By Paul Jacob
The government is horribly in debt, budgets are careening out of control.
Understandably, many, many legislators like nearly every discriminatory tax" imaginable, tacking on charges here and there wherever they can. So why did Congress and the President just foreswear one whole new revenue stream, put it off for years?
Because the tax in question was on Internet access.
In mid-November, Senators George Allen and Ron Wyden, and Representative Chris Cox, pushed a bill through both houses; extending the ban on multiple and discriminatory taxes on Internet access. It's the law. There will be no taxes on Internet access, at least not until October 31, 2007.
But think: We have multiple taxes on phone calls, and people barely notice them.
So why not tax the Net?
Well, the Net, for all its spam and pop-ups still provides communication and education opportunities, especially for the poor. So making it harder for them to access it would seem awfully counter-productive.
But, you note, government is in the business of making things counter-productive! Why should this be different?
Well, the novelty of the Internet has not worn off. Lots of people depend on it. Sure, taxing it would provide lots of government revenue. But the government doesn't dare anger so many people not in one fell swoop. People love the Net. They don't love Congress.
So: to this extent, at least, our government serves the people. Hey, there's good news for a change!
This is Common Sense. I'm Paul Jacob.
Common Sense is published by Americans for Limited Government. Their website can be visited at www.limitedgov.org.