Too Big Bird To Fail
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There is no spending program that the Left will not defend.
Why The Left Is Wrong About PBS
I'm sorry, Jim, I'm going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I'm going to stop other things. I like PBS, I love Big Bird. Actually like you, too. But I'm not going to -- I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for.
Some Republicans have questioned why Mitt Romney would walk into a situation like this. It as semi-relevant, considering Jim Lehrer was moderating the debate, but why hand Democrats an image like Big Bird for government cuts?
But it made for big news: Big Bird-centric Twitter hashtags and user accounts started cropping up in a big way - to the tune of 17,000 tweets per minute, and it was one of Google's biggest search terms during the debate.
And the Left, as they are want to do (especially in an election year), immediately took the quote to a ridiculous extreme, with people dressing up in any number of variations of hideous Big Bird costumes, appearing at campaign rallies carrying signs accusing Mitt Romney of wanting to fire and/or kill the giant Muppet.
And while it might make for good campaign rhetoric, the truth tells another story.
Government funding only accounts for about 15 percent of PBS's overall budget. That distribution is a bit different for local PBS stations, and it's true that many would likely go off the air if the government subsidy were cut.
But businesses across America and around the world are forced to make changes in order to stay competitive, so why not PBS? Sesame Street alone makes hundreds of millions of dollars every year in merchandising. Broadcast corporations like Disney or Nickelodeon would likely jump at the chance to acquire the rights to Sesame Street, and could likely turn it into a multi-billion dollar endeavor. The same is true of Jim Lehrer - if Elliot Spitzer can get a job in cable news, surely a talent like Lehrer could find a home with one of the privately-held networks. PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting could even change their business model to become their own competing network if they wanted to.
But a statement like that is sacrilege to the Left, and they will argue both sides of the issue to get what they want. With one breath liberals argue that public broadcasting is too big to fail, and with the next breath they argue that the government subsidy is too small to worry about. In fact, PBS argued both points in a statement responding to Romney's comments during the debate. PBS is either too important and effects too many people, or its subsidy represents such a small portion of the federal budget it isn't even worth mentioning.
This is the reason liberals will never stand for real deficit reduction - every government program falls into at least one of two categories: they're either too big to fail, or too small to worry about...or, as in the case of public broadcasting, both. During the debate, President Obama talked about $50 billion in wasteful spending that was cut during his presidency...and if the president hadn't been running over trillion-dollar deficits throughout his presidency, that might mean something. But when it gets right down to it, President Obama is more worried about "paying" for the Bush tax cuts than he is about putting forward a budget that might actually bring real deficit reduction.
Here is how it is with liberals: the politicians will talk about reducing the deficit, but when the rubber meets the road, there is no government program, big or small, that the Left truly wants to cut. This is how, when conservatives start talking about reforming the bankrupt US Postal Service, we are treated to Harry Reid telling us about how despondent elderly Americans would be if ever deprived of their junk mail. This is how teachers in one of the worst school districts in the nation can go on strike and end up getting a raise and less accountability than originally planned from Rahm Emmanuel.
Our government is facing a financial crisis. We continue to monetize our debt, a measure that could easily lead to hyper-inflation. Rising energy prices are leading to higher costs for consumer products across the board. Given the tenuous situation our nation is in, one would thing that some real ideas for deficit reduction would be in order...but not under President Obama's agenda notions of "hope and change."
Whether it's Big Bird or junk mail, or any government program in between, President Obama and his party have proven to America that they cannot be trusted with the duties of deficit reduction and responsible governance.
Robert Cleveland, Senior Conservative Editor: Robert Cleveland is the IT Director for a document management services company. When he isn't working on computers and scanners, he's spending time with his wife and kids, or writing about just how jacked-up Washington politics is. He is a strong believer that hard work and freedom are what make America the greatest nation on the planet, and it is of the utmost importance that we never lose those values. Robert's other writing can be found at his blog, more...)