Saturday, September 29, 2007
Things I Like. Mostly.
- I like that the CU Buffs beat the #3 Sooners. Cool. Surprising. Signs of a resurgent CU team? I wouldn’t quite go that far yet, but it’s obviously going to be a better season than last year.
- I like the idea of an “eternal net tax ban.” I’m not actually opposed to taxes and I do believe that the government at its many different levels does provide services that are valuable and necessary. But taxes are an eternal struggle--to keep politicians and bureaucratic growth in check, it’s the responsibility of citizens to tug money out of the pocket of the government when they have the chance. An eternal ban on Internet access taxes is one of those things that citizens should support to keep our money from flowing into government coffers (and because network access taxation would likely have an adverse effect on small businesses and consumers).
“Preventing the taxation of Internet access will help sustain an environment for innovation, ensure that consumers continue to have affordable access to the Internet, especially high-speed Internet, and strengthen the foundations of electronic commerce as a vital and growing part of our economy,” they said.
The officials’ statement is likely geared toward lighting a fire under a U.S. Senate committee scheduled to vote Thursday on a bill that would merely extend the tax ban for four more years, as opposed to making it everlasting. President Bush in the past has also advocated for the tax halt.
If the moratorium is allowed to expire on November 1, states would be allowed to levy taxes on digital subscriber line, cable modem, wireless and even BlackBerry-type data services. They would also be free to charge different tax rates for goods sold on the Internet and goods sold offline. It’s unclear how many states would have immediate plans to enact such laws, though, if the ban lapses.
Because none of the pending permanent tax ban bills has been called up for a vote in the Senate Commerce Committee on Thursday, a temporary extension appears more likely. That approach represents a compromise of sorts with state and local officials who have balked at the idea of never having the opportunity to revisit the potential for Internet access taxes as a revenue source. (Some states are still allowed to levy such fees because of “grandfather” provisions in existing law.)
- I love my new iPhone. More about it later, but, damn, what a wonderful piece of kit.
- Speaking of the net tax ban, I don’t like that quiet congressional inaction could kill the idea. In fact, it makes me cranky.
If a lackadaisical Congress does nothing, in other words, Americans soon are likely to be paying more to local governments for the privilege of buying DSL and cable modem service. (These are some of the same local governments that have adopted as their motto: “If it exists, tax it. And then tax it some more.")
Time’s running out. Sen. John Sununu, a New Hampshire Republican who does support renewing the moratorium, made a good point in a statement after the nonvote: “We introduced a bill to permanently ban Internet access taxes back in January. I just don’t understand the continued delay in action. The clock continues to tick, placing Internet tax freedom in real jeopardy.”
You can blame the Democrats for this state of affairs. Not all of them in the Congress, to be sure, but if this was a priority for the Democratic leadership, Majority Leader Harry Reid would make this happen post-haste.
- I really like the idea of BMW bringing back the Triumph marque. They did a damned fine job with the Mini. I doubt it will happen, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt my feelings.
- I don’t like that TheDenverChannel.com was a little overzealous in protecting their copyright in relation to a story published by Trench. I understand their point; I just don’t agree with it.
- I like that the Rockies are in the hunt for their first playoff spot since way back in ‘95. Although, to be fair, I’m pretty cranky that it has taken this long for them to really show the potential.