Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch may soon be unemployed.
President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2012 budget includes $451 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which oversees PBS and National Public Radio.
Congressional Republicans want to cut the CPB funding entirely. Republicans say taxpayers shouldn’t be footing the bill for programming.
The money spent on public broadcasting is less than the $500 million that the government spends each year for military bands. There is no discussion about cutting military bands’ funding.
That $451 million for public broadcasting is a drop in the overall federal government’s $3 trillion budget bucket. The money spent on public broadcasting creates a better-informed citizenry. Children get a start in early learning. And they aren’t bombarded with advertisements while watching it.
The vast majority of public broadcasting has no political agenda; it is simply well-produced content. The $451 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting should be left intact. We can’t rely on private corporations and donors to fund public broadcasting at the level it is now.