In 1898 Congress enacted an excise tax on telephone service to help finance the Spanish-American War. Now, five generations later, Americans are still paying for that war. Today our phone bill includes a 3% Federal telecommunications tax – the same tax imposed to pay for our war with the Spaniards.
Peter J. Ferrara of Americans for Tax Reform writes:
The telephone excise tax imposes a total burden on the public of $5-$6 billion per year. It is one part of the oppressive overall tax burden, which costs the average family more than food, clothing, and shelter combined. Taxes overall take 40% of national income, which is far too high. There is no justification for the telephone tax and it should be repealed, as part of a broader, overall tax reduction program.
The late President Ronald Reagan couldn’t have been more right when he said, “There is no such thing as a temporary government program.”