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Whew!!! (Internet Taxation)

© September 2003 BigDumbDinosaur
Email: steggy@bcstechnology.net

Strictly political opinion. <Smile>

Apparently I was wrong about American politicians. Not all of them are greedy crooks.  What, you say?  This can't be so!  Well, read on, my friend.  It is so - sort of.

What made me rethink my position was this brief blurb (link dead, sorry) telling me that our fearless leaders were going to make the "don't tax Internet connections" federal law - due to expire in November 2003 - a permanent one.  Needless to say, this is good news, especially when one considers that tax laws, once enacted, seldom go away, and over time, tend to drain away ever-increasing amounts of money from our pockets.  Of course, the paperwork for this bill isn't on President Bush's desk just yet, so keep the lid on the champagne for now.

Now, as I said above, not all politicians are greedy crooks, the operative expression being "not all."  A number of lawmakers - mostly Democrats - have loudly protested that this proposed law is bad.  Of course, it all depends on how you define "bad."  I personally can't see how any law that eliminates taxation could be bad.  But then, I'm not a greedy, self-aggrandizing politician.

My guesses as to why someone would oppose this law are as varied as the reasons why someone else would favor it.  Maybe the naysayers are worried that they might not be able to waste more tax dollars on silly "it takes a village to raise a child" legislation of the kind that was in vogue during the Clinton administration.  Possibly, the tax-and-spend crowd is fearful that there won't be enough money to fund a study on the mating habits of cockroaches in the basement of the Capitol.  Or, perhaps they are concerned that some poverty level family won't be able to get on line because many taxpayers, having worked hard to accumulate assets and set aside some scratch for their kids' college tuition, balk at having to finance someone else's activities, computing or otherwise.

It gets better, though.  One of the more preposterous arguments advanced in support of taxing Internet connections is that the money is needed to help out fiscally challenged state governments.  To me, such an argument makes almost as much sense as installing a sun roof into the space shuttle.  What would happen if the Internet didn't exist?  Would states be unable to pay their bills and fund all those stupid programs that are designed to "redistribute the wealth" because the revenue stream was too small?  Haven't these bozos ever heard of living within their means?

Of course, most of us great communicators are already being bled by some federal and state telecommunications taxes obscured by the cute term "Universal Service Fee."  Look carefully at that printed mess called your telephone bill to see what I mean.  What the universal service fee does is take your money and use it to cover most of the cost of telephone service to low income households.  That's right, bucko, you are helping welfare queens (and kings, if such an animal exists in the USA) pay their phone bills.

Now, since you have read this far, perhaps you are more than a little peeved.  So now would be good time to contact your so-called elected representatives and tell them you want House Resolution 49 passed into law.  However, don't be too dismayed if H.R. 49 suffers the same fate as 30 cent per gallon gasoline.  After all, despite what one might assume, our politicians really do believe in free enterprise.  Their votes are always available to the highest bidder!


Editor's note:

These are opinions, of course. I happen to agree with BDD on the taxation, though I remain a bleeding heart liberal in other areas, and think that the problems of poverty are too complex to be covered by anything I could say here.

I will say that while Democrats may take my money, I can always earn more. It's not as easy to get back the freedoms some Republicans want to take. <smile>

I'm also reminded of this:

Any clod can have the facts, but having an opinion is an art.
                -- Charles McCabe

Tony Lawrence

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