Rasmussen: Americans Hate FTC Plan to Save Newspapers

You may recall this story on the Federal Trade Commission’s plan to save the floundering newspaper industry with taxes on consumer goods. A poll conducted by Rasmussen finds that Americans wholeheartedly reject such a move by a striking margin. The national telephone poll found that 84 percent of those surveyed oppose a 3 percent tax on monthly cell phone bills, while ten percent support it; 76 percent of Americans oppose a 5 percent tax on consumer electronics like computers, iPads, and other electronic devices to support newspapers, while 16 percent support it.

The survey also found that 74 percent of Americans do not like the idea of taxing Internet web sites like the Drudge Report, Reddit or Digg (news aggregators) to support the newspapers they "get their news from." Finally, 71 percent oppose the creation of a taxpayer funded program to hire young reporters for newspapers around the country.

The survey took place June 6 – 7 and polled 1,000 Adults. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work was conducted by Pulse Opinion Research. Dig into the particulars here.

Source: Rasmussen, Image Credit: Salon

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21 comments

  1. 0
    Spartan says:

    Delete me

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    "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" – Herodotus

  2. 0
    Thad says:

    I’m against the bailout too, but you’re oversimplifying.  People who don’t care about newspapers because they get their news from aggregators aren’t going to have any place to get their news if there’s nothing to aggregate.

  3. 0
    Thomas McKenna says:

    Not surprised in the least bit about these numbers.  Newspapers are going out of business because people don’t care about them anymore.  So why would these people who don’t care about newspapers willingly be taxed to keep them around?

  4. 0
    Spartan says:

    That is part of it but all one needs to do to see my point very clearly is to look at the Performance Rights Act being considered right now. It will surely force many stations out of business all providing a valuable news service like papers but the point is to pay the record companies. The "beholding to the government" part is only a collateral benefit that likely made the whole thing an easy sell in Congress.

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    "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" – Herodotus

  5. 0
    Zerodash says:

    This is also about creating a press that is more beholden to the government- lest they withold funding.  This is the same political establishment that has tried to shut out and diminish outlets that do not drink the proverbial Kool-Ade.  Unfortunately, most news organizations are lock-step in love with the establishment now, and have no problem having government breathing down their neck.  Too bad these fools don’t seem to understand that one day they will be beholden to the "other" party as well if these controls are put in place.

  6. 0
    Spartan says:

    WTF? What happened to free market enterprise ideology? Survival of the fittest? If the world changes and old industry can adapt forget it.

    Wait I understand now!!! This is really about the music companies and to a lessor degree the movie ones as well – you wait and see…

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    "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" – Herodotus

  7. 0
    Thad says:

    "The survey also found that 74 percent of Americans do not like the idea of taxing Internet web sites like the Drudge Report, Reddit or Digg (news aggregators) to support the newspapers they "get their news from.""

    Fair enough, but the aggregators might want to consider giving something back if they want to continue to have sources to link to.

    It’s a quandary.  I don’t care much for the MSM, and I think they’ve largely been complacent, abdicated their responsibilities, and failed to keep up with modern technology.  That said, it’s going to be pretty tough for a random blogger to break a story like Walter Reed or Abu Ghraib; there NEED to be media organizations that have the resources to investigate stories like that.

  8. 0
    thesillyoldbear says:

     I love how there is now mention of Craigslist or anything similar, despite the fact that such services put a large dent in Paper’s classifieds revenue.

    P.S. I’m not suggesting we tax Craigslist, just pointing out the ridiculousness of singling out consumer electronics/media.

  9. 0
    thesillyoldbear says:

     Now you’re oversimplifying. Newspapers steal from TV, TV steal from internet blogs, internet blogs steal from newspapers, etc. Besides, most news in papers comes from AP, Reuters or other wire services, all of which are available to ANYONE willing to pay the subscription fee, not just newspapers.

    Newspapers have to either learn how to integrate themselves into the current landscape or just hurry up and die, bailouts aren’t good for anyone in the long run.

  10. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    Too right!

    If Newspapers want the benefits of capitalism, they can live by its rules, and if they can’t keep up, they go the way of the Dinosaur. That’s how the system is supposed to work.

  11. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    I don’t want tax money to go toward another payment on Murdoch’s jet. We saw how thesei diots spend bailout money before, making sure the higher ups are well off and leavign anyone below them to their own devices.


  12. 0
    johnmarkley says:

    "Of course there is.  A free press is necessary for a functional society.

    Again, I oppose the bailout, but it’s actually quite easy to see how people might justify it."

    A free press is the last thing putting the newspaper industry and the journalism profession on the government payroll would create.

    Check out my video game humor and commentary blog, Pointless Side Quest!

  13. 0
    Chris Kimberley says:

    "A free press is necessary for a functional society."

    I’m afraid that’s not true.  It’s quite possible to have functional societies that have no free press, no press at all for that matter.  It has happened and is happening all over the world.  I agree that a free press is preferable.  But the issue here isn’t limiting the freedoms/protections afforded to the press.  Just whether or not tax payers should have to keep these businesses afloat.  If the newspapers want to continue to be in business they need to adapt to new media.

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    Chris Kimberley

  14. 0
    Weatherlight says:

    I would gladly pay for a newspaper that wrote articles on stuff that was interesting to me and wasn’t just full of garbage articles that I have little interest in or sell me stuff that I have no want for. Right now I am even looking at canceling my subscriptions to a number of magazines because I don’t see why I should pay for something with so many ads.

    ~Weatherlight~

  15. 0
    dan888 says:

    Many newspapers are fine, those that aren’t tend to be larger papers that took on a lot of debt to expand, and have been resistant to any change in today’s changing world.  There is no reason to save these larger papers by taxing other industries, especially because they still are trying to ignore reality and stick with their old methods that were profitable in the pre internet age.  In the past they made their money as gate keepers, being the only companies in a position to report the news, but this position is no longer maintainable.  Their sense of entitlement, their resistance to change, and their belief that they still are the gate keepers are bringing them down, not news aggregators or other internet websites. 

  16. 0
    Thad says:

    Of course there is.  A free press is necessary for a functional society.

    Again, I oppose the bailout, but it’s actually quite easy to see how people might justify it.

  17. 0
    locopuyo says:

    Of course we don’t want to bail out newspapers.  

    You could argue the early bailouts were justified because the businesses being bailed out were affected by government regulations, but there is no way in hell you can justify bailing out newspapers.  

    Pwnage of Empires

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