field? Go out there and make your own playing field. Level playing field? So we should tax the consumer?”