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Normally, a suggestion by any government entity of imposing a 25 percent tax on anything would raise our ire. When it comes to pornography, though, such an astronomical “sin tax” piques one’s interest . . . if it could be used to somehow slow the insidious proliferation of Internet smut.
It is why KSL is intrigued with a proposal put forth by Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln and a handful of other democratic members of Congress including Representative Jim Matheson.
They claim the online porn industry generates revenues of $12 billion a year. Their tax, therefore, would raise some $3 billion annually, which would be used primarily to keep kids from accessing online smut.
It is easy for skeptics to say the proposal is little more than a political stunt by a few moderate democrats to gain moral high ground and score points with their constituents. Legal experts, after all, say there’s little chance of the Internet Safety and Child Protection Act actually passing Congress. Taxation, they claim, can’t be used as a weapon of censorship.
Still, something brazen needs to be done to protect children from the seamy side of the Internet. KSL believes the very idea of aggressively going after online smut peddlers deserves support and we encourage Congressman Matheson and his colleagues to pursue the measure with vigor.