The Potential Conundrum of Regulating Pay-TVWritten by Terry Mitchell
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Perhaps presence or absence of commercials could be used to separate basics from premiums. Under that system, all channels that are advertiser-supported would be considered basics and those that are not would be considered premiums. However, there are potential problems with this methodology as well. Congress would have to come up with a definition for advertiser-supported. Would it be based on amount of advertising a channel carries? If so, how much advertising would it have to carry to be legally considered advertiser-supported? Or perhaps it would be based on amount of revenue a channel derives from advertising. If so, what would that threshold be? Even term, "advertising", would have to be legally defined. Would product placement found in movies and TV shows be included in advertising equation? What about promos run for shows on related channels? Would those count as ads? Even when all of that is sorted out, this methodology still leaves us with problem presented by channels like Turner Classic Movies, Fox Movie Channel, and Independent Film Channel, which don't carry commercials but are included in many basic packages. Now, assuming that all of issues surrounding scope of new regulations could be worked out, penalty issues would then have to be resolved. Who would pay fines? Channel owners? Cable and satellite operators? Performers? All of them? If internet audio and video are included in scope of regulations, would internet service providers and/or IPTV operators also have to pay? If cable and satellite operators have to pay, couldn't large fines potentially limit some smaller cable companies' ability to expand and implement new technology like high-definition channels? Then there's issue of license revocation. Cable and satellite channels don't have licenses like broadcast channels. How could a habitual offender's license be revoked if it doesn't have license to begin with? Or would it just be put out of business? But wouldn't that limit channel choices available to cable and satellite customers? Could cable and satellite operators be put out of business? Wouldn't that leave people in some areas with no cable franchise? Wouldn't it squash competition for cable service in areas that currently have it? Would FCC actually shut down Directv and/or Dish Network and render thousands of backyard dishes worthless? As you can see, there is a mountain of complicated questions that would have to be answered before decency regulation of pay-TV could become a reality. Obviously, there would be lots of i's to dot and t's to cross. As this legislation is being considered, lawyers throughout Capital area are already licking their chops!
Terry Mitchell is a software engineer, freelance writer, and trivia buff from Hopewell, VA. He also serves as a political columnist for American Daily and operates his own website - http://www.commenterry.com - on which he posts commentaries on various subjects such as politics, technology, religion, health and well-being, personal finance, and sports. His commentaries offer a unique point of view that is not often found in mainstream media.
A National Sales Tax: The Time is NowWritten by Nader Ghali
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Our politicians and leaders should not underestimate great groundswell of support that exists for eliminating current income tax and replacing it with a National Sales Tax. Nothing taps this nation's populist impulses like opposition to tyranny of taxation. Whether it's Boston Tea Party, or grassroots organizations like National Retail Sales Tax Alliance, Americans have always rallied against an unjustly oppressive tax burden. The idea of streamlining current tax system, of course, has always been popular with many citizens. Americans should continue to vote and voice their opinions on matter. It seems that all of our leaders are finally getting message: President, Federal Reserve Chairman and elected officials. In political thriller, "Hulagu's Web: The Presidential Pursuit of Senator Katherine Laforge" (http://www.hulagusweb.com), charismatic Senator Laforge openly embraces a National Sales Tax as part of her political platform. One of her supporters asks her an important question. "How much will that add to everything we buy?" "It probably will be around 14 to 17 percent," replies Senator Laforge. "At first glance that might sound high to you but remember, no federal tax will be taken out of your pay, so your check will be much higher." "Well, if you win, it will be like a revolution here in America," she is later told. Indeed, it would be like a revolution. Critics point out that eliminating current income tax system would require repealing 16th Amendment. That is an obstacle but its repeal should not be that difficult. Amendments have been repealed before. For example, 18th amendment was repealed by 21st Amendment. The infamous 16th Amendment reads: "The congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration." Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, had already proposed such a repeal a few years ago. In short, if utilitarian taxpayers for elite would just stand up and make their plight known to their representatives, politicians would take note and likely accept will of people. Clearly, only a popular ground swell of voting public can change this broken tax system. By putting government representatives on notice that their honeymoon with a National Income Tax is no longer acceptable, we can hopefully unburden ourselves with intrusive, regressive and oppressive Income Tax system of today. "If elite and publicity seeking celebrities can muster thousands in favor of Income Tax, then you, hard working unrepresented taxpayers must come out in droves to create million man march for repeal of 16th amendment and freedom from yoke of taxation slavery." "Hulagu's Web Chapter 10" Let these words from Senator LaForge be marching orders for every American committed to a fair system of taxation under a National Sales Tax. Frank Chodorov's book, "The Income Tax: Root of All Evil," can be downloaded for free off Internet and should be required reading for all of us.
Bio for Nader Ghali A computer programmer working in the telecommunications industry for the past six years, Nader Ghali lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma and spends his free time writing on subjects ranging from computer security to economic and political issues.