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Ted Cruz on Technology

 


Net neutrality is ObamaCare for the Internet

Web companies are pressing the Federal Communications Commission for new rules that would require Internet providers to treat all online traffic equally. But Senators Cruz, Paul and Rubio are anything but neutral on net neutrality--they hate it, much less any government regulation at all.

Companies like Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Yelp--through their Washington trade group, the Internet Association--are public backers of net neutrality. They together have praised Obama for endorsing an approach that might subject the Internet to utility-like regulation. All three Republicans, however, rejected the president's suggestion. Rubio hammered it as "government regulation of the Internet" that "threatens to restrict Internet growth and increase costs on Internet users." And Cruz lambasted net neutrality as "ObamaCare for the Internet" in a tweet that went viral--and drew plenty of criticism.

Source: Politico.com 2014 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 29, 2014

Net neutrality is like Obamacare for the Internet

Cruz criticized an announcement from Obama calling for strict FCC regulation of the Internet as a way to ensure the fair treatment of Internet traffic by Internet service providers. This principle, also known as net neutrality, holds that ISPs should enable equal access to all content and applications without favoring any particular firms. ISPs, for example, wouldn't be able to charge a company, such as Netflix, to gain a faster Internet connection to consumers.

Activists and tech companies, and Obama more recently, have pushed for the FCC to regulate ISPs. But ISPs and free market advocates maintain that more competition, not regulations devised during the height of the Great Depression, is the answer to protecting the Internet.

Cruz called net neutrality "Obamacare for the Internet" after Obama's announcement. Rick Perry said Obama's actions would "saddle 21st century technology with outdated, unnecessary regulations from the era of the Great Depression

Source: Watchdog.org 2014 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 14, 2014

Voted NO on authorizing states to collect Internet sales taxes.

Congressional Summary: The Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 authorizes each state to require all sellers with sales exceeding $1 million in the preceding calendar year to collect and remit sales and use taxes, but only if complying with the minimum simplification requirements relating to the administration of such taxes & audits.

Opponent's Argument for voting No (Cnet.com): Online retailers are objecting to S.743, saying it's unreasonable to expect small businesses to comply with the detailed--and sometimes conflicting--regulations of nearly 10,000 government tax collectors. S.743 caps years of lobbying by the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association, which represent big box stores. President Obama also supports the bill.

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes: Sen. COLLINS. This bill rectifies a fundamental unfairness in our current system. Right now, Main Street businesses have to collect sales taxes on every transaction, but outbecause -of-state Internet sellers don't have to charge this tax, they enjoy a price advantage over the mom-and-pop businesses. This bill would allow States to collect sales taxes on Internet sales, thereby leveling the playing field with Main Street businesses. This bill does not authorize any new or higher tax, nor does it impose an Internet tax. It simply helps ensure that taxes already owed are paid.

Opponent's Argument for voting No: Sen. WYDEN: This bill takes a function that is now vested in government--State tax collection--and outsources that function to small online retailers. The proponents say it is not going to be hard for small businesses to handle this--via a lot of new computer software and the like. It is, in fact, not so simple. There are more than 5,000 taxing jurisdictions in our country. Some of them give very different treatment for products and services that are almost identical.

Reference: Marketplace Fairness Act; Bill S.743 ; vote number 13-SV113 on May 6, 2013

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Page last updated: Jul 09, 2015