What is ObamaNet and Do We Need It?

It’s been called “ObamaCare for the Internet.”  It’s been called a “solution that won’t work to a problem that doesn’t exist using legal authority we don’t have” that will create “billions of dollars in new taxes.”  It’s been called “ObamaNet.”  What is it and do we need it?  Let’s jump in now and discuss ObamaNet …

1.  What is ObamaNet?

Let me explain my definition of “ObamaNet.”  ObamaNet is what will be left of the Internet, after all the proposed new regulations and new taxes (that have been suggested by the government) are implemented.

Remember those ObamaCare promises we heard: If you like your doctor, you can keep him.  If you like your insurance plan, you can keep it.  Health care premiums will drop by $2500 per year.

Now we hear terms like Net Neutrality, an open, fair, and free Internet.  Neutrality, openness, fairness, free.  They all sound great.  BUT …

With progressives and socialists, they always seem to sell burdensome, new government regulations and higher, new taxes with words like fairness and social justice.  They like to imply things will be free, paid for by a benevolent, big government, always there to meet your needs.  However, citizens usually wind up getting a lot less at a lot higher cost, including the cost of losing their freedom.  Overall, progressive, socialist, and Marxist programs result in less economic freedom and less economic growth for the economy.

Look at the ObamaCare mess we have witnessed in the last few years.  It’s hard to imagine that a government that can spend an estimated $1 Billion on the ObamaCare website and have a myriad of problems launching the website, should attempt to manage the entire Internet?  Do we want to take the highly innovative and exceptionally efficient Internet and create a weakened and convoluted ObamaNet?  Why tamper with technology that works so well, with a myriad of new taxes and regulations?

2.  What are the Threats to the Internet We Currently Use Today?

There are several major threats to the Internet, all coming from potential government attempts to regulate the Internet.

Threat – Net Neutrality.  Net Neutrality will take the Internet back to the 1800’s and the days of monopoly railroads, updated to the 1930’s regulation of phone monopolies.  Do we really want to treat the Internet of the 21st century, the 21st century information super highway, with archaic rules from the 1930’s and the Great Depression?

Rather than treat the Internet as an “information service” under Title I of the Communications Act of 1934, implementing Net Neutrality would treat broadband services as a Title II “utility” much like a phone service.  Thereby, preventing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from managing their infrastructure carefully to maximize customer services and economic value.

It also appears Net Neutrality will raise consumer costs and open the door to additional taxes and fees as well as the possibility of regulations on service prices.  Another result will likely be reduced investment by ISPs in infrastructure improvement and build-outs.  Economic impacts also likely include reduced entrepreneurship, reduced innovation, reduced investment in new businesses, and reduced new job creation … all resulting in stifling economic growth, reducing wealth creation for the economy, lowering prosperity, and reducing our overall standard of living.

Example of New Internet Tax – Consumers might be required to pay a 16.1% Universal Service Fee, resulting in $17 Billion of new taxes according to a liberal think tank.

Threat – Censorship from Foreign Countries.  It has been proposed that the Federal government not renew its contract with ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).  Instead, governance would be shared among a U.N. like international body.  The problem is that any nation in that international body can effectively veto any website in their country or in other countries.  In effect, the U. S. will no longer be protecting Internet Freedom.  Obviously, there are many authoritarian nations that would want to censor websites in America and around the world.

Threat – Regulation of Political Speech and Activities from the Federal Election Commission.  Should the Drudge Report content be regulated because it might influence elections?  Should bloggers be shut down?  Should donors who support politically related websites be required to disclose all donations?  Must donations to Internet websites be regulated in a variety of ways?  Are all of these a violation of Free Speech?

3.  Do We Need ObamaNet – A Highly Regulated and Highly Taxed Internet?

The answer is an unequivocal NO!  The Internet has been a technological and economic blockbuster for the economy.  We need to say NO to Net Neutrality.  NO to Internet regulations.  NO to Internet taxes.  The Federal government should renew its contract with ICANN and not allow a U. N. like international body to gain control over the Internet.

For More Information

For more information on economic freedom, please read my newest book Renewing America and Its Heritage of Freedom or visit my website RenewingAmericaBook.com or GerardLameiro.com.

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