From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?
Business models change, and those in the business either adapt or go out of business. We don't offer subsidies for horse & buggy makers because they either joined the car age or went away. There are ways to make money from information in this new age, but they are not the old ways. A tax to support a failing business model is not supported by the Constitution, and should not be considered. Businesses come and go - that is the nature of business. If there are poeple who value the failing businesses, they should seek to support them with their own funds, not by forcing others through taxation. Taxation is the taking of my income by force, which is a variation of forced labor/slavery. There are legitimate purposes that the government must fund through taxation, and the rest it should stay out of. This is clearly an area where the government should stay out. The government should not be in the business of picking winners and loosers in business. First, we don't have the money (our deficits are crushing the economy, and more taxes will only make things worse). Second, it is not the proper function of government. Yes, the nature of journalism is changing. Yes, many of the ways that have been used for a long time are going away. Do we really need a printed page of used cars for sale? Do we really need paper classified ads? My local newspaper sells 2 Sunday papers in a bundle, trying to get folks to pay for them to get the discount coupons - is this really the "news" business model that someone is trying to save? This business model has been failed for years. If we attempt to support it with taxes, they will lose any incentive htey have to try to adapt, and we will add yet another burden to our federal funds. Please reconsider this plan. In the long run, print media is dead. Yes, some people will print their own copies of things. But the business models are all going to move online, and that will be much better for the environment as well (all that paper not created/printed). If this tax is implemented, it may delay the inevitable, but it will not stop it. The other area of concern is that this could be taken as a way for the government to choose who to subsidize and who to allow to fail, encouraging the media to be subservient to the government hand that feeds it. That is a very dangerous road to go down.