Senate Bill Would Allow Tax-Exempt Status for Newspapers

CHICAGO Newspapers perform a public service for democracy and should be allowed to operate as tax-exempt non-profits, U.S. Sen. Benjamin Cardin, D.-Md., proposed Tuesday.

Cardin introduced a bill that would explicitly include newspapers among organizations eligible for 501(c)(3) status. The non-profit status is the same that public radio and television have now.

The legislation would give a national green light for newspapers to adopt the so-called Low Profit Limited Liability Company business model, often shortened to L3C.

The L3C model, which the Newspaper Guild supports as an alternative newspaper ownership model, is the subject of a feature story in the current print issue of Editor & Publisher.

Under Cardin's legislation, newspaper revenue would be tax-exempt, and contributions to papers would be tax deductible. The status would also allow non-profits to invest in newspapers, something that is forbidden now.

Cardin said action is needed to help preserve local newspapers.................

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_con...

No votes yet

"Newspapers that accept non-profit status would not be allowed to endorse candidates, but they could cover political news just as they do now, Cardin said."

i liked that part of the bill. i couldn't imagine the blade being unbiased, but i think it's a good thing, so people can make up their own mind. who knows, maybe a non democrat might get elected in toledo! :)

It's about time.

Once the Democrats pay off the newspapers who helped get them elected and pass this bill, then it is time for a true "Fairness Doctrine" that is comprehensive and inclusive.

One that does not target one aspect of the media, but includes radio, print media, television, newspapers etc.

If my tax dollars are going to support these "public institutions" then I demand that the Government count every word in every article in every newspaper and make sure that Republicans get equal time with the Democrats.

 

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a
socialist.

If newspapers are unable to make a profit and survive on their own, they deserve to go out of business. Imagine if the government in 1900 felt this way and kept alive every business that was about to fail. We'd still be in buggys, riding bikes etc etc. The government has no business propping up failing business if it does, show it to me in the constitution.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

Ha! This coming from someone whose station gets a broadcast license for FREE from the govenrment

Pink Slip

who deliver their product using publically owned and funded roadways for free.

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a
socialist.

You are just an idiot aren't you. If the government wants to give out licenses to newspapers and put the same restrictions on coverage that we have then we can talk apples to apples. Sometimes you say the dumbest things.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

P.S. A new commercial FM station license is very expensive. The FCC puts them up for auction to the highest bidder, several have gone for over a million dollars. Even for a very small market you can expect to bid over $100,000. That is just to get permission to build a station. Once built, you have to pay spectrum fees to the FCC based on market size. You will also have to pay ASCAP and BMI fees for the use of music.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

I never said is WAS an apples-to-apples comparison, you dumbass. In fact, I was implying the opposite.

Pink Slip

Yeh, I'm sure you were. How did I miss that implication in your sentence? It was so clear.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

How did I miss that implication in your sentence?

You sure assumed a lot in one sentence.

How much rent do you pay to use the public airwaves?

Pink Slip

I like playing with you, but not enough to waste time anwering really stupid questions. And don't let anyone tell you any differently, there are stupid questions and stupid people.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

That's ok, freddy--we already know the answer.

Interesting letter here from Ralph Nadar to Rush Limbaugh, but it could just as easily apply to freddy (minus the money, success, and 3-4 lbs):

"Dear Mr. Limbaugh,

The Associated Press reports your new contract with Premiere Radio Networks will enrich you with at least $38 million a year over the next eight years. You are making this money on the public property of the American people for which you pay no rent.

You, Rush Limbaugh, are on welfare.

As you know, the public airwaves belong to the American people. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is supposed to be our trustee in managing this property. The people are the landlords and the radio and TV stations and affiliated companies are the tenants.

The problem is that since the Radio Act of 1927 these corporate tenants have been massively more powerful in Washington, DC than the tens of millions of listeners and viewers. The result has been no payment of rent by the stations for the value of their license to broadcast. You and your company are using the public’s valuable property for free. This freeloading on the backs of the American people is called corporate welfare.

It is way past due for the super-rich capitalist–Rush Limbaugh from Cape Girardeau, Missouri–to get himself off big time welfare. It is way past due for Rush Limbaugh as the Kingboy of corporatist radio to set a capitalist example for his peers and pay rent to the American people for the very lucrative use of their property.

You need not wait for the broadcast industry-indentured FCC and Congress to do the right thing. You can lead by paying a voluntary rent–determined by a reputable appraisal organization–for the time you use on the hundreds of stations that carry your words each weekday.

Payment of rent for the use of public airwaves owned by the American people is the conservative position. Real conservatives oppose corporate welfare. Real corporatists feed voraciously from hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate welfare gushing out of Washington, DC yearly.

Whose side are you on? Freeloading? Or paying rent for the public property you have been using free for many years?

I look forward to your response.

Sincerely yours,

Ralph Nader"

Pink Slip

That's really funny, I've never seen it before. I don't understand why Nader hasn't been elected president yet with clear thinking like that. The American people owe him a huge debt of gratitude. I wonder what Nader proposes the public do with the airwaves if they were ever given back to them? Thanks for the laugh pink. This time I do see the implied humor in your post.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

...and this is sincere with no hidden meaning, etc...

If the 'airwaves' are determined by the government to belong to the people, then the government gets to control them. The government then gets to decide how they get used, whether or not licenses are issued, the terms under which those licenses are issued, etc., etc. etc....

Correct?

And this is the basis for the support many have for a type of fairness doctrine, public interest, whatever you want to call it.

So my questions - not just to you (anyone can respond), but I hope you may have the answer, are these:

Why are the 'airwaves' not private property? (I'm not asking whether or not they SHOULD be - but why they AREN'T)

Is there anything in the Constitution that grants the government the ability to 'own' this on behalf of the citizens? (I realize that radios were not invented back then, but does the Constitution grant authority to Congress for a similar type of item for which the airwaves could be construed as similar?)

If we, as citizens, are the 'owners' of these airwaves, why not allow citizens a vote on the subject - like we do on levies?

Finally, if the government can decide (we didn't vote to give them this authority that I know of) that they 'own' the airwaves on behalf of the citizens, what is to stop them from declaring anything else - or any other private property - as belonging to the public and then held in trust for them by the government with similar types of rules and regulations for usage?

I'm not asking these questions to start an argument, but I am curious about what you think.

is public, then that means that Miller Ferry is on welfare for using it to transport people and profiting off of it? Does not make much sense. Pink Slip made it clear in previous posts that he/she does not support the fairness doctrine so you wonder why all of these posts talking about the principles of the doctrine.

Maggie, from what I understand the FCC came to be (in part) because broadcast signals were interferring with each other so there became a need to regulate the frequencies.

"Is there anything in the Constitution that grants the government the ability to 'own' this on behalf of the citizens?"

I believe these two Constitutional powers should hopefully provide some insight. The Executive Branch has the power to:

"appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law"
(emphasis added by me)

And the Legislative Branch has the power to:

"To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof"
(emphasis added by me)

I believe that these two powers, working together, provide the Constitutional authority to create a department such as the FCC (or Energy, Education, etc). I'm no law scholar, so take this with a grain of salt--just my opinion

"If we, as citizens, are the 'owners' of these airwaves, why not allow citizens a vote on the subject - like we do on levies?"

Come on now, we are not a direct democracy. We DO vote--for representatives that act in our interest (in theory)

"Finally, if the government can decide (we didn't vote to give them this authority that I know of) that they 'own' the airwaves on behalf of the citizens, what is to stop them from declaring anything else - or any other private property - as belonging to the public and then held in trust for them by the government with similar types of rules and regulations for usage?"

We as citizens have to vote for the right people, hold our leaders to protect the Constitution, and if all else fails there's always the Second Amendment. Or as Thomas Jefferson said, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

Pink Slip

...your response and especially the Jefferson quote.

Well, if Ralph Nader said it, it must be so.

I've gotta doff my hat towards the anonymous Internet poster that warned me that the newspapers would be the next industry to get a bailout. He was right. Newspapers are probably a major "base" of the Democrats. The insight seems sound.

It's a travesty, of course, but that isn't stopping this dipshit Congress and dipshit President. I can see clearly they think they can just print their way out of this Great Depression II.

Massive taxes and fees are coming for the middle class, folks. They will be hitting your utilities bills shortly with fairly big fees. Get rid of your cellphones and cable TV. I'm warning you NOW.

The government assumed control of the airwaves and decreed that they owned them. Prior to that lots of organizations had their own stations. Taking control of the airwaves was a way to collect fees (maybe that's where Carty got it) and sell only to Big Businesses.

Additionally the government did it with the actual air. The Government determined air routes and auctioned those off as well. With deregulation and the government no longer owning the routes anyone could fly them if they just informed the FAA of when and where they would use the routes.

Note that the standards of the FAA have not decreased. The airline industry still has to conform to the most stringent laws our country (and internationally as well) has. It has a safety record that surpasses any other major industry and because of the government giving up "ownership" we now have discount carriers. So I can fly from Las Vegas to Detroit for less than $100.

MikeyA

Yeah, right. So they don't come out and name a candidate on the editorial page, but they continue to show perfect smiling pictures of the guy they like helping grandma cross the street on the front page, while they show the other guy with his mouth open in a story buried near the crease on page 5. You don't have to read the editorial page to figure out which candidates our local newspaper supports.

And they skew stories in the perspective that paints a picture different than witness accounts...at least their own ombudsman took them to task for that Stainbrook/Miller Issue Day account.

This nonsense must stop!

What's wrong with these so-called "representatives of the people". They don't represent ME or 80% of the population!

We must Unite and Fight this truly dangerous Pelosi/Obama/Reid movement to turn America into a third-world basket case.

The Chinese are laughing at us. The Europeans are laughing at us. And the Russians are sucking down gallows on Vodka in honer of Obama!

www.csa-1776.org

For more than two centuries, the American people have been subjected to reporting of news, in print, sometimes as extensive as 51,perhaps 81, paragraphs on a single subject, in a singular story, on events in our nation and around world. This must be brought to a stop. Reading consumes too much time for us, even if we were so inclined. We must be about pleasurable endeavors. Let us not read. Rather, let us listen to people on the radiowaves and, if there's a TV in the room, listen and watch.

Patience is a great virtue.

Argh! How many times must we say it? My tax dollars should not fund ANY business!!! (the fact that the radio-frequencies are "free" does not mean that tax dollars pay for them, only that someone hasn't figured out a way to fund them with tax dollars).

If that business is struggling, and it makes cuts in staff and wages, makes changes in suppliers/supply costs, adjusts hours to cut utilities, bulks deliveries to cut transportation costs, etc.... and
it still cannot stay afloat, then it should not be in business.

A definition from Daniel Webster, who made a business of writing dictionaries: Business: the buying and selling of commodities in order to make a profit.

If you need someone else's money to make ends meet, and aren't profiting, you aren't in "business!" (unless of course, you make a contract to borrow funds to get your business going, AND you pay those loans back).

People who work at newspapers have portable skills that can be transfered into other lines of work. The world will not stop spinning if we have fewer newspapers. American institution? Phooey.

FURTHER, the last thing we need in this country--or in any country for that matter-- is nationalized newspapers.

Good grief, this nation is transforming into something I barely recognize.... I'd never imagined this would ever be discussed in America!

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