By Douglas Holtz-Eakin
The young drop coverage to avoid higher premiums
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Nobody likes overly loud television commercials. Dramatic tension goes out the window when a scene fades to black only to be replaced by the unrestrained blare of a loudmouth hawking used cars or the latest cleaning product.
Congressional Republicans want the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to silence the Fairness Doctrine once and for all. Although the policy that gave government the power to regulate political speech in radio and TV broadcasts was dropped by President Reagan's FCC, nostalgic leftists periodically seek to revive the measure as a means of muzzling conservative talk radio.
Those of you fortunate enough to get a new computer (or netbook or tablet) for Christmas will, no doubt, be very excited about your new purchase. But before diving in, may I suggest a few steps?
With the Obama administration on the verge of embracing new "network neutrality" rules increasing government oversight of the Internet, it's difficult to tell who objects more: Republicans who denounce the move as a federal power grab or Democrats who dismiss the reforms as too weak to do the job.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) apparently is headed for a 3-2 party-line vote to regulate the Internet on Dec. 21, which Commissioner Robert M. McDowell (a stalwart free-market champion who opposes the regulations) points out is the darkest day of the year. In doing so, the FCC is putting the new Congress to a key first test of whether it can muster the will to overturn the Obama administration's backdoor efforts to push a far-left agenda through regulation.
The Federal Communications Commission yesterday voted to impose a 30 percent limit on the market share of subscribers served by video providers, in what Chairman Kevin J. Martin called an effort to "promote competition and the diversity of voices."
As Commissioner Robert M. McDowell, a Republican, warned when the rules were adopted, cable and satellite services are more in the business of distributing material than creating it.
The net-neutrality rules will "disproportionately affect smaller companies who will have to bear the adjudication costs," he said. "Nothing is broken that needs fixing."