Feed the Fed
As concerns about the economy grow, the government continues to seek ways of funding its massive expansion by the levy of a tax on each QSO an amateur radio operator completes while using the nation’s airwaves.
Justifying the QSO tax, sources on Capitol Hill say the FCC will be empowered to no longer allow users free access to the radio spectrum saying…
“The radio airwaves belong to the people and business interests are paying good money to acquire rights to use this precious resource.”
The proposed tax would be similar to other user fees proposed by the administration. Pilots face a similar threat as user fees for operating in the nation’s airspace are being considered as replacements for the simple tax on aviation fuel.
Initial reports suggest the tax amount would be approximately 4.2 cents per QSO.
The Federal Observer Obstructionist Libertarians for Science, a scientific progress monitoring organization with a radio rights consumer protection group, are crying fowl at the proposal as yet another impractical and unenforceable user tax by money starved federal politicians. This also unfairly taxes amateur radio operators while leaving the users of GMRS, MURS, FRS and CB radios fee free.
The Feds counter the argument with the suggestion
“Since amateur radio operators routinely log their QSOs, they have documentation to tally the ham’s tax bill.”
Contestors cry foul
Several radio contesting groups immediately identified a vast disparity between contesting and rag chewing. One source says…
“Why should contestors be penalized by paying the same for each QSO at several per minute while the rag chewer might talk about prescription drugs, microphone settings, medication timers, etc. in ‘one’ QSO lasting an hour or more?”
Another contestor added…
“After investing in S02R, amps, tower, antennas… now a tax to operate my own gear? What next, a penny tax on each blade of grass I mow?”
Net operators and participants remain unsure how this tax will be calculated for their regular on-the-air meetings.
Endorsement by some
The Amateurs for Pious Radio Intellectual Language, a rag chewer’s association, were heard praising the QSO tax as a way to “Get those contest operators off the air by pricing them off the bands.”
Fairness doctrine in disguise?
First amendment protection groups express concern this QSO User Fee tax is just another ploy by the PC democrats to muffle the strong libertarian viewpoints heard on 75 meters every evening; Someone from 3938 was heard to say “…I guess we are being lumped in with AM Talk Radio.”
Tax watchdog groups report the feds will create a new bureaucracy to administrate the log files of amateurs to verify compliance. The revenue from the QSO Penny Tax will not offset the cost to collect the fees, but will serve only to grow the government. A source in the Whitehouse commented “That’s the idea.”
Many hams are suggesting the Amateurs for Pious Radio Intellectual Language and the Federal Observer Obstructionist Libertarians for Science unite their resources and fight the QSO User Fees together.