Should text messages be taxed to help the poor?

#1
This would be the straw that broke the Californian’s back. They need to start naming names. Who comes up with these outrages schemes?

Quote:Cell phone owners in California could soon pay extra for the privilege of sending text messages, thanks to landline-era legislation and changing usage patterns. According to recent public law filings, the state's Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is considering a plan that would bill users a monthly fee for any text message services they use, and phone service carriers aren't happy about it.

https://www.engadget.com/2018/12/13/cali...xting-tax/
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#2
How would that help the poor?

That sounds much more like the spin they're trying to put on their scheme to make up for socialist budget shortfalls. Most of the articles I'm finding that talk about the poor, only do so in their headline.
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#3
Not sure how that would work for pre-paid services like Tracfone. Jack up the price of or extra-tax a refill card, even if a particular buyer/user never sends a single text message during its service period? Maybe they could squirm in with the exempt services mediated by apps (below). But that seems doubtful since they actually borrow/use the conventional phone networks (AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon) rather than having their own.

Quote:The commission will also need to consider how other messaging services factor into its decision. Apps such as WhatsApp and iMessage, which already account for the lion's share of messaging traffic, would be exempt from the charge.


PPP was already in effect and bound to gradually creep into information services someday. So that along with the long existing and incrementally accelerating para-socialist orientation of some coastal and blue states makes it kind of moot as to whether it is proper to be robbing "Plenty" to pay "Poverty".

But given that "fly-over country" will opportunistically pick-up the same practice over time (just like opportunistically jumping on the bandwagon of sales-taxing internet / mail-order purchases), it might become an issue of potentially conflicting with the self-proclaimed socio-political attitudes of those states.

~
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#4
(Dec 13, 2018 08:10 PM)Syne Wrote: How would that help the poor?

That sounds much more like the spin they're trying to put on their scheme to make up for socialist budget shortfalls. Most of the articles I'm finding that talk about the poor, only do so in their headline.

They want to use it to sustain these public purpose programs. What are these public purpose programs? I don’t know. Looks like a GoFundMe scam, doesn’t it?

Quote:PG&E’s website states that these are programs considered by law to benefit society, such as low-income ratepayer assistance and energy efficiency. It says that the gas PPP surcharge is used to fund “state-mandated gas assistance programs for low income customers, energy efficiency programs, and public-interest research and development.”

http://www.ebenergy.org/thank-california-thank-cpuc/

http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Ef...227359.PDF

(Dec 13, 2018 08:30 PM)C C Wrote: PPP was already in effect and bound to gradually creep into information services someday. So that along with the long existing and incrementally accelerating para-socialist orientation of some coastal and blue states makes it kind of moot as to whether it is proper to be robbing "Plenty" to pay "Poverty".

There's a dysfunctional relationship between the makers and the takers, that's for damn sure. A lot of people are leaving.
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#5
Yeah, the major source of their budget shortfalls are welfare programs, so it's the common mantra of others needing to "pay their fair share", even though it only exists because poor people don't.
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#6
Yay! It's not happening.

Quote:The California Public Utilities Commission has withdrawn from its January meeting agenda a scheduled vote on imposing a tax on text messaging.

The move came after the Federal Communications Commission in Washington declared text messaging to be an “information service,” not a telecommunications service, and thus not subject to a surcharge under California law.

“Prior to this FCC ruling,” the CPUC wrote in a statement posted on Twitter, “text messaging was not a classified service under federal law.

Jim Patterson, a Republican former mayor of Fresno who now represents the state’s 23rd District as a state assemblyman, was among those hailing the CPUC’s decision to cancel the vote.

“You can bet I’ll keep a watchful eye on them for future shenanigans,” Patterson wrote on Twitter. “For now…consider the Text Tax cancelled.”

Previously, Patterson had characterized the text tax plan as “an outrageous attempt at a money grab from California families.” [Source]
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#7
Trump's FCC to the rescue. Just like the apocalyptic and apoplectic end of Net Neutrality...which no one has noticed any bad repercussions from for an entire year.
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#8
(Dec 13, 2018 07:33 PM)Secular Sanity Wrote: This would be the straw that broke the Californian’s back. They need to start naming names. Who comes up with these outrages schemes?

Quote:Cell phone owners in California could soon pay extra for the privilege of sending text messages, thanks to landline-era legislation and changing usage patterns. According to recent public law filings, the state's Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is considering a plan that would bill users a monthly fee for any text message services they use, and phone service carriers aren't happy about it.

https://www.engadget.com/2018/12/13/cali...xting-tax/
click bait
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#9
There's a charge for data usage, and there are already taxes imposed. This would be an additional tax? Sounds kind of excessive. I've never really liked the phrase ''the poor,'' as if there are poor people who will always remain that way, and there's nothing they can do about it. As if there is this great divide ''the haves and have nots,'' and there's nothing anyone can do to change it. That's just not true. It's cruel to label people as labels create self-fulfilling prophecies, and stigmas.

There exist people who are incapable of working, but many people are capable, but perhaps they've had obstacles in their lives that keep them down. Investing in education and trade skills for people who haven't gone to college or don't wish to, so they can support themselves and a possibly a family, is a better use of money than to keep tossing crumbs at ''the poor,'' and pretending like this is actually doing something worthwhile.
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#10
(Dec 19, 2018 04:51 AM)Leigha Wrote: There's a charge for data usage, and there are already taxes imposed. This would be an additional tax? Sounds kind of excessive. I've never really liked the phrase ''the poor,'' as if there are poor people who will always remain that way, and there's nothing they can do about it. As if there is this great divide ''the haves and have nots,'' and there's nothing anyone can do to change it. That's just not true. It's cruel to label people as labels create self-fulfilling prophecies, and stigmas.

There exist people who are incapable of working, but many people are capable, but perhaps they've had obstacles in their lives that keep them down. Investing in education and trade skills for people who haven't gone to college or don't wish to, so they can support themselves and a possibly a family, is a better use of money than to keep tossing crumbs at ''the poor,'' and pretending like this is actually doing something worthwhile.

Great post, Leigha. I agree. "The poor" does seem to evoke a monolithic group that belies class/income mobility and personal choices. The crumbs of welfare largely work to keep poorer people poor and dependent, and the rhetoric politicians use to pander to that constituency just tends to enshrine generational poverty with a victim mindset. Disability exists to cover those incapable of working, and there is work to be had at just about every skill and fitness level...if people are only willing to do those jobs.

Mike Rowe seems to do a good job promoting trades, which is often a better option than going into debt for overpriced college only to find no work in your field or being set up to fail due to a lowered entry standard. Poverty in the US use to be improving at a stead rate, until we started the "war on poverty", and it's been flat for decades.
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