Monday, May 5, 2008

The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005

Current U.S. Population Estimate: 303,945,000

Estimated # of TV’s in America: 284,948,438
Average # of hours Americans spend watching TV: 6 hrs. 47 mins.
Total viewing time per day: 644 million hours of television in America

The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 was a seemingly innocuous bill made law in 2006 which on the exterior seemed like a bill touting Healthcare Directed Budget Reform. Upon reading the bill, I found that of the 181 pages that make up the document, 7 pages near the center focus on a $10.5 billion dollar money making scheme under the heading: Digital Television and Public Safety.

This bill mandates a transition to digital television which will require each U.S. household to pay an average of about $114 to continue watching television in 2009. This rider bill was important to Congress because it allowed them to offset spending without having to curb the budget and it should be important to American's because it represents $114 in unconventional taxation in 2009 hidden in a bill with a blatantly dubious title.

Looking at the numbers above, you can see that television matters in America, it matters because it represents a captive audience of more than 300 million people. Congress can't let the freedom of sharing sparked by the internet sway that hold. HDTV made possible through DTV technology is a way to insure that Americans continue to watch (and with all of the exciting colors they'll watch with renewed vigor).

Want to find out more? Read the bill yourself. Click the link above and check out my podcast on iTunes.

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