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1998 Fools: Federal Reserve To Impose Television Tax
From: "Rick Guinn" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Thu, 31 Dec 1998 10:10:14 +0000 Federal Reserve To Impose Television Tax Washington D.C. - Associated Press In an era of balanced budget rhetoric, some novel methods of revenue enhancement have been presented by congressional leaders. In a surprising move spear headed by Senator Ted Kennedy (D), Massachusetts, referendum TK741-009 was introduced on the floor of the senate today. This bill proposes that a special "chip", similar in size to the so-called "V-Chip" used to sensor television now, be installed into all new manufactured television sets, and within 5 years retroactively installed on all previously sold sets. This chip would monitor the total accumulated time that any television set was operating and record that information for download to the Internal Revenue Service. The viewer would then be accessed a fee for each hour that the television set was used. FCC Chairman Federico Pena was initially thrilled with the concept. "Studies have shown that the average television set is on approximately 12 hours a day. There are also an estimated 433 million television sets in use today. A enormous revenue source is presently being untapped. I applaud the honorable Senator Kennedy for his foresight." Federal Reserve board chairman Alan Greenspan was also enthusiastic about the Kennedy "Couch Potato Tax". Says Greenspan, at a news conference in Washington, "Think of it, if the average television is indeed on 12 hours a day, and there are 433 million TV sets out there, if we charged just 10 cents an hour then the total yearly income would be 1.896 Trillion dollars a year. The budget could be balanced immediately!" When questioned about the obvious problem with peoples reactions to such an additional tax Greenspan replied, "It will be fine if you just think about it. At 12 hours a day and at 10 cents an hour, thatís a total cost of only $1.20 per day per family. Since going to a movie costs an average of $45 for a family of four, the cost savings to the family would be substantial. Plus a movie only lasts a couple of hours." How would the new tax be collected? Says Greenspan, "A special branch of the Internal Revenue Service would be created to handle the increased work load. Television users would be able to download the chips memory and file a return with the IRS. In fact, there has been some talk of allowing TV users to pay there yearly TV fee right along with their IRS tax return. This would be a considerable time-saver." And the cost for monitoring, auditing, and enforcement? "We estimate," Greenspan replied, "that approximately $1.8 billion a year would be required to do this right. But, the bright side is that we estimate that nearly 10,000 new government jobs would be created, thus stimulating the job market at a time when government downsizing are reducing the amount of total overall available government jobs." Well folks, the Associated Press doesnít feel that this bill is reasonable. The average family would be forced to pay an additional yearly tax of $438. If you feel as we do, then call the "American Peoples Republic Information League For Our Own Lifes" (or aprilfool) at 1-800-got-chaa.