Obama’s $5-a-year cell phone tax to fund high-speed internet in schools

Obama’s $5-a-year cell phone tax to fund high-speed internet in schools

Obamaphone lady
What is it about Obama and cell phones?

Hey, buddy, can you spare a fin? You can? Great — how about a sawbuck?

That’s no bum (or at least no ordinary one); that’s my president. And realizing that the Republican-led House will never agree to pass a tax that will add an estimated $5 a year to the bills of cellphone owners, Obama is promising to do it on his own through executive action.

The funds derived from the tax would be used to “invest” in a new program, called ConnectED, that would make high-speed internet access available to schools throughout the country.

According to the New York Post, the amusingly named White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Martha’s Vineyard yesterday:

Unfortunately, we haven’t seen a lot of action in Congress, so the president has advocated an administrative, unilateral action to get this done.

“You would think that connecting schools to the information superhighway would be a pretty noncontroversial topic,” Earnest added. You would also think that a president who, by his own lights, inherited the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression would have spent more time in the past four-plus years easing regulations and lowering taxes to stimulate hiring and less “investing” in liberal initiatives.

The program needs the blessing of the Federal Communications Commission but since two of three current members were appointed by Democrats, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Neither, the Obama White House tells us, should Americans already in financial distress coming up with mere pennies a day to finance such a worthwhile endeavor. Says Earnest:

This is a program that’s already in place. They just need to make a decision about whether or not they want to update this program so they can wire schools to the Internet. The president thinks that’s a no-brainer.

The president is something of an expert on “no-brainers.”

The problem with the tax, which is supposed to sunset after three years, is that the population of school-age children, like the rest of the population, is constantly expanding. There will always be a need for more money to pay for new high-speed hookups. And if five bucks a year is too little to cover the increase, there is no reason why taxpayers can’t dig deeper and come up with an extra ten (or twenty, or …).

Not only that, but the proposal comes at a time when more Americans are feeling pain in the pocketbook than ever. A study released last September by Sentier Research Household income revealed that that since median household income had declined 8.2% since Obama took office. But in spite of this, the president continuously comes up with new ways to squander those same families’ hard-earned income. He has been systematically inflicting pain in a part of the anatomy close to the wallet.

The Post quotes Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) as lamenting the “endless expansion of the [ConnectED] program at the expense of rate payers.” He and all other Americans should probably get used to it since Obama has another three-plus years to serve out. They should learn the mantra Obama recites daily:

Give a man a fish and you can feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you can feed him for a lifetime. But give a man an inexhaustible supply of fish and you can accomplish the same end without the man having to lift a finger. Gotta hit the links. Amen.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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