Thursday, June 16, 2005

Your Contribution to the Spanish-American War

I received this from Glenn not too long ago, since I haven't had time to come up with anything new since finals week is always busy, this will have to do until I get bored enough to actually post something.
Here it is:

A hundred and seven years ago, in 1898, the federal government began levying a temporary 3 percent excise tax on telephones, ostensibly to fund the Spanish-American War.

Flash forward to 2005 -- and every American with a telephone is still paying this "temporary" tax. The war was over after just a few months, but the tax has been in effect for over a century. On top of that, the tax does not go for any specific purpose. Rather, the funds are simply added to the general fund.

Congress attempted to repeal the tax in 2000. Both the House and the Senate passed legislation to eliminate the tax -- it was a 420-2 vote in the House -- but then-President Bill Clinton vetoed the bill when it reached his desk.

Once again, the House has been presented with a bill -- H.R. 1898 -- that would repeal the tax on telephone and other communications services. The bill was introduced in late April by Rep. Gary G. Miller of California, and has been cosponsored by 39 other congressmen. It currently sits in the House Committee on Ways and Means.

The outrage?

This tax should have been repealed more than a century ago, but some members of Congress still support the tax -- and some even want to expand it. Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation issued an opinion in January, saying that the tax could be expanded to apply to wireless Internet and data connections.

2 comments:

TBQelite said...

Such things are irritating to say the least.

Neemund said...

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=24019

A British site's comments on this particular tax.