Obama’s plan to raise taxes for Internet in schools: A “no-brainer”?

posted at 1:21 pm on August 15, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

One idea that we’re sure to hear about when President Obama once again goes bus-touring next week, this time on behalf of education, is “ConnectEd” — the White House’s new initiative to expand high-speed Internet access in schools across the country and paying for it by directing the Federal Communications Commission to raise ‘fees’ (ahem, taxes) on cell-phone users. Republicans have criticized the idea as an imposition on consumers and another of Obama’s attempts to skirt Congress, while Democrats are hailing the proposal as a potentially major second-term achievement. Via WaPo:

The White House on Wednesday called a $4-6 billion proposal to expand high-speed Internet access to 99 percent of schools a “no-brainer,” but said the idea ultimately requires approval by the independent Federal Communications Commission.

…White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the program is part of the agenda of expanding economic opportunity that has been the focus of presidential trips and speeches this summer.

“A quality education is a key component of that,” he said. “So with a relatively modest investment, we could connect 99 percent of schools all across the country to the Internet, and that would expand educational opportunities for students in a really important way.” …

“We have seen a little dysfunction in Congress. You would think that connecting schools to the information superhighway would be a pretty non-controversial topic,” Earnest said. “Unfortunately, we haven’t seen a lot of action in Congress, so the president has advocated an administrative, unilateral action to get this done.”

So, President Obama simply wants to charge cell-phone users an extra $5 or so a year to provide Internet access for public school children. Hey, we can totally afford that, for the children — sounds pretty innocuous, right? Hmmmm.


It’s all too easy to commandeer what looks like the moral high ground with claims of, “it’s just a few dollars, and it’s for a good cause!” — but where does that mightily convenient but intellectually bankrupt reasoning end? Republicans too often allow themselves to be branded as the party of “no,” because Democrats do a pretty good job of making it sound like Republicans just must not care about the children when they oppose this sort of thing, or the hungry when they propose cuts to the food stamp program, or the poor when they oppose tax hikes on the wealthy, blah blah blah.

The problem, however, is not only that those ‘mere’ $5 or so have real opportunity costs out in the real world and real consequences for families, but that these type of initiatives on such a massive scale have too huge a potential for waste, fraud, abuse, and general mega-inefficiency and convolution. This is a perfect example of something that could and should be happening on a much smaller scale: Why not allow the states, even local governments, to determine whether they want to raise taxes to set up high-speed Internet access in their school districts, and spur competition and innovation with more focused programs instead of imposing a top-down bureaucratic nightmare that reliably comes with heavy unintended consequences and is slow to readjust in the event or error?

What’s more, there’s yet another example here of Democrats trying to fix symptoms instead of curing the disease: Enhanced Internet access is going to mean little in districts that cannot even afford computers and the relevant technology, not to mention the utility bills. As nice as it might sound on the surface, the root problems there concerning the economy, government budgets, and education policy are not something that more Internet access is going to fix.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

obama is a foolisy tyrant scumbag.

YOU already pay in 1001 way for ‘the children’.

Schadenfreude on August 15, 2013 at 1:29 PM

foolish, alas

Schadenfreude on August 15, 2013 at 1:29 PM

I can confirm this.

The president has no brain.

PetecminMd on August 15, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Will those that have an ObamaPhone get to pay $5?

bbordwell on August 15, 2013 at 1:32 PM

Instead of imposing a new tax, via executive order (and hey, isn’t imposing taxes supposed to be Congress’ job under our constitution?), why don’t we just take the billions we’re presently blowing on Head Start, which multiple government studies have shown is wasted money, and use that instead? No brainer.

AZCoyote on August 15, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Couldn’t it just be paid for with Obamabucks?

Bmore on August 15, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Will those that have an ObamaPhone get to pay $5?

bbordwell on August 15, 2013 at 1:32 PM

Bbbbbwwwwhhhhhhaaaaaaaa!!!!!!

D-fusit on August 15, 2013 at 1:38 PM

So, President Obama simply wants to charge cell-phone users an extra $5 or so a year to provide Internet access for public school children.

The millions (tens of millions?) of those on welfare with “Obamaphones”, THEY’RE not paying the extra $5 a year. More and more with this admin, the question has to be, “who pays?”.

What kind of jobs and work incentives will there be when working amounts to the government telling you how much you get to keep? Like they used to say in the old USSR, “we pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us”. What will happen to productivity?

