Newspapers have been an important part of our society, communicating information and news. But the Internet has served the same function (and I'd say even better) than newspapers have in recent years. I'm not impressed with how they've competed in the marketplace, and how "impartial" (or biased to the left in their reporting) they've been. Given the amount, quality and diversity of information you can get online from other sources, I don't think newspapers have an inherent right to stay in business. I can get more news in a more timely manner online, than I can through traditional print media. Unfortunately, another big, dumb, slow company is now being talked up for help by big-government do-gooders through a proposed “Newspaper Tax.”
Where do the taxes and bailouts end? I don't agree with the bailouts of Wall Street, the big banks, or the Big 3 Automakers.. and I damn sure don't want the newspapers bailed out. Let's call a spade a spade - this is socialism. Through this proposal, they're essentially holding a gun to taxpayers' heads (or wallets, in this case), and saying "Fork it over, or the fish wrap gets it!"
Local blogger Andrew Hudson frames the issue in a nice way (ironically, through the Internet) but he and other Democrats have no problem using the coercive power of government to prop up their favorite industry or company... or decide which business or industry fails or succeeds – at least in the short-term. In fact, I'd say they're rewarding failure - just like Congress has with the banks and automakers. It's getting to a tipping point where taxpayers are saying "ENOUGH" to more tax increases.
It's not so much a political issue as it is about economic freedom, and how individual citizens should have the freedom to spend our money how we choose to – not how government can. It's like a Jerry Lewis Telethon where taxpayers are forced to "give 'til it hurts." Mr. Hudson knows that almost all taxes enacted by government stay in place forever, and are rarely repealed. This sounds like a sneaky way to extract more money from Colorado taxpayers, to fund an increasingly greedy state government.
Currently, 44 of our 50 states face budget shortfalls. What bureaucrats fail to remember is that budget deficits occur when spending exceeds cash inflows. To reduce or eliminate these deficits, they should (gasp!) cut spending. Trying to balance state budgets on the increasingly-burdened backs of taxpayers qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment. The cause of these shortfalls is that government has spent too much money and made too many promises that it can't deliver on.
Our country wasn't founded or built on propping up industries or companies who “deserve” to be in business. This is another step of slouching towards socialism, all in the name of good intentions – which the road to hell (in this case, bigger government) is paved with. Enough's enough –this “Newspaper Tax” idea should be dropped like a bad habit.