The Washington Times - June 11, 2010, 04:33PM

Our recent editorial on the idea of a Drudge tax is not sitting well with a number of websites and a member of congress. Included in this post are a few reactions and related pieces.

Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack, California Republican, made the following response:

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Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (CA-45) today condemned the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) proposal to put government in the center of a media overhaul and implement a variety of taxes, such as on cell phones and consumer electronics, to pay for it. In her letter to the FTC, Bono Mack called on the FTC to relinquish its plan to put government in charge of “reinventing” journalism and emphasized the importance of free market solutions that will move our country forward. 

“Taxing devices like iPads and cell phones in an effort to ‘reinvent’ journalism is a broad overstep of the federal government,” said Bono Mack. “We don’t need a big government overhaul of journalism; we need free market solutions that will drive America into the future. I urge the FTC to abandon this reckless and dangerous proposal that puts the government in the driver’s seat of the journalism industry.

Freedom’s Light House:

“It appears the Federal Trade Commission is looking for ways to cripple web sites like the Drudge Report – sites that post links to various news articles. I wonder why they would want to do that?

Campaign for Liberty:

“The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is seeking ways to “reinvent” journalism, and that’s a cause for concern. According to a May 24 draft proposal, the agency thinks government should be at the center of a media overhaul. The bureaucracy sees it as a problem that the Internet has introduced a wealth of information options to consumers, forcing media companies to adapt and experiment to meet changing market needs. FTC’s policy staff fears this new reality.”

 

Lew Rockwell:

“The gangland agency, according to the Washington Times, wants “a tax on websites like the Drudge Report, a must-read source for the news links of the day, so that the agency can redistribute the funds collected to various newspapers” and a “5 percent tax on consumer electronic devices such as iPads, Kindles and laptops that let consumers read the news could be used to encourage people to keep reading the dead-tree version of the news.”

Rasmussen:

“A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 84% oppose a three percent (3%) tax on monthly cell phone bills to help newspapers and traditional journalism.

Similarly, 76% oppose a proposed five percent tax on the purchase of consumer electronic items such as computers, iPads and Kindles to help support newspapers and traditional journalism. Seventy-four percent (74%) oppose the proposal to tax web sites like the Drudge Report to help the newspapers they draw their headlines from.”