"If the CPB cannot survive in the real world like everyone else, because there is not a market for its programming, it is not the responsibility of taxpayers to continue to foot the bill for a luxury."—ALG President Bill Wilson.
June 17th, 2010, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government (ALG) President Bill Wilson today called on members of the House of Representatives to cosponsor legislation being introduced by Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO-CD5) that would cut the $420 million budget for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
"It's time for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to stand on its own two feet without taxpayer backing," said Wilson. "In these troubled economic times, with a $13 trillion national debt spiraling out of control, it's time for Congress to cut non-essential programs like public broadcasting."
"With over 500 channels available on cable and satellite television, and thousands of radio stations nationwide, the rationale for funding television and radio programs with taxes is no longer even valid," Wilson added, noting that the CPB's original mission was to make "telecommunications services available to all citizens of the United States".
Currently, for FY 2010, the CPB has $420 million appropriated, and has requested some $608 million for its next funding cycle beginning in FY 2013. The CPB is the parent company for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and the National Public Radio (NPR) networks.
In an exclusive interview with ALG News, Congressman Lamborn stated, "If we don't take the low-hanging fruit then where else will we save the money?"
Wilson agreed, saying, "Congressman Lamborn has a point. Congress refuses to cut spending anywhere ever — it has not been able to reduce the debt for over fifty years. If Congress can't cut public broadcasting, which is absolutely non-essential, it won't be able to cut anything ever."
Lamborn indicated that it may not be easy: "There is a constituency for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, especially the people who would rather get the money on a silver platter than have to go out and work to sell advertising and bring it in the way everyone else has to perhaps. We have to make hard choices."
Lamborn added, "If we don't do that, we are going to go the way of Greece and we are going to lose our greatness here in America."
Wilson concluded, "Giving the CPB the benefit of the doubt that there