I doubt the internet as it is now (or perhaps ever will be) helps kids learn how to learn. Often the internet isn’t much more than a big video game. Making kids dumber is more like it. A better test of intelligence is how kids can do WITHOUT the internet, WITHOUT calculators, WITHOUT google.

Paul-Cincy on August 15, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Where would the internet come from? This is just Obama paying off a big donor. Again.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/08/comcast-employees-top-donors-to-obama-campaign-accounts/

Moesart on August 15, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Ha! Love the picture. This girls got some healthy instincts right there.

Valkyriepundit on August 15, 2013 at 1:40 PM

I pay sky high school property taxes as it is and our school ditrict gives all the kids their own computers to take home with them (which then get stolen and replaced often). I’m not much interested in paying even more tax for someone else’s school district’s interenet.

Why doesn’t the president just ask his wealthy Silicon Valley friends to donate the internet to the few districts left that do not have access?

myrenovations on August 15, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Meanwhile, Obamaphones are still FREEEEEEE!

Ward Cleaver on August 15, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Obama: “We’re spying on your calls, now pay us!”

nobar on August 15, 2013 at 1:41 PM

So what exactly is the relationship between cellphones and internet access in schools from a punitive taxing standpoint? Gas taxes fund road repairs, smokers taxes fund health care. Easy to see the causal relationships there.

A better solution would be to reduce teacher’s union contributions to cove the necessary costs o making their jobs easier. After all, it’s for the children.

Btw, will that tax apply to obamaphones? Heh

can_con on August 15, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Why doesn’t the president just ask his wealthy Silicon Valley friends to donate the internet to the few districts left that do not have access?

myrenovations on August 15, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Silicon Valley is too busy spying on us and reporting to the Feds.

Ward Cleaver on August 15, 2013 at 1:42 PM

last nite on Fox with CK was discussioin of this. there is already a federal program and a process and $ for developing internet services, etc in schools…but there are many schools that either don’t need it or couldn’t use it.
i just see my $5 finding it’s way to a union teachers’ pension fund.

gracie on August 15, 2013 at 1:42 PM

The U.S. spends more per capita on public k-12 education than any country in the world except Switzerland. Where has it gotten us?

bw222 on August 15, 2013 at 1:42 PM

How soon before he gives a speech with four kids in the background (1 white girl, 1 black boy, 1 Latino boy or girl, and 1 white boy) asking “why can’t we have Internet in our schools?”

sydneyjane on August 15, 2013 at 1:44 PM

You would think that connecting schools to the information superhighway would be a pretty non-controversial topic

You would think that connecting schools to the information superhighway would NOT be in the purview of the federal government.

GWB on August 15, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Was the Gore tax ever repealed? Cause this sounds like a new Gore tax.

The Federal Communications Commission exceeded its authority when it levied a new tax on telecommunications services. Congress should terminate what has become known as the multi-billion dollar “Gore Tax.” …

Implementation of the Gore Tax has been a debacle. For example, it took the FCC more than 2 ½ years after the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 for schools to begin receiving benefits. This delay can be directly attributed to the FCC’s decision to create a new “middleman” to implement the program, rather than simply setting the rates for discounted services as called for by Sec. 254 of the Act. In addition, funds that could have been used to further discount services to schools and libraries are instead being used to support a new administrative bureaucracy within the USAC.

_RobRob on August 15, 2013 at 1:46 PM

“Unfortunately, we haven’t seen a lot of action in Congress, so the president has advocated an administrative, unilateral action to get this done.”

Under Bush, unilateral was the equivalent of a 4-letter word. Now, it’s suddenly cool with liberals.

Gee, how times change.

Bitter Clinger on August 15, 2013 at 1:47 PM

So black kids aren’t being taught to read or do math because they don’t have the internet?
 
Weird. How did folks do it before?

rogerb on August 15, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Just got my county property tax bill in the mail. There is an “tech” school which is essentially a duplication of services for which I am assessed along with the regular scxhool district and the “community” school.

