In case you didn’t know: On our nation’s train to insanity, California is the engineer.
You may be inclined to dismiss the golden state as a haven of idiocy, disconnected from the rest of the country; however, in actuality, it’s a haven of idiocy leading the rest of America.
So take a look at what’s coming your way: According to the San Jose Mercury News, legislators are looking at taxing texting on citizens’ private cell phones, in an effort to fund more affordable cell phone service for low-income residents.
Question: Would “residents” denote “a whole bunch of non-citizens”?
At least there’s this:
It’s unclear how much individual consumers would be asked to pay their wireless carrier for texting services under the proposal. But it likely would be billed as a flat surcharge per customer — one of those irksome fees at the bottom of your wireless bill — not a fee per text.
But get ready; I’ve seen California’s M.O., and it’s a slippery slop. That wasn’t a typo (but this was — holy cow).
Here’s something, too:
Business groups, including the Bay Area Council, California Chamber of Commerce and Silicon Valley Leadership Group and others opposing the idea, calculated the new charges for wireless consumers could total about $44.5 million a year.
But they add that under the regulators’ proposal the charge could be applied retroactively for five years — which they call “an alarming precedent” — and could amount to a bill of more than $220 million for California consumers.
There ya go.
In the 1990’s, the federal government created “public purpose” programs, charging a fee for landline use and giving low-income Americans more affordable access to phone services. But the funds are running low:
A dense California Public Utilities Commission report laying out the case for the texting surcharge says the Public Purpose Program budget has climbed from $670 million in 2011 to $998 million last year. But the telecommunications industry revenues that fund the program have fallen from $16.5 billion in 2011 to $11.3 billion in 2017, it said.
“This is unsustainable over time,” the report says, arguing that adding surcharges on text messaging will increase the revenue base that funds programs that help low-income Californians afford phone service.
“From a consumer’s point of view, surcharges may be a wash, because if more surcharge revenues come from texting services, less would be needed from voice services,” said CPUC spokeswoman Constance Gordon in a statement. “Generally, those consumers who create greater texting revenues may pay a bit more, whereas consumers using more voice services may pay less.”
And so, get ready for a new fee. And a new fee. And a new fee. It will never stop. California will never stop.
And, over time, one way or another, it’s all headed your way.
Relevant RedState links in this article: here.
Find all my RedState work here.
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