TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Gore Tax Increase

Re: Gore Tax Increase

Clark W. Griswold, Jr. (
Sat, 08 Jan 2005 19:44:57 -0700

HorneTD <> wrote:

Thank you for breaking that down. (Seriously)

With a nod towards the law of unintended consequences and the basic
truth that subsidies distort the market, let's discuss each in turn.

> There are four components to the Federal Universal Service Fund. They are:
> * Low-Income. This program provides telephone service
> discounts to consumers with qualifying low-incomes.

Seems like this should be covered under general assistance. Why should
phone subscribers in one area be forced to underwrite the phone
service of someone elsewhere? Gas customers in one area do not pay for
gas in another area. Same for electricity.

> * High-Cost. This program provides financial support to companies
> that provide telecommunications services in areas of America where the
> cost of providing service is high.

The country has changed since the turn of the century. Some costs are
higher in the country, many are lower. Those that chose to live in the
city find some things priced differently than those in the
suburbs. Why should subscribers be subsidizing the large numbers of
people chosing to move away from built up areas out into the country?

Yes, that would be my dream job also, but you shouldn't be paying for

Unfortunately, the Senator from Alaska and the one from Hawaii are the
ones who want to defend this subsidy.

> * Schools and Libraries. This program helps to ensure that the
> nation's classrooms and libraries receive access to the vast array of
> educational resources that are accessible through the
> telecommunications network.

Already talked about this one. Probably the biggest boondoggle in the
past 3 or 4 decades. Suspect it's worse than the 'big dig' project in

> * Rural Health Care. This program helps to link health care
> providers located in rural areas to urban medical centers so that
> patients living in rural America will have access to the same advanced
> iagnostic and other medical services that are enjoyed in urban
> communities.

In the grand scheme of things, this is probably penny change and who
can argue against better health care?

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Actually, for gas and electric service,
our utilities here (Atmos Gas, Westar Energy, and Coffeyville Municipal
Power) all offer a program to help less fortunate familes pay their
utility bills, with a 'checkoff' box on your payment coupon, authorizing
either one or five dollars extra to be added to your bill each month,
but it is a voluntary thing, and they in turn remit whatever they collect
through this voluntary giving program to FAST (Financial Assistance
Short Term), which is our local welfare assistance program for
Montgomery County, Kansas. Our telco, Prairie Stream Communications is
in on it also, I think. PAT]

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