I don’t have, never, had children. Yet I have paid all my life to educate other peoples’ children. Where is stoner the second when you need him?

davidk on August 15, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Yes it is a “no-brainer”. Just like electing and re-electing this tyrannical dipsh1t took so many people with “no-brains”

NOMOBO on August 15, 2013 at 1:50 PM

Anyone see the story of the 1912 8th grade proficiency test. I guarantee less than 10% of today’s kids could pass it even with high speed internet access. The dumbing down will continue at an even more rapid pace with this common core B.S., did you also see the story of the teachers talking about how kids who could not get 3×4=12, they were talking about how if the kid could explain his/her reasoning in coming up with 3×4=11, they would still be right! I kid you not; this is what has become of our once great country.

D-fusit on August 15, 2013 at 1:51 PM

i just see my $5 finding it’s way to a union teachers’ pension fund.

gracie on August 15, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Exactly. Where will the money end up?

I see another sub-bureaucracy, staffed by obama’s donors’ relatives.

davidk on August 15, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Internet access for schools, in the whole scheme of things, is pretty cheap. Why don’t the local school districts come up with the money? Is it true the FCC doesn’t need COngress to raise this fee? If that’s the case, you know why Obama is doing this, he doesn’t want to do anything through the legislative process.

bflat879 on August 15, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Anyone see the story of the 1912 8th grade proficiency test. I guarantee less than 10% of today’s kids could pass read it even with high speed internet access.

D-fusit on August 15, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Redaction.

davidk on August 15, 2013 at 1:53 PM

We need faster school internet to organize flash and bash mobs for the kids to attend…

PatriotRider on August 15, 2013 at 1:55 PM

So this is some of that New School Rachel was taking about??

ToddPA on August 15, 2013 at 1:55 PM

How long will it be until obama declares password protecting your internet service racist and illegal. Redistribution.

davidk on August 15, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Say I have some really good ideas and all I need to do is raise your income taxes, property taxes and establish a breathing tax but it’s all for the children!

tim c on August 15, 2013 at 1:56 PM

The U.S. spends more per capita on public k-12 education than any country in the world except Switzerland. Where has it gotten us?

bw222 on August 15, 2013 at 1:42 PM

To find out just look at the South side of Chicago…

PatriotRider on August 15, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Redaction.

davidk on August 15, 2013 at 1:53 PM

I kneel, humbly.

D-fusit on August 15, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Tax the CIA, NSA and FBI for every call they monitor…problem fixed…

PatriotRider on August 15, 2013 at 1:59 PM

I thought congress handled taxes.

Akzed on August 15, 2013 at 2:00 PM

You Tube in every school will solve all of our problems

LASue on August 15, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Follow the money: What cronies / donors will this benefit?

Would this be used to promote the Common Core data mining headed for public schools?

PappyD61 on August 15, 2013 at 2:01 PM

All of you who are against this should be ashamed. How else will these poor grade-schoolers access all of the on-line porn is not for the “Porn-for-Tots” program?
/s

RoadRunner on August 15, 2013 at 2:02 PM

The FCC cannot simple tax and spend as it sees fit!

IF the FCC even attempts this, their administrators should be immediatly removed from office.

This is what happens when NO ONE in congress will even discuss IMPEACHING a Presdent that is REFUSING to follow the Constitution he has sworn to uphold.

Freddy on August 15, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Since we have a business plan – that’s not $5 a year, it’s $250.

In the meantime – where is the $2 Billion Dollars a year collected by all phone and internet providers for E-Rate Program – which is designated for providing internet/IT for public schools – going? I know my school district regularly receives $3.5 million a year from the program – more if they’re opening a new campus.

2nd Ammendment Mother on August 15, 2013 at 2:04 PM

So the 5% surcharge the Feds apply to my cellphone bill for the Universal Service Fund won’t cover it?

Can we look to Puerto Rico for examples of efficiency fraud?

The pallets of cables, wireless adaptors and video cards have languished for three years, remnants of an aborted scheme to wire the island’s more than 1,500 public schools to the Internet. In fact, its school district spent $101 million in E-rate grants — a federal program designed to hook up schools and libraries to the Internet — but that money paid for connecting just nine schools.

Puerto Rico is just one example of E-rate’s good intentions run amok. While the $2.25 billion-a-year program has helped bring the Internet to many schoolchildren who might have been left out — more than 90% of the nation’s classrooms now are linked — lawmakers and investigators say it also is riddled with waste, mismanagement and fraud.

Hill60 on August 15, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Outrage if a gop president considered this boondoggle

cmsinaz on August 15, 2013 at 2:05 PM

It’s not debatable, Erika.

