Obama Plan to Regulate the Internet Promises More Economic Despair

It’s no mystery why the Democratic Party lost big in this year’s election: “The party of economic despair will always lose.” President Obama has presided over six years of lackluster economic growth. “Progressive Democratic policies on Keystone, power-plant closures and oils exports crushed younger, unionized job seekers.”

This week, the President doubled down on his bad economic policies when he announced his plan to impose net neutrality through ‘Title II’ price regulation of Internet broadband providers — a plan that will discourage investment in new communications infrastructure and threaten our economic recovery.

Over the last three years, America’s broadband providers have been the brightest source of economic hope during a particularly gloomy recession.

The Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) ranks AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast among the top ten U.S. “investment heroes” — the companies who are investing the most capital in the United States. These three companies alone have invested nearly $125 billion in the U.S. over the last three years, with AT&T and Verizon topping the list on an annual basis.

Obama’s response to their investments in America’s long-term future? A government plan that would take the value of their investments and gift it to his allies in Silicon Valley — companies that haven’t been willing to make the same level of investment on American soil.

Imposing Title II on broadband providers would reverse the bi-partisan, market-based approach to Internet regulation that was pioneered during the Clinton Administration. Clinton’s first principle for government action for the Internet was to “promote private sector investment through tax and regulatory policies that encourage innovation and promote long-term investment.” This principle has resulted in unprecedented levels of investment and innovation in new infrastructure and services for twenty years.

The mere announcement of Obama’s first principle for government action for the Internet — “you didn’t build that” — is already giving pause to companies who are investing in ultra-fast fiber broadband networks. As analyst Craig Moffett asked rhetorically, “How can you commit to capital spending with this level of uncertainty around regulation?”

Cities that stand to lose out on ultra-fast broadband under the President’s plan would also lose blue collar jobs. AT&T (267,000), Verizon (195,000), and Comcast (126,000) employ more than half a million people. On any given day, Comcast has two thousand positions open across the company (nearly as many as the total number of Netflix’s actual employees). These jobs …read more    

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