Since its tax day and you’ve (probably) already paid your taxes for last year, it might be worth noting one huge tax hike coming down the pike: the Internet tax. Yesterday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski testified before the Senate Commerce Committee about his recently proposed National Broadband Plan, which amongst other things would expand the Universal Service Fund (USF) tax on landline and cell phones to broadband Internet. You wouldn’t notice from his statement to the committee, however. Here’s how Genachowski so eloquently described what his plan does:
"It proposes a once-in-a-generation transformation of the Universal Service Fund from
yesterday’s technology to tomorrow’s."
Well that sounds nice right? Here’s the real translation: It takes that old telephone tax and slaps it on broadband Internet to ensure tax revenue continues to go up. The Internet tax will hit at least 15.3% (the current USF tax rate). While the plan sets a goal of capping the tax at this year’s level, this is merely an illusion of fiscal responsibility. Since Genachowski and Obama took office, they’ve pushed the USF tax rate up by 61%.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, Obama’s FCC is ready to start taxing the Internet with or without Congressional attention. Genachowski has already put the tax hike at the top of his agenda for the first set of rulemakings on the National Broadband Plan beginning next week. Presumably, this money grab would be used to expand Internet access, but perhaps they forgot the all-important axiom, “If you want to discourage something, tax it.”
Meanwhile, here’s a list of some other taxes the left wants to enact, this time to fund government funded media. I wonder what the U.S. version of Pravda will be called.