The Nanny State's Vision: A World Wide Web of Taxes

Elisabeth Meinecke
Posted: Nov 03, 2011 8:00 AM

The government's love affair with Internet and technology taxes--which includes a Solyndra-like scandal--could affect the items you buy and the music you listen to on the Web.


From Townhall Magazine's EXCLUSIVE November feature "A World Wide Web of Taxes":

In early 2008, New York state lawmakers were grappling with a budget $5.2 billion in the red and growing. It was a preview of what would become the largest drop in state revenues nationwide in well over a generation.

But instead of taking measures to trim spending so that it lined up with revenues, New York piled on new taxes, including a bold, new attempt to tax Internet sales. When continued overspending caused the deficit to widen, then-Gov. David Paterson called for another new tax on downloaded music, movies and books.

In blue states across the country facing similar circumstances, New York had planted a seed. The Internet, tech and telecom sectors were booming, and states buckling under the unsustainable weight of bloated budgets wanted a piece of the pie.

This wasn't the first time the tech and telecom sectors were the target of money-hungry politicians. It took 108 years to end the "temporary" Spanish-American War excise tax on phone calls, and even that tax as only partially rolled back.

In its place today is a cobweb of federal, state and local taxes. According to economist Scott Mackey, since 2007 the combined taxes on mobile phones hae grown to an average of 16. 26 percent. ....

Read more of Kelly William Cobb's report in the November issue of Townhall Magazine, including:

  • -- the Solyndra-like sanda going on in broadband
  • -- the government's attempts to put Internet business at a disadvantage
  • -- free-market solutions to the problem

Order Townhall Magazine today to get the full report in the November issue.