This is just another pig trough for the Political-Industrial complex — the politicians and bureaucrats get the money to dole out to computer/communication giants which duly send money back to the politicians in the way of campaign contributions and revolving door jobs.

As a side benefit it placates the teachers’ unions and the only thing the taxpayers get is yet another screw job.

Dusty on August 15, 2013 at 2:05 PM

$4-$6 BILLION a modest investment? I guess that why they have no problems shoveling more money into the green technology sinkhole every year. It’s a “modest loss”.
Do you think these schools today don’t have internet access? The Democrats want people to believe that we are teaching in caves with messengers running between schools to deliver information, instead of email.
If the schools want to do this, then let the state taxpayers provide the funding for it. Or, maybe we can take the money that goes to green technology and use that money to fund this. Make the Democrats decide between lining the pockets of their donors and “the children”.

djaymick on August 15, 2013 at 2:05 PM

My local school district already has high speed internet in every school. Does anyone think I’m gonna be let off the hook here?

Of course not. See, it doesn’t matter that I’ve already been taxed and that we’ve already met this goal. It doesn’t matter that we’re already doing what he thinks is such a good idea.

All that matters is that we all pay more. How much more is never defined, just more.

runawayyyy on August 15, 2013 at 2:05 PM

I give you Common Core 3×4=11.

Someone just shoot me now and put me out of my misery.

D-fusit on August 15, 2013 at 2:05 PM

I give you Common Core 3×4=11.
 
D-fusit on August 15, 2013 at 2:05 PM

 

So you’re saying 30,000 gun deaths and injuries is not significant? Your math adds a new dimension to your usual pedantry.

 
urban elitist on August 7, 2013 at 9:31 PM

rogerb on August 15, 2013 at 2:10 PM

I live in one of the poorest counties in the US. Every school already has internet service including those on the Navajo Res. So where are these few schools, and I mean few, that don’t have internet yet.

chemman on August 15, 2013 at 2:11 PM

rogerb on August 15, 2013 at 2:10 PM

See, I keep saying rogerb will have a quote for us to prove something or other, you never fail my friend ;-)

D-fusit on August 15, 2013 at 2:12 PM

If by “no-brainer” one means “nobody with brains would suggest this”, it is a “no-brainer”.

Steve Eggleston on August 15, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Speaking of this, Salem brother Guy Benson is on Fox NOW talking about this.

Steve Eggleston on August 15, 2013 at 2:15 PM

Enhanced Internet access is going to mean little in districts that cannot even afford computers and the relevant technology, not to mention the utility bills.

You’ll have to pardon liberals, they never get beyond ‘the vision’ thing.

Just look at ObamaCare.

GarandFan on August 15, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Of course it’s a no-brainer for Obama, because he has no brain.

Obama doesn’t want children to use their brains–they might grow up and vote for Republicans.

But if they have high-speed internet, they get to see Tony Weiner’s weiner in school.

Steve Z on August 15, 2013 at 2:19 PM

I think it’s time for Emperor Palpatine to disband Congress. Then he can just impose taxes at his whim. He’s doing so already, but this will give him some legitimacy, and he won’t have to deal with that misguided body anymore.

And…hmmm…$5? Not much. But wait…is that per cell phone? I pay for 3 right now, and I imagine it’ll be 4 within a few years. And I’m sure this $5 fee will never go up. Why does this $5 already look like $100 to me?

Chris of Rights on August 15, 2013 at 2:20 PM

glad I never got one of those cellular phones

tlynch001 on August 15, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Enhanced Internet access is going to mean little in districts that cannot even afford computers and the relevant technology, not to mention the utility bills. As nice as it might sound on the surface, the root problems there concerning the economy, government budgets, and education policy are not something that more Internet access is going to fix.

The school district applied for and spent the money, even though it lacked some of the basics, such as PCs or upgraded electrical systems, to make use of the Internet gear and had no budget to buy them. Such general-purpose equipment is not covered by the E-rate program, which is funded by a fee paid every month by everyone in the USA with a phone bill.

Hill60 on August 15, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Yes, it another case of the feds trying to dictate to the schools how to do things. The feds feel compelled to set up all kinds of constraints on how a school can set up their internet. That’s bad news. Leave it to the localities to figure it out. Local control of schools gives a sense of community ownership, and without fail leads to higher achievement.

And a fixed $5 per phone per year may not seem like a lot, but that’s in addition to many other taxes, and the $5 is just the starting fee. Also, more importantly, there are some cheap plans that cost as low as $70 a year for a limited amount of minutes. This cheap rate could go way below $70 in the future, but then these fixed rate taxes / fees could become a real significant part of the cost of these dirt cheap phones.

anotherJoe on August 15, 2013 at 2:23 PM

My local school district already has high speed internet in every school. Does anyone think I’m gonna be let off the hook here?

Of course not. See, it doesn’t matter that I’ve already been taxed and that we’ve already met this goal. It doesn’t matter that we’re already doing what he thinks is such a good idea.

All that matters is that we all pay more. How much more is never defined, just more.

runawayyyy on August 15, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Double taxation?

davidk on August 15, 2013 at 2:27 PM

I think it’s time for Emperor Palpatine to disband Congress. Then he can just impose taxes at his whim. He’s doing so already, but this will give him some legitimacy, and he won’t have to deal with that misguided body anymore.

And…hmmm…$5? Not much. But wait…is that per cell phone? I pay for 3 right now, and I imagine it’ll be 4 within a few years. And I’m sure this $5 fee will never go up. Why does this $5 already look like $100 to me?

Chris of Rights on August 15, 2013 at 2:20 PM

How much money would we save by disbanding Congress?

davidk on August 15, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Some schools may have internet, and even “high-speed” internet. But…. it isn’t enough until a politically connected big business comes in and receives some fat contracts.

Oh sure, what’s an extra fiver so Comcast can overcharge for setting up some internet, so the local moonbat History teacher can have her kids access Huffpo for some hard hitting “news”?

Big Cable?

reaganaut on August 15, 2013 at 2:31 PM

the White House’s new initiative to expand high-speed Internet access in schools across the country and paying for it by directing the Federal Communications Commission to raise ‘fees’ (ahem, taxes) on cell-phone users.

We were told that schools would be wired for internet by way of stimulus dollars. The rat-eared coward even mentioned a SC school by name as one of the beneficiaries of those stimulus dollars.

What the hell happened to the money we gave government for this problem?

Happy Nomad on August 15, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Face it, this program is designed so that children in the socialist incubators known as public schools will have an electronic babysitter so the hired staff won’t be inconvenienced with having to work.

Happy Nomad on August 15, 2013 at 2:38 PM

davidk on August 15, 2013 at 1:48 PM

I feel for people that pay school taxes and don’t have kids.

How about families like mine that homeschool? Not only do we pay school taxes, but we also spend money for homeschool curricula and activities.

If you want to install high speed wifi in schools, why not charge user fees to those who access the system?

This sounds a lot like Obamacare.

freedomfirst on August 15, 2013 at 2:38 PM

A lot of what passes for thoughtful policy in this administration turns out to be a “No Brainer”, which more than likely is a description of the policy proponent as much as it is of the policy.

Another Drew on August 15, 2013 at 2:38 PM

Anyone see the story of the 1912 8th grade proficiency test. I guarantee less than 10% of today’s kids could pass it even with high speed internet access. The dumbing down will continue at an even more rapid pace with this common core B.S., did you also see the story of the teachers talking about how kids who could not get 3×4=12, they were talking about how if the kid could explain his/her reasoning in coming up with 3×4=11, they would still be right! I kid you not; this is what has become of our once great country.

D-fusit on August 15, 2013 at 1:51 PM

The movie Idiocracy and Dan Simmons’s book, Flashback were prophesy, not works of fiction.

njrob on August 15, 2013 at 2:40 PM

BTW, how much of this could be financed if he just took one less vacation each year?
Savings on a “Trip to Africa” scale would amount to at least $100MM!
Three more years, three less trips = $300MM.

Another Drew on August 15, 2013 at 2:42 PM

well what do you expect?? it’s not like there’s a private charity with billions in endowments trying to improve education. stop getting in the way of progress wingnuts!!

chasdal on August 15, 2013 at 2:42 PM

But Obamaphone users won’t have to pay that $5, I’ll bet.

We already pay for their phones via an added “fee/tax” and now we’ll have to pony up their $5 too?

Obama believes he is a dictator or at least an entitled tyrant.

ProfShadow on August 15, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Obama’s plan to raise taxes for Internet in schools: A “no-brainer”?

0bama is a no-brainer.

freedomfirst on August 15, 2013 at 2:46 PM

Second look at the Stamp Act of 1765?

/

Resist We Much on August 15, 2013 at 2:48 PM

It would be wise to fund this idea using funds from duplicate programs, foreign aid, or just programs that are not working, rather than to impose another tax on Americans? He again, is breaking his promise.

Amazingoly on August 15, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Choosing the winners…..

must be great to be King.

CW on August 15, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Obama is fast approaching the half-way mark of his second term, and there are still a lot, a whole great big bunch, of campaign contributors who have not gotten their “fair share” in return for their hard work bundling, falsifying petitions, getting out the vote and then another three or four, so the Light Giver could Lord over all his subjects, his minions, and stop the advancing tides, and end global warming, and maketh it to raineth Skittles in abundance…and every child deserves a unicorn…

So…gotta finance that graft, fraud, waste and corruption and pay-for-play somehow.

And the Treasury is pretty much tapped out…there has been no rise nor change in the National Debt for almost three months now…hmmm…but that is another story.

Anyway, this “for the children” high-speed internet garbage is NOT the purview of the federal government…local school districts and perhaps the state can and should finance those things and programs THEY find advantageous to the kids…not a ton of high-paid Tsars and bureaucrats sucking off the federal teat in Washington.

Look WE, you and me, fund Planned Parenthood…a private corportation…because it is for the children…sort of…why?

No telling how many private organizations we are forced to fund under the guise of “it is for the children” hidden away by Team Obama.

This is a tax.

The White House cannot initiate taxes.

Congress may.

The various states may.

Obama may not.

Unless WE allow him to do so.

For only a small “fee” of $5.00 a year…and then another, and another, once precedent has been set.

Another clownish idea made to look brilliant.

coldwarrior on August 15, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Obama’s plan to raise taxes for Internet in schools: A “no-brainer”?

0bama is a no-brainer.

freedomfirst on August 15, 2013 at 2:46 PM

No, actually this idea is brilliant. For O’bama and the Democrats.

You’ll have internet in the schools, which are totally controlled by the Democrat Party. As a result, the Democrats running those schools will, Goebbels-like, actively control what internet content is deemed “acceptable” to the Party Mission.

We all know what that means. Total Mind Control of the kids all the way from K to grad school, taken to the next level. All designed to guarantee a future Democrat Majority of stupid voters.

Salut!

Del Dolemonte on August 15, 2013 at 3:24 PM

when President Obama once again goes bus-touring next week

He never stopped. He doesn’t know how NOT to campaign. It is the only way he knows how to do things, by ‘rallying’ the ‘base’. He is our Community Organizer in Chief.

So with a relatively modest investment tax,

FIFY Jugears! And nothing with him is ever ‘modest’ when it comes to taxes.

the idea ultimately requires approval by the independent Federal Communications Commission

It already has. The semantics of having a comment period for the public is just show. It will be expanded.

The Federal Communications Commission voted on Friday to overhaul and possibly expand its E-Rate program, a $2.3 billion effort to provide schools and libraries with up-to-date telecommunications service and equipment, including high-speed Internet connections.

By the way, maybe he should look at the books of the e-Rate coffers before he comes up with some other hair-brained scheme to confiscate my money. They already have the funds in their account to cover this expansion.

The E-Rate program has been faulted for inadequately allocating money in the fund, which is provided through a tax on consumers’ phone bills, a monthly charge between 50 cents and $1.

Commissioner Ajit Pai, the lone Republican on the five-member commission (where two seats are vacant), criticized allocations of the fund, saying an average of only $1.8 billion had been spent in each of the last 10 years, leaving more than $5 billion unused in the E-Rate account.

Mr. Pai also complained that the program placed greater emphasis on the wrong services.

“E-Rate today prioritizes long-distance telephone calls and getting phone service to a school’s bus garage over wiring up a classroom,” Mr. Pai said in a speech this week at the American Enterprise Institute. “How can it be that E-Rate in the last few years committed about $600 million, more than one-quarter of its annual budget, to support voice telephone services while at the same time denying eight out of 10 applicants’ funding for connecting classrooms?”

This is just another effort to get more money, and shift it to other expenditures. Lord knows we have shortfalls all over the spectrum.

Patriot Vet on August 15, 2013 at 4:00 PM

US Constitution Article 1 Section 7. All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

A “fee” also raises revenue. Did Congress pass a law already granting this authority to the FCC? Does the law allow the FCC to pay for education internet infrastructure improvements?

If there is no law or authority, then Obama is in effect unConstitutionally usurping the legislative duties of Congress to raise revenue to pay for a pet project.

SouthernRoots on August 15, 2013 at 4:08 PM

This is Obama!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbWg-mozGsU

Marco on August 15, 2013 at 4:20 PM

It sounds like they are going to send Cash for Caulkers types into the school building to put in some wires. But we have Wireless now, and you don’t need to do that. And the schools already have tv and phone, so what is all this Wired Up talk?

I will tell you what he plans to do with the money, he is going to buy the computer equipment with it, and GIVE it to SOME students, like lots of them will go to D.C. and they can take them home and wreck them, and report them stolen.

The internet isn’t the internet unless someone buy you a brand new MacBook Pro or an IPAD to use on the internet.

Most school districts are not planning for their technology needs they are just waiting for their grant from daddy.

Schools and libraries that qualify for E-rate support receive discounts of 20 to 90 percent on services and equipment, depending on the household income levels of students and whether the school is in an urban or rural area.

Administration officials say that while the E-rate program, established in 1996, provides low-cost Internet connections to community institutions, the speed of those services is rarely different from those that home subscribers can receive, about 20 megabits per second.

That is fast enough for the average home consumer to stream video, but if dozens of classrooms are trying to view video or listen to digital audio files at the same time, a school’s network will operate much more slowly.

Officials say they also expect private companies to expand their offerings of devices and products like electronic textbooks in response to the expanded program. The New York Times.

It is amazing how much more people will end up spending for brand new subscriptions for e textbooks than they would pay when the books were made out of paper. One reason school boards chose poorer math programs, textbooks was that the expensive programs used in private schools where parents pay for the book, is that they were simply cheaper. But now they want e books, which are paid for per student per year and per course and per semester. Not being printed on paper does NOT make them cheaper. A paper book was paid for once and use over and over again. The best, classic Math books and science programs were often skipped over by these same school board members. When it is paper, skimp, when it is technology throw lots of money at it? Oh, when someone ELSE pays throw their money at it.

Fleuries on August 15, 2013 at 4:45 PM

You folks do know, don’tcha, that Y’all are still paying the “temporary” extra telephone tax that Senator AlGore got passed in 1996 to provide high speed internet connections to schools and rural areas?

LegendHasIt on August 15, 2013 at 4:49 PM

When did Congress first abdicate their right (and duty) to be the only agency that could levy taxes on the American people? I ask out of my own ignorance. At this point, Congress is little more than a circus freak-show, but I imagine that the erosion has actually been going on for quite a few years?

bofh on August 15, 2013 at 5:56 PM

IT’S NOT A TAX! IT’S JUST A FEE! AND THE PRESIDENT CAN TOTALLY DO THIS WITHOUT CONGRESS!

And bu sure to remember that next year, when the fee for breathing oxygen in this country goes from $0 per year to a low, low $10 per year…

Unless you’re above 200% of the poverty level, of course, in which case you can pay just a little bit more.

There Goes the Neighborhood on August 15, 2013 at 8:05 PM

the president has advocated an administrative, unilateral action to get this done.

Hey, if the President can’t unilaterally raise taxes on a whim and spend the money however he chooses, what’s the good of being a Dictator in the first place.

Oh, you think he isn’t a Dictator? He changes laws on his whim alone, he changes tax rates on his whim alone, he investigates people violating their rights on his whim alone, and he treats the government as his personal vendetta machine.

What else could you call it?

gekkobear on August 15, 2013 at 8:14 PM

1996 Gore Tax… we already did this.

We in fact still have that tax being charged, they’ve taken money for 17 years to do this. And they haven’t done it?

So the plan is to give people who have been irresponsible with their power and money even more power and money and hope that fixes the problem?

I’m not sure “no brainer” is how I’d define this plan. Although if you had no brain it might make sense to you.

gekkobear on August 15, 2013 at 8:56 PM

THE FREESHIT ARMY STRIKES AGAIN!

NO!

TX-96 on August 16, 2013 at 6:16 AM

Someone needs to lay into these ignorant dinosaur Dems and ask them WHAT SCHOOLS still don’t have internet access? Sounds like another bait-and-switch tax money laundering scheme by a bunch of lying criminal scum. These stupid crooks need kicked to the curb.

dominigan on October 2, 2013 at 12:22 AM