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Thursday, November 1, 2007
posted by Justin Hart | 12:54 PM | permalink
Michael Arrington, founder of Tech Crunch, interviewed Mitt Romney recently. Tech Crunch is to technology what the Drudge Report is to politics.

Here are some choice excerpts:
MA: ... The US technology industry, of course, has been a world leader. And a lot of the growth has been through international markets, particularly over the last ten to twenty years. What would you do as president to advance these efforts?

MR: Well, first it’s important to communicate as you do to your audience that the trade and opening markets to American goods is essential. The only way America is going to remain the world’s superpower is if we can compete globally, so I want to open more markets to our goods and I will negotiate with other nations to do so. At the same time I want to make sure that our trading with other nations is done on a fair basis, and when a nation like China does not honor our intellectual property rights then we’re going to have to get serious with our Chinese friends and say guys you just can’t do that or you’re going to suffer consequences in our markets. So we’re going to have to fight to make sure that our products are protected and our technology is protected but also to not close down foreign markets, open them up, we can compete around the world.

This is one of the things that attracted me to Mitt Romney, he knows technology and he knows politics and he knows where the two meet. Next, onto Internet taxes:
MA: Ok, great. Let’s jump into internet taxes, some news today on that actually. The 1998 Internet Tax Freedom Act bars federal state and local governments from taxing internet access or imposing discriminatory internet only taxes. Things like bit taxes, bandwidth taxes, email taxes. It doesn’t of course prohibit states from collecting sales taxes on things like e-commerce. It was twice extended by Congress and actually was set to expire this Thursday, but last week the Senate voted to extend the ban and then this morning the house voted 402-0 to approve the bill as well for a 7 year extension. I’d just like to get your position on internet only taxes.

MR: I think the indication of the house vote indicates that most American’s are of the point of view that Internet only taxes of the type you describe are not something we want to see. I have a specific position on that issue, but I do not want to see internet only taxes as you described them or access fees or email charges and so forth. We do enough taxing in this country and let’s not add more taxes. I’d rather see the tax for innovation reduced rather than expanded.

Lastly, the real tech question that matters. Promise to our readers here: I will make Mitt a Mac convert yet!
MA: I guess that brings us to the most important question I have to ask you, which is…Governor Romney, Mac or PC?

MR: I have a PC. My sons have a Mac and swear by it, but I have a couple PC’s.

MA: So one of your sons is on Mac, or most of them are?

MR: 3 out of the 5 boys I believe are on Macs, and they swear by them, but I’m a creature of habit, I’ve got my PC.

MA: I’ve got to say I’m slightly disappointed and that’s going to hurt you in Silicon Valley (laughs), but at least it will help you in Texas where Dell is. Do you have an iPod?

MR: I do.

MA: Of course you have an IPod! What’s on it? What are you listening to right now, what sort of albums have you downloaded or listened to?

MR: What I typically download is country music as well as 1960’s music. I’m a baby boomer, so the Beatles and the Stones and some of the old groups from the 1960’s are my favorites, I listen to them and I listen to country. I might have some inspirational music as well, but those are the highlights for me.

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