Taxes and Media Bailouts

In 2010, the Federal Trade Commission released a draft report calling for a $35 billion tax hike to establish government funded journalism.  Earlier in the year, the FCC launched its Future of Mediaproject to review whether the private sector is adequately supplying news to Americans and to propose policy options.  While the FTC’s report was quickly panned and the FCC’s has yet to be released, media reform groups continue to call for an increase in publicly funded journalism and for regulations on the media industry.  Below are some resources to help dismiss calls for higher taxes to bailout the media.

Americans Overwhelmingly Oppose a Media Bailout
post from Americans for Tax Reform highlights why over 70 percent of Americans oppose a media bailout funded by higher taxes, and why the public thinks the private sector can provide adequate news without government assistance.

In another post on Tech Liberation Front, Adam Thierer further notes that not only do Americans oppose publicly funded journalism, but a vast majority of media executives who would be propped up by government have serious concerns with the policy themselves.

Tax Bites
The Center for Fiscal Accountability’s “Tax Bites” publication calculates the total tax burden for phones and cable TV. It doesn’t just include taxes targeted at various goods and services, but also sales, business, payroll, and other state and federal taxes – all of which are ultimately passed onto the consumer in a higher price.  The result: 51.8% of landline phone bills, 46.4% of wireless bills, and 46.3% of cable bills go directly to the government.

The Wrong Way to Reinvent Media
In a five-part series, Adam Thierer and Berin Szoka, while at the Progress and Freedom Foundation, argue against the many proposals of media reform advocates: