Forecasts from opponents of tax reform and supporters of net neutrality are wildly exaggerated. Art courtesy of Pixabay.
This is a Maine Examiner opinion piece and should not be confused with Maine Examiner news content.
“The internet as we know it is over!”
No, not really.
“The rich are going to rob the middle-class and the poor in the Republican tax reform compromise!”
The former is a gross exaggeration created by people trying to gin up their political base. The latter is founded in the idea that government owns all the money and property in America and anyone who gets to keep more of what they earn is the recipient of a government “spending” decision.
Reasonable people disagree about net neutrality without using rhetoric that conjurs visions of an internet functioning as if America was just blasted with a North Korean EMP attack or suggesting metered internet rates that could drive the monthly cost of routine household internet use into the stratosphere.
To believe in these apocalyptic visions of post-net neutrality America, you’d have to believe that every major internet provider wants to see their customer support lines crash under the burden of millions of angry customer calls and eventually go out of business.
Internet providers did not want that before 2014 and they don’t want it now.
The similarly absurd arguments made against tax reform throw away the American ideal that all of us are “in this together” in favor of the idea that once an American’s salary exceeds a certain arbitrary threshold, they are fair game to be publicly attacked, punished through public policy that encourages greed and waste in government and ostracized if they speak up for the right to keep what they earn.
It’s possible to make reasonable and sober arguments on either side of these issues without forecasting the end of America as we know it.
The end of net neutrality may stifle some innovation we have seen over the past two years and cause slight increases in costs or reductions in some services, or it may not. It won’t destroy the internet. But it does take the proverbial “camel’s nose” of government out from under the internet tent.
For Maine Examiner’s part, we’d prefer not to have the federal government “manage” the internet as they have so masterfully “managed” the American health care system.
The tax reform legislation currently being considered may slightly increase the national debt or it may not. It might push our GDP over 4% and spur a revenue positive economic boom creating a million new American jobs. Anyone who tells you they know for certain is not telling you the truth.
Our preference is that the tax code be simplified, rates reduced and the benefits of cleaning up the tax code be passed along to all Americans equally, not just to those with political power and connections or only to those who don’t really pay income taxes to start with. The proposal Congress is working on tries to reduce taxes for everyone.
Whether you are a small business owner, a teacher, a firefighter or a corporate executive, you deserve to be treated equally under the law in America. That includes tax policy.
The current tax reform proposal will certainly cause almost all working Americans to see bigger paychecks next year, and we support that.
Those who continue to ratchet up visions of the apocalypse on every decision made in Washington D.C. need to find a way to ground their rhetoric in reality.
Some day, and maybe soon, there will be a truly destructive proposal that needs to be fought by the left and right to protect the American people.
Wasting political capital with outlandish predictions now only diminishes the voices of those who will need to stand vigilant in the future from both sides of the aisle.
Your credibility and integrity is fragile – use it wisely or learn it has vanished when America needs it most.