Hello, this is the CEO of Amazon/owner of The Washington Post Jeff Bezos. At around 9:00 a.m. on June 28, President Trump tweeted the following:
Aside from the obvious inaccuracies in the president’s tweet — Amazon doesn’t own The Washington Post (I do), the Post isn’t “the guardian of Amazon,” and it isn’t fake news — there’s one massive, glaring issue that I take with the message.
Contrary to what Mr. Trump says, I do pay internet tax, and I have done so for several years.
For as long as I can remember, I have been paying my annual internet tax in the form of a personal check written out to the IRS. Each calendar year, I pull out my checkbook, write out a check for however many millions of dollars in internet tax I owe, put “tax for internet” in the memo and ship it first class in an envelope that says “government” on the front.
That’s right, Mr. Trump. The joke is on you, because I have been sending internet tax to the federal government for YEARS. I do my part to help this country. Can you say the same?
You may be thinking, “Jeff, what is internet tax and how do you calculate how much you owe?” A good question, with a simple answer.
Internet tax is a tax for the internet — a contribution people make to continue using the world wide web. I learned about it on a weight lifting forum in 1999, back before anyone realized you could lie online.
Internet tax is calculated pretty easily: each time you click the button on the mouse, you owe one dollar. Being a pretty prolific internet user, I pay an assistant $150,000 a year to live with me and count my clicks, and then I write out a check to the tax man. As you can see above, this year I clicked the mouse 28 million times. Yikes!
Make no mistake: Internet tax is not the same thing as your internet bill. One is a bill, the other is a tax. They are different things. That being said, I would like to make it abundantly clear that if you have not been paying internet tax for as long as you have had the internet, you are breaking the law and will be arrested.
Of course, if internet tax were as simple as I’ve made it out to be, we wouldn’t all groan every time tax season rolls around, ha ha. Another more complicated part of the internet tax is that each year, about three weeks after sending the IRS your check, you will receive a call from the government informing you that they cannot accept your payment. They will tell you that you, “Do not owe this money,” and there “Is not a tax on using the internet, it doesn’t even make sense,” and to “Please stop wasting government time by sending these enormous sums of money to our office.” Whenever that happens, I simply continue sending checks to the IRS until they cash them.
Merely another element in the cat and mouse game of internet tax.
You know, sometimes, when I’m walking around in the big Amazon warehouse where I live with my whole extended family, I start to wonder if it’s all worth it. Spending so much of my money, each and every year, on internet tax — is the internet worth the trouble?
Then, I open my computer and log onto Twitter dot com, and see another insanely bad tweet from the 45th President of the United States. And I think to myself: yes. It’s all worth it.
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