Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Jurassic Pork

The cost-cutting House Republicans have voted to end funding for NPR and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, causing Liberals to declare that the end of civilization is upon us.

"Do we really want to turn back the clock on
Sesame Street," they ask, "and force children into back alleys to learn the alphabet? Should women have to use coat hangers to improve their radio reception to hear All Things Considered?"

And of course, our answer is: "Yes, please! As soon as possible!"

Defenders of the government funding say that the country is already in such incredible, unfathomable, unpayable debt that the nearly
half-billion dollars a year received by the CPB is chump change too small to worry about. Which is sort of like saying "when you're standing in the middle of a war zone, how much damage can one little bullet do?"

Liberals also say that without taxpayer funding of NPR and CPB, there will be
no programming diversity amongst the nation's other 739 television networks and 43 million radio and Internet stations.

When all else fails, liberals point to
Sesame Street, Barney & Friends, and Dora the Explorer and say that these shows are desperately needed to provide education to children who would otherwise only receive tutelage from the highest-paid and most unionized teachers on Earth. When they're not out sick.

Once upon a time, a
long time ago (before the Internet and cable TV and trillion-dollar debts, if you can imagine such a thing) NPR and CPB might have made a little sense. But now, they've gone the way of the dinosaur.

Granted, it's a
singing and dancing dinosaur - but taxpayers can no longer afford this particular song and dance.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting - Fair and Balanced.


Pete(Detroit) said...

God forbid that PARENTS should take an active role in getting the kiddos to read, etc...
God forbid kids should do something interactive, like chase around outside...

Ok, so, these guys first, NEA next?

John the Econ said...

What liberals are really saying is: "We like NPR, but we are not willing to pay for it ourselves. So, by using the taxing authority of the government, we shall force those who have no interest in NPR to pay for it as well."

Remember, in the liberal mindset, anyone who wishes to keep more of the fruits of their own labor to spend as they please is considered "greedy". They who wish to seize the fruits of other's labor for things that they personally want are but "concerned citizens".

I've always thought they have it ass-backwards.

Earl said...

Many years ago, I believed that Head Start and Sesame Street would resolve the differences between advantaged and disadvantaged children and would guarantee that all children would be kindergarten ready: know their alphabet and numbers, exhibit pro-social values, and maybe be able to do a little reading. Once they entered kindergarten, our public schools would take care of the rest. Sigh. How utterly stupid of me. I was projecting a rose-colored future with glasses made from 1950's values. Thirty plus years later our largest and best funded public schools fail to graduate a majority of their students and many of those who do graduate are not ready for college. Here's the easy math. Zero public dollars for these "feel good" efforts. As for public schools, we can start with defunding public unions. "On Wisconsin."

Angry Hoosier Dad said...

It may be just a pebble in the ocean, but if our Congress can stand the ripples from these pebbles maybe they can find the stones to throw real stones and make a few waves. Of course, there's always the chance that they may wipe their sweat-stained brow and say "whew, that's enough for this decade" and kick the can a wee bit further down the road. At which point we will have the opportunity, in 2012, to kick their cans down the road.

Jim Hlavac said...

Andrew Carnegie built some 1500 libraries nationwide with his own money: because he was an "evil capitalist."

So why doesn't, say, Mrs. John Kerry fund Big Bird and his friends? I'd say she's got enough ketchup, or um, dough to pay for it for decades.

Or let them have NPR and eliminate the Dept. of Education which hasn't taught the alphabet to anyone since its inception.

Unknown said...

Ya know, this place is usually mildly funny, but today it's just downright misinformed.

For starts, you seem to think that only NPR (which you really must have a burr under your saddle over) is first in line and then the CPB.

Second, you seem to think that "Zeroing out the CPB" in the former Speaker of the Adulterer's words will end public radio and public Television. It will sting, but Public Broadcasting was here long before the CPB was even thought of, and it will be here long after it's (maybe) gone.

And if it is gone, you guys will lose another whipping boy because no tax money will be involved. Plus idiot presidents won't be able to stack the Corporation with their toadies.

Be careful for what you ask, you might get it.


Pete(Detroit) said...

Alise - won't pretend to speak for anyone else, but in my case the NPR burr is that I caught them flat out lying. Not spin, or slant, or perspective, but a gross misstatement of fact that I can only presume was intentional. For a "news" organization, I find that inexcusable. Frankly, I don't give a rip if defunding 'kills' anything or not - I know that the gov't money is only about 10% of budget. However, I'm sick of frikkin' paying for it.
Period. See also National Endowment for the Arts - what ever happened to the meme of 'starving artist suffering for the muse'? Instead, we're subsidizing all manner of grotesque installations and performances for no readily apparent reason. If people can market a crucifix in a jar of urine, paintings of elephant dung, or sending rags dipped in HIV+ blood out over an audience, hey, more power to 'em. But again, picking my pocket to fund that kind of crap is inexcusable, and I've had enough. As Angry Hoosier Dad suggests, perhaps by starting w/ the pebbles they'll work up to the larger stones of Dept of Ed, Energy, Transportation, EPA and others that either a) do nothing b) are actively harming the country and need to be shut down, or at least heavily curtailed.
Then, perhaps, they'll have stones large enough to go after the REAL problem - entitlements. After all, they're what, like 75% of the total budget?

Suzy said...

I thought PBS was funded by people who sit home and call in donations for overpriced dvds of concerts and stuffed animals?

My bad!

The government should strip everything from the budget except what has to be paid to make the country go. And I mean, including international cuts, too. And Obama ski trips.

Doc - Northern Nevada said...

Docs Factionary:

Cow, cash = PBS ... aka - anything that can generate a huge, almost untraceable, cash flow, while being exempt from all kinds of taxes and fees. This is usually followed by hiring high paid lobbyists to convince the Congress Critters and Senators they absolutely cannot survive with out help from the government, so they might actually be able to PAY the talentless folks who look all wholesome and dress properly to beg for money, convincing people that if they also don't fork over major bucks (for items that are produced in Korea for pennies) the great station they are watching while enjoying the memories they trigger deliberately just might possibly fail! Horror of horrors!

Note to reader: Check out exactly who is running a lot, not all of them but a lot, of these stations! You will find in many instances it is local public universities - who are also receiving federal funding for doing it! Not only are the taxpayers funding CPB, but we are also funding the universities who run the stations! ALL tax exempt!

Doc - Northern Nevada said...

Docs Factionary #2:

Perpetual Motion = paying folks with tax dollars whose entire job consists of begging for more tax dollars ... Hmmmmm

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Alise- Read carefully; I'm not saying that defunding CPB would cause any programming to stop - it's the liberals who are making that claim. As far as I'm concerned, NPR and CPB are free to create and run any programming they like, as long as taxpayers aren't forced to pick up any of the expenses.

Our country is out of money. In fact, we need to borrow more just to be out of money. So we're long overdue in making cuts. The Republicans are still wearing their training wheels right now, but it's good practice for them to cut spending on things like this that are flat out gratuitous before moving on to the larger, more painful, and more important cuts.

Unknown said...

personally, I'd more in favor of across-the-board cuts that all add up to serious money than the nibbling like ducks at politically-charged agencies.

guess that's why I'm not a politician.


Pete(Detroit) said...

Alise - agreed, but some boards are more necessary than others. However, that would also be a welcome breath of fresh air.

TheOldMan said...

Once again,

1. SS retirement age = life expentancy at birth - eight years. Now. Not phased in over 50 years.
2. Eliminate Dept of Education. Since inception in 1977, results keep getting worse.
3. Eliminate Dept of Energy. No kilowatts generated there.
4. Break for lunch.

TheOldMan said...

Sorry about the typo: expectancy.

Pete(Detroit) said...

Means testing for SS would be good, too. And Medicare/caid. Why should 'we' be paying the bills for Bill Gates?
"It's not faaaaaiiiirrr, we all paid in, we should get our money back"
Right - it's NOT fair, it's a frikkin' Ponzi scheme, and it's unsupportable / unsustainable.

And, while we're on the topic, why do we buy Viagra for people in prison?

WMD said...

Life comes down to two things, wants and needs.
America, sadly, is completely broke. Do we NEED CPB? Or do certain people just WANT it? I'd wager there are more liberal billionaires than there are conservative ones. Buffet, Gates, Oprah spring to mind. they're rich, why don't they pay for it? Libs expect the "rich" to pay for everything they WANT. Why not this stuff?
I'd love to see how they would react if someone suggested to them that they personally bare the financial burdon for those entities.

Colby_Muenster said...

Jim Hlavac,

Crimony! You are in fine form today; I laughed for a full five minutes thinking about The Kerry's actually giving money to NPR. Damn! Next thing you'll be saying is the Bills won the Super Bowl and Tim Geithner paid his taxes!

Everybody else,

Yep, we have to get our Government to somehow understand that we should only fund vital things like national defense, and stop spending the people's money on every damned social welfare program that comes down the pike. Yes, CBP is a very small fish, but it's still a fish (and it smells fishy, too). I know cutting their federal funding is pretty much a drop in the bucket, but it is highly symbolic. Those of us who work for a living cringe when we turn on PBS as see a bunch of liberals begging for even more of our money so they can show us some crap show that has no relevance to real life. I also love it when they are in their fund raising mode (which seems like every time I accidently turn it on). They will show you some REALLY good programming that you think is absolutely great, so you send them some money only to find out that the program you liked is only on at 3 AM every other Tuesday.

Let's defund them, and move on to the big stinky fish like Dept. of Energy, Education, the UN.... Hell, even the Postal "Service" is a waste of money. UPS and Fed Ex are kicking their asses and actually deliver packages when they say they will.

Off the soapbox now.....

Anonymous said...

Hey, let's compare NPR and CPB to conservative talk radio.

NPR & CPB = Taxpayer subsidised and constantly begging for money.

Rush & Sean = Enormously successful and profitable (and only on a few hours a day!)

Have we learned anything here?

Andrew said...

Defund them. Symbolic, and doubly worthwhile for the message it sends.

The programming will continue. It will be entertaining seeing who they recruit for sponsors. Pretty certain that their most outspoken celebrity 'supporters' won't be among those sponsors.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Readers - The comments here are so good and well-expressed that I don't have much to add. I will, however, suggest to Alise that there's no point in saying that some wasteful expenditures are just too small to worry about. In the land of politics, everything has been either too small to worry about or too big to tackle. Both have got to change. Now.

Chuck said...

Colby_Muenster: The post office is one of the enumerated powers in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. I agree that the private sector is doing it better and that a Constitutional amendment repealing that power may be in order. However, for right now I’d just be terribly happy if they pulled out of everything that is NOT in those enumerated powers! Our budget would be in surplus and our debt paid off in years not decades.

I’d also like to see them take the power related to pirates seriously:
“To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas”.
It’s more than just a power, it’s a duty.

Doc - Northern Nevada said...

If they REALLY get serious about punishing the priates in the good old fashioned way (THINK U.S. Marines - and it worked before for a LOT of years up until recently) I will even volunteer to cut my hair, shave off my beard, get used to doing pushups and a morning run before breakfast everyday. I might be old but I am not dead, and I will be at the front of the line volunteering to go!
Alas, as I posted earlir today in another forum ... the Obummer will NEVER allow us to do what needs to be done, and 'talk' to the pirates in the only way they will get the message! After all, it is against the Quran to kill, or order the death, of another Muslim. Why do you think they tried to try the Gitmo detainees in civilian courts? Because Obummer would have NEVER signed the death warrants if they were convicted and sentenced to death in a military tribunal. His religion will not let him do it!
Now I am off my soapbox for the night! LOL!

John the Econ said...

Dear Alise, I don't want CPB to go away. What I do want is not to be forced to pay for someone else's propaganda.

Jamie said...

NEWSFLASH: "Republicans Crusade Against Childrens Entertainment! Conservatives want to destroy PBS! "Why do they all hate our children's joy so MUCH?" Paula Kerger asks.

They're going to have a FIELD-DAY with this, you wait and see...

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Jamie- Who TF is "Paula Kerger?" And what makes you think that Children's Entertainment can't survive without tax money?

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