Let the Good Times Roll: 7 More Years of No Internet Tax
October 26, 2007 1:59 PM
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Congress and the House decided once more to not tax the Internet!
The U.S. Congress and Senate once again agreed to a bipartisan resolution that extends the Internet tax moratorium.
The highly debated issue saw strong support for keeping the Internet tax free from both those in the industry and from grass roots movements. ISPs strongly opposed any sort of taxation as it would hurt their revenues by driving away customers. Users, who joined movements such as the "Don't Tax Our Web Coalition," did not want to be taxed either, as taxation would likely mean higher service charges.
A tax moratorium was originally instituted in 1998 Internet Tax Freedom Act. It was extended twice already, in 2001 and 2004, but has not been permanently passed into law.
The house and senate disagreed on the exact length to ban taxation. The House passed a resolution calling for a four year ban. The Senate wanted a seven year ban. Both legislative bodies saw strong bipartisan support for some kind of ban, though.
Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) was enthusiastic about the tax moratorium. He elaborated:
"The Internet has provided a powerful economic boost to our nation,and has become an important everyday tool for millions of Americans. By keeping Internet access tax-free and affordable,Congress can encourage Internet use for distance learning,telemedicine, commerce and other important services."
Sadly, the internet is not entirely tax free. The IRS is
pushing a proposal
as part of this year's budget proposal to track user income made on sites such as eBay. They plan to use this information to adjust people's income accordingly.
The proposal for extension of the 1998 Internet Tax Freedom Act will now go to a panel composed of House and Senate members which will iron out the differences between the House and Senate's passed proposals and submit a single proposal to the President.
Should the Internet be tax free? The answer according to the public seems to be overwhelming yes. However, your income from private Internet sales soon will be taxable.
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10/29/2007 11:36:59 AM
I wouldn't go that far to say "the worst", I can't count the number of times I had something useful to add but didn't feel like going out of my way to register, wait for email confirmation, click link, etc, just to add content that was useful to THEM, not me. For example in a technical forum I knew what the problem was, knew the solution and was willing to take the time necessary to type that, but when they're choosing to make contributing netizens jump through a hoop just to make a post I say screw 'em, because they could have just provided a "report this post" link to moderate out anything bad enough to need it.
The reputation system does make people think a bit more I suspect, but it also has potential for abuse when net-buddies gang up on someone, when people misuse the system to register multiple accounts, and when people carry grudges against others so they're prone to downrate a post or contextually read something into a post that wouldn't have been assumed otherwise. There is one other important aspect to non-anon posting, in that it allows continuity in a conversation, but I mean non-anon in the sense that a posters isn't called "anonymous", that they are at least allowed to enter a handle-name to allow for conversational continuity.
Ultimately the rating system is all about ego. The younger you are, the more important it will seem to you that your supposed-peers think highly of you. Once you become a cranky old fart and/or gain some confidence in you views, you start caring less about what others think.
I say, take the bad with the good. A combination of words won't burn your eyes out, a troll/etc can be ignored but the main point of having the most convenient posting system for 'net wanderers is that you get the most people who chose to contribute with helpfulness in mind. If a conversation is limited to only those registered at a forum it tends to close that system, it is seldom someone will feel strongly enough about something to register just to post. Instead they tend to gravitate around their favorite forums. Given the number of forums on the net and how many people have hundreds to thousands of posts in only a few handfulls of forums, the situation is better reflected upon. Registration does discourage contribution from a wider audience, creates a more closed community.
Trolls are easy enough to take care of, don't let them get a rise out of you, ignore them and they'll get bored because they're usually just looking for attention.
"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton
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