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E-Rate: Prepared Statement of Kent Lassman before the Commerce Committtee's Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Trade, and Consu
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Press Release

E-Rate: Prepared Statement of Kent Lassman before the Commerce Committtee's Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Trade, and Consu

Introduction "For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers." So said President Dwight Eisenhower in his televised farewell address on January 17th, 1961. Of course, this speech is more famous for Eisenhower’s warning to "guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex."

09/30/1999
Tech Fact #3 - Consumers to Politicians: No Internet Tax
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Capitol Comment

Tech Fact #3 - Consumers to Politicians: No Internet Tax

As President Clinton vetoes Congress’s tax cut – thereby rejecting American values of hard work, thrift and marriage – other politicians in Congress and the state houses would increase taxes, despite record budget surpluses at the federal and state levels. Why tax the Internet? Well, that’s where the money is these days, right? Politicians see the large numbers associated with E-commerce and get greedy. They claim they are "losing" tremendous amounts of money because sales taxes do not apply to most Internet transactions. However, this claim is based on rhetoric, not facts.1

09/23/1999
Capitol Comment 252 - No Internet Tax: Why Internet Sales Taxes Aren’t Necessary
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 252 - No Internet Tax: Why Internet Sales Taxes Aren’t Necessary

Ten years ago, discount retailers like Wal-Mart were redefining the face of the American retail industry. Today, online retailers like Amazon.com are again redefining not only the ways that businesses interact with their customers, but also how they interact with each other. Two years ago, Congress passed a three-year moratorium on new Internet taxes to help the fledgling market grow. In the interim, the battle to create an Internet tax plan has begun.

09/16/1999
Tech Fact #2 - The Sky is NOT Falling, The Sky is NOT Falling - “Lost” Sales Taxes and the Internet
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Press Release

Tech Fact #2 - The Sky is NOT Falling, The Sky is NOT Falling - “Lost” Sales Taxes and the Internet

Many state and local officials believe the sky is about to start falling because retail sales taxes are routinely disregarded in online (Internet) transactions. The National Association of Counties and U.S. Conference of Mayors have even filed a lawsuit to prevent meetings of the Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce, which was created by Congress to recommend future Internet tax policies. The National Governors’ Association recently stated that by 2002, states will lose $20 billion in revenue from online transactions.

08/03/1999
Tech Fact #1 - From 'Remember the Maine' to 'No New Taxes': A History of the Telecommunications Excise Tax
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Press Release

Tech Fact #1 - From 'Remember the Maine' to 'No New Taxes': A History of the Telecommunications Excise Tax

The federal excise tax on telecommunications is an outdated and ineffective levy that harms consumers. First taken off the books in 1902, the telecommunications excise tax continues to resurface. Time and again public officials promise to end the tax on talking. For more than a century, these promises have been broken, forgotten or ignored.

07/29/1999
Corporation for Public Broadcasting: Prepared Statement of Kent Lassman before the Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Trade, an
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Press Release

Corporation for Public Broadcasting: Prepared Statement of Kent Lassman before the Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Trade, an

In 1899, Lee de Forest completed doctoral work at Yale studying the length and velocity of electromagnetic waves. In the introduction to his autobiography, Father of Radio, de Forest wrote, "I discovered an Invisible Empire of the Air, intangible, yet solid as granite."1 A century after de Forest’s experiments, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) is an empire of the airwaves; its form is difficult to grasp and it is solidly entrenched in the federal budget. Like de Forest, I believe in progress and progress requires alternatives to increased federal funding for the CPB.

07/20/1999
Capitol Comment 240 - Taxpayer Double Whammy:
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 240 - Taxpayer Double Whammy:

Consumers of telecommunications services, advocates of smaller government, and ultimately, the U.S. Constitution are under attack by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Recently, the FCC not only unilaterally raised the federal telephone E-Rate tax (also known as the "Gore-tax" after its chief promoter Vice President Al Gore) by 73 percent, but it also took deliberate steps to block phone companies from identifying the tax on their customers’ phone bills.

06/15/1999
Capitol Comment 197 - Al Gore’s Hidden Phone Tax: Bad Economics, Bad Politics
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 197 - Al Gore’s Hidden Phone Tax: Bad Economics, Bad Politics

If you haven’t heard of the "Gore tax," you’re probably missing an important battle over the nature of American democracy and the American economy. The battle has two fronts and the public is losing on both. On one front, the methodical centralization of power in the hands of unelected bureaucrats moves forward. On the other, the burdening of our economy continues. Here are the details of the current skirmish:

07/24/1998
Capitol Comment 198 - Would We Tax Freedom?
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 198 - Would We Tax Freedom?

Last month, Lady Margaret spoke and the House moved. The remarks of Great Britain’s former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to the World Congress on Information Technology reinforced the idea that information is an essential component of freedom. As such, it should not be heavily taxed.

07/24/1998
Capitol Comment 185 - A Policy Two-Step that is a Political Winner
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Capitol Comment

Capitol Comment 185 - A Policy Two-Step that is a Political Winner

"Life is better here," claims a new advertisement for a telecommunications company. The slogan conjures images of individuals free of hassles and ready to tackle the challenges of the 21st century with technology as an ally. Unfortunately, today’s laws and regulations stand in the way. Life certainly would be better if American consumers could save more than $85.1 billion over the course of the next five years. Sound farfetched? Sadly, it would only require the introduction of a dose of common sense to federal telecommunications policy.

05/13/1998

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