Posted on | January 25, 2012 | 37 Comments
Just printed my boarding pass for Jacksonville, where I’m sure CNN’s lovely and charming Jennifer Scoggins will approve my media credential request for Thursday’s super-awesome Florida Republican debate. (There was an e-mail mix-up earlier, but I’m sure we’ve got that straightened out, right?) Because of scheduling contingencies, I booked my flight to Florida one-way and, given the crooked thieving shenanigans of state government here in Maryland, I may never come back:
One of Gov. O’Malley’s tax proposals this year is to extend the sales tax to digital products. That means digital media you download: ebooks, apps, music, newspapers, videos, ringtones, audio greeting cards and more could become subject to the state’s sales tax of 6 percent. So that 99 cents iTunes song you buy would cost around $1.05.
My friend Jeff Quinton at QuintonReport.com alerted me to this outrage and got an Instalanche out of it. And this could be the last straw for me.
I’ve lived in Maryland more than 14 years, ever since I moved up here to work at The Washington Times in November 1997. My friends have often asked, “Why Maryland? Their taxes are so high. You should move to Virginia.” And there was always a reason, or at least a plausible excuse.
For years, the commute to the Times office on New York Avenue, and the availability of a more direct bus/rail connection than could be found in Virginia, was the best argument to stay in Maryland. Then our daughter enrolled at Highland View Academy here in Hagerstown, and we moved into faculty housing on campus, where my wife subsequently became the food service director or, as she prefers to call herself, The Cafeteria Lady.
Frankly, however, the best argument for staying in Maryland now is inertia. We’ve lived in this house for seven years, and the mere thought of having to pack everything into a moving truck — my office library alone would take days to pack — is enough to give me a headache.
Nevertheless, O’Malley’s lamebrain Internet tax might make me do it. Because in all likelihood, as we witnessed in California last year, if the state tries to tax online sales, Amazon will pull out, and I need that Amazon money.
This past year, I finally figured out how to promote Amazon sales the way they should be promoted, and my commissions on associates sales during the Christmas holiday season exceeded $1,000 a month for the first time. Maybe some people don’t think $1,000 a month is a big deal, but for an independent blogger like me, that was a spectacular financial windfall. And if that corrupt idiot swindler O’Malley causes me to lose that income, I’m outta here.
Gonesville. Arrivaderci. Hasta la vista.
We’ve got family and friends in Florida, where there’s no state income tax and, during the past few weeks on the campaign trail, I’ve set up the National Affairs Desk in hotels, airport lounges and McDonald’s from Cedar Rapids to Manchester to Charleston. So I’ve proven I can work from anywhere there’s a WiFi connection.
Proximity to D.C. is nice, of course, but there’s no reason why I couldn’t start racking up some frequent flier miles on the Orlando-to-Washington route, if there was anything I needed to cover in The Nation’s Capitol.
Why not move to Florida? Or Georgia, Alabama, Ohio — it doesn’t really matter, does it? Just find someplace cheap to live, tell my wife to quit her job, load up the truck and go. An excellent idea, and then the vicious bastards who are flushing Maryland down the toilet won’t see another dime of my tax money.
When you people hit the tip jar, I have to pay Maryland taxes on that income. Do we really want that money going to prop up O’Malley and his gang of thieves in Annapolis? I think not.
The Florida real estate market is at rock bottom — thank you, President Obama! — and it’s a swing state, so if I move down there sometime in the next few months, my wife and I (and our 19-year-old twin sons) could all register to vote in the November election. That’s four extra GOP voters in a crucial state where, as we saw in 2000, every vote counts.
Thank you, Governor O’Malley, for this excellent idea.
Update (Smitty): linked at Inside Charm City