People Start To Realize The Broadband Plan Has a Broadband Tax
Though it remains unclear how much it will be...
As we noted back in March
, our new national broadband plan involves reconfiguring the Universal Service Fund (USF) so that money paid into it is put toward broadband expansion (currently the funds only address school broadband and rural phone connectivity). Granted this will result in higher bills for broadband users, who'll be asked to pay into this plan. The FCC's plan annoyingly omits how much this "Connections" tax will be -- though analysts believe
it could range from anywhere between $1-$5 a month. While details remain unclear, we're just starting to see the front-end of a wave of complaints from those who already feel overtaxed
“No one really believes government wants to create this big tax to help this small problem,” said Jason Williams with the Taxpayer Foundation of Oregon. “They see the big taxes for the big money." But Scott McClure, the city manager of the city of Monmouth, said it’s necessary to help small communities like his. "I think it’s part of a greater cause," he said. "That’s how we did phone service. That’s how phone service was taken care of in this country - through the universal service fund: People pay a little bit more to help the rural areas."
Again though, nobody knows what this tax will be -- because the FCC is only just starting to reconfigure the USF. That's no easy task -- and skeptics have reason to worry about how that money is going to be used. The USF has a long history of poor oversight
, and the nation's regulators have an even longer history of failing to ensure that telecom subsidies (or tax breaks
) actually result in substantive infrastructure improvements. Industry giants AT&T and Verizon have been lobbying for several years for a bigger chunk of USF funds -- and Uncle Sam obviously isn't very good at standing up to such massive campaign contributors.
In other words? The FCC has a lot to prove with their USF reform agenda.
177 comments .. click to read
fiberguyMy views are my own.Premium
|reply to amigo_boy |
Re: "People pay a little bit more to help the rural areas"
.. and yet, those people in metropolitan areas often wind up paying for the rural areas they do not live in ON TOP OF the metro areas they support.
The issue I have with the social costs is that many of them are completely unnecessary or largely un-guarded or watched. Many government bodies look at expenses as what they budget for and now HOW it's being spent.
Anyone here have a federal or state job...? ... one that is a position of acquisition? If so, how many times are you told at the end of the budget cycle "we have to spend money or we're going to loose it!!!" even worse, their reasoning is that "if we don't spend it this year, we're going to be cut NEXT year!" Well, GOOD!! Having money at the END of the budget cycle IS a good thing, not bad! However, unelected people are playing the game with the elected goons that DON'T GET IT! Cutting back is a GOOD THING, not a bad thing. This is just a pure sign of "we want more" with out any over sight in the process. It's VERY easy to spend money when it's not yours.
Requring a balanced budget regardless of exigent circumstances would be like telling an unemployed person it's better to starve to death rather than live on credit cards to survive until the next job.Rubbish! Its even better to tell that unemployed person, while they are employed, to stop buying plasma TVs, black berry phones, to stop dining out all the time and eat at home, and stop discretionary spending and actually SAVE so when they ARE unemployed, they actually have money to feed themselves. Maybe it's better to tell that unemployed person "it's better to save while you make it than to starve when you're unemployed.
This country doesn't know how to save and it's not really the people's fault as they're not taught the value and importance of saving. Yet, people put their belief in their mind that they have to "have things" to be happy.
Ever notice how your parents from past generations largely went with out so you could have something today? It's called sacrifice and many people don't want any part of it today.
It's a rare day that I feel sorry for many of "the poor" becuase many of them are that way by their own fault and mistakes they've made in the past and continue to make to this day.
So be it rural or metro, a balanced budget is easily achieved so long as the public trough if not used as a personal war chest to bail out every person with an agenda to make the world better. A hand UP not a hand OUT is always the better path.
|reply to Bill Neilson |
And what about California with 9.2% income tax, 8.75% sales tax, 2% property tax, franchise tax, utility tax, car tax, phone tax, dog license tax, ...tax tax tax tax tax and we are BEYOND frakkin' broke.
It doesn't matter if you have 99% taxation, the government will spend ALL of it plus borrow and spend more.
You don't cure a drug addict by giving him all the drugs he wants.
While 1/2 the people don't pay Federal income tax, they are still taxed to death from every other direction. Everyone in the US is taxed to death to feed an ever growing, power hungry and greedy government.
The government needs a good gutting. if rural folks need broadband, let them pass a local bond measure to pay for it like California does every 10 seconds. Those local people would then have more say over exactly what they need, what they want to spend and be able to have oversight of any local project. They could build themselves a muni infrastructure then let ISPs come in to offer the content. Some ISP starts blocking ports or traffic shaping you into the ground, you just go the next offering like people could do with DSL.
There is little to nothing that the Federal government does well, even less it does cheaply.
|reply to pnh102 |
said by pnh102:The problem with a national sales tax is it's a regressive tax. Not progressive (i.e., increasing percentages, on higher incomes).
That's another problem with the tax code. Personally, I think a national retail-level sales tax that replaces the current income tax would be a much more effective way of spreading the tax burden to everyone.
Proponents of a sales tax usually validate this principle by acknowledging a basic level of subsistence income (and consumption) shouldn't be taxed.
They will suggest that food shouldn't be taxed. Nor medical goods and services. However, that creates the spectacle of Filet Mignon being as "basic subsistance" as Mac'N'Cheese. Or, Botox treatments as basic as treating a wound.
Then they say we will have an annual $1000 refund to every American (the amount of consumption that a subsistence-level income would be taxed).
But, then we have the spectacle of $1000 of tax being just as "subsistence" as $1100. That the $100 of taxable consumption (which is based upon some amount of additional income, say $1000) is just as basic (essential) as the $20,000 of taxable consumption paid by someone earning $200,000 more.
Those two levels of taxes are paid upon entirely different (more or less essential to subsistence) items. A Ferarri compared to a 1979 Ford Pinto. A two-bedroom apartment versus a McMansion.
That, in a nutshell, is the problem with eliminating progressive taxation. Like I said, even proponents of a national sales tax acknowledge this problem by eliminating various goods/services from the tax (or, offering a universal refund).
My concern is that the last time we reduced the progressivity of income-tax rates we were told "we'll all benefit." I.e., "trickle-down" economics. The result has been vastly different.
The top 10% of income earners have increased their share of every dollar of taxable income from 34% to 46%. Within that 10%, the results are even more startling. The increase went largely to the top 1% who doubled their share from 9% to 19%. And, the gain was even more greatly concentrated with the top one-tenth of 1% who tripled their income to about 9%.
The top 100th of 1% (about 15,000 individuals) quadrupled their share of the national income to 3.6%.
Of each dollar people earned in 2005, the top 10 percent got 48.5 cents. That was the top tent's greatest share of the income pie since 1929, just before the Roaring Twenties collapsed into the Great Depression. In 2005, the 300,000 men, women and children who comprised the top tenth of 1% had nearly as much income as all 150 million Americans who make up the economic lower half of our population.
I would be very cautious that further reduction in progressive taxation would lead to even greater wealth disparity, causing us to have even more in common with countries like Mexico, Brazil and Russia -- countries that are democratic, but real political power is wielded by a privileged elite who have nothing in common with 99% of the population.
pnh102Reptiles Are Cuddly And PrettyPremium
Mount Airy, MD
|reply to nasadude |
said by nasadude:Most of these people seem to have money for cable tv, the latest cell phones or blackberries, nice sneakers and clothes and the finest foods available in the grocery store. If they can spend money on these things, then they can afford to pay some of the country's bills as well.
a) too poor to pay federal income tax, in which case it's the old "blood from a stone" problem, or
said by nasadude:That's another problem with the tax code. Personally, I think a national retail-level sales tax that replaces the current income tax would be a much more effective way of spreading the tax burden to everyone.
b) so f*ing rich they can afford accountants and lawyers to reduce their taxes to zero (or lower!), in which case they will easily evade this tax also
"Net Neutrality" zealots - the people you can thank for your capped Internet service.
|reply to pende_tim |
Re: Fix the USF first!
doesn't USF stand for Un-audited Slush Fund?