You can't make the evolution of media argument against the RIAA and then at the same time ignore it when it comes to radio; radio really is an antiquated medium for entertainment, especially music, given the digital revolution. Killing off musical radio stations might be the next logical step in the evolution of media.
I also don't understand how making musical artists less likely to make political statements is a bad thing. They have a right to say whatever they want, but they abuse the additional power granted in them by celebrity status in an attempt to spread their beliefs to the populace. It's every bit as bad as when businesses try to use their enormous wealth and power to influence causes. They're two sides of the same coin, right wingers complain about musicians and left wingers complain about corporations; they just bitch about people who abuse their power to say things they don't agree with, not people who abuse their power to say things they do agree with, it's hypocrisy at its best.
Artist's political opinions are rarely well-researched and people aren't really punished for making political songs as much as loud, political statements on the public forum. When in public, in a very real way, celebrities are on the job because their public appearance is part of the marketing. If I made political statements at work I would be fired; why should it be any different for a celebrity who goes out of their way to spout off their beliefs (and often it occurs during during public events; award acceptance speeches, etc).
Every medium other than radio has to pay royalties for the use of music to the artist and the recording label, why should radio be exempt? If the medium cannot survive as is while compensating artists for their contributions to their success, then why should it survive as is?
We need radio to deliver public service announcements and talk radio isn't going anywhere no matter what. Sports channels, political channels, and the faith channels are going to be perfectly fine. If this passes it'll only hurt the music stations which already do a poor job of serving the needs of people who actually have nuanced, individualistic musical tastes to begin with. Yes, some local radio stations may be closed, jobs will be lost, but new frequencies will open up for technology (and radio frequencies are popular real estate).
If I was in congress I still don't know how I would vote. My mind isn't made up, I see the points either way. I know that they provide free advertising, but the way they do it is by using their products to make money for themselves. Painting it that way is a bit dishonest, as is this whole tax nonsense. It's clearly an effort to associate the performance fee with taxes in order to capitalize on the swelling tide of public dissatisfaction with anything deemed a tax; it's dishonest as are many of the arguments here including the one that said artists wouldn't see a cent. That's blatantly untrue.
When you're discussing a topic and you take it to an extreme level and use dishonest tactics you will convince people who may otherwise have been on your side to support your opponents, as such it's really important to consider the language and the honesty of your arguments.