Will Obama Tax the Internet?
All of this added up to a fairly terrible economy - and somehow a squeaker election win. Can President Obama now take this terrible-ness - and make it worse? Yes, He Can.
The Tech sector is now 1/6th of the economy - and a serious victim of President Obama first term. He illegally imposed price controls on the wireless Internet. Before that, he illegally imposed Network Neutrality. The result?
Tech (sector) layoffs hit 3-year high in first half of 2012; 260% more than first half 2011.
The Net Neutrality power grab will most likely be thrown out early next year by the DC Circuit Court. Will this chasten President Obama? No - there’s an even worse way for him to skin the Internet cat.
The President’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has zero authority to regulate the Internet - because the Internet exists in law at the FCC under Title I. Meaning the Commission can’t touch it.
So what does President Obama have waiting in the wings for when his Net Neutrality power grab is thrown out?
FCC Boss...May Push for Title II ISP Reclassification if Rules Overturned
Meaning - again, without any legal authority whatsoever - President Obama will move the Internet from Title I to Title II. Title II is how the FCC over-regulates landline telephone lines - you know, that bastion of innovation lo these last seventy-plus years. Title II opens up the Pandora’s Box of uber-regulation of the Internet. But wait - there’s more.
Under Title II, President Obama can also begin to tax the Internet - just as the Feds tax landlines, just as they already tax the living daylights out of your wireless Internet - checked your cell phone bill lately? It's 17.4% - and climbing, an $8 billion total take in 2010 - and hurtling ever upward.
And President Obama is looking to open yet another vein. Is all of this even worse for the Web and the Tech sector than was President Obama’s first term? Yes, it is.