Berkley, CA Councilman Wants Billions in Email Taxes – to Fund Post Office

Berkley, CA Councilman Wants Billions in Email Taxes – to Fund Post Office
March 18, 2013

Seton Motley

Seton Motley is the president of Less Government, a DC-based non-profit organization dedicated to... (read full bio)

Yes, Leftists are talking about taxing emails.  Again.

Ponder for but a moment the monumental government overreach necessary to monitor and count every email every American sends.  Network Neutrality and President Barack Obama’s Cyber Security Executive Order are hay-yuge government Web data grabs.  They pale in comparison to this.

And – shocker – this latest tax-your-every-email notion emanates from Berkley, California.

(City Councilman) Gordon Wozniack suggested that (taxing) email, which is partially responsible for killing off demand for letter-carrying services, could save “vital functions” of the post office….

Which would be not unlike taxing the Henry Ford Motor Company to prop up the horse-buggy industry.

“There should be … a very tiny tax on email,” (Wozniack) told the City Council.

Because when government makes very tiny taxes, it always keeps them tiny – right?

Top 2013 income tax rate ($450,000/year+): 39.6%.

Inflation Note: $450,000 in 2012 = $19,668 in 1913 (the first year of the federal income tax).

1913 income tax rate on $19,668/year: 1%.

Into mighty thefts do tiny little taxes grow.  But Wozniak is already thinking big.

“There should be something like a bit tax. I mean, a bit tax could be a cent per gigabit and they would still make, probably, billions of dollars a year.”

Oh, is that all?  One tiny problem (of many) facing Grand Theft Wozniack:

(S)uch a levy wouldn’t be legal unless the Internet Tax Freedom Act is allowed to expire in 2014.

He’s just priming the tax increase pump.  After all, we just let some income tax rates lapse into hikes.

This trumps the selling of clothes as the dumbest “Save the Post Office” idea yet.

Of course, Councilman Wozniack is but the latest of many Leftists to posit taxing emails.

The Case for Taxing E-Mail” (New York Times staff editorial – 2009)

United Nations Proposes Global Email Tax (1999)

And in their zeal to tax, Leftists also parochially ignore the “World Wide” in “World Wide Web”:

Philadelphia – arguably the birthplace of American freedom – is looking to charge (in-city) blogs a $300 “business tax.”

The last time Congress addressed communications policy was 1996.  They then rightly decided that the Internet was so nascent and new – they wouldn’t regulate it.

As always happens when the government leaves something alone, the Net exploded into the free speech-free market Xanadu we today enjoy.

Ever since, Leftists have been looking for any way possible to get their tax and regulatory hooks into it – so that they can then start reeling it in.

Wozniack’s email-tax-to-prop-up-the-Post-Office folly is just the latest line cast.

[First published at RedState.]

Seton Motley

Seton Motley is the president of Less Government, a DC-based non-profit organization dedicated to... (read full bio)