Recent technological reports have heralded the end of an era. There are no more payphones or dial tones, and slowly but surely, elderly landline subscribers have died off or finally learned to text. Don’t throw away your old cordless phone yet, though! Because of a hefty new “Bee Tax,” landlines may soon be making a comeback. This new environmental “protection tax” will be approximately $25 dollars per line added to your current monthly cell phone bill. It is expected to make its appearance on all U.S. cell phone carriers, after the 911 Surcharge and Federal Excise Tax, by 2015.
Since the introduction of cellphones, the bee population has been on a well-documented decline. While humans can not perceive cell phone signals, communication between mobile phones and cell towers confuses bees, causing them to become disoriented. Unable to function normally, colonies of honey bees are steadily collapsing. Since honey-bees are crucial in pollination, this presents a huge problem. For some time now the USDA has denied any correlation between cell phones and bee colony collapse, but it has reached a point where farmers are seeing an impact nationwide.
“It has become clear that cell-phone use needs to be limited.” Said Peter Mayer, a representative for the USDA. “Cell phone rates will go up, but we need to encourage more landline usage. Aren’t you sick of that whole ‘can you hear me now’ stuff anyway?”
While landline phone stock has steadily declined on Wall Street, financial experts are now predicting a surge in value. Among other companies, Verizon, Fairpoint Communications, and even MagicJack and Vonage stocks have both gone up in demand. Roy Chestnut, chief financial officer of Verizon, reportedly has plans in motion to buy back some territory that was sold off to smaller companies in preparation of customer switching back to landline phones.
The “Bee-Tax” regulation is rapidly making its way through the senate and house, and inside sources say President Obama is not expected to veto the bill. Environmentally concerned democrats and fiscally tight republicans both support the measure.
“Hey, I’m for it. It will encourage competition and create jobs – and most importantly, it’ll help America’s backbone, the farmer.” Said Republican senate leader Mitch McConnel of Kentucky. “Nothing is more important to America and the future of this country than the farming industry.”
When questioned about those people that would not be able to afford cell phone service if taxed an extra $25 per line, McConnel did not seem concerned.
“These welfare folk and the like can just spend less money on getting their nails done, crack, and cable TV, and then they can come up with [the money]. Or they can share a landline – which was a luxury in my day and age. We definitely aren’t going to be able to fund government subsidized programs like food stamps if the honey bees done-die-out now, are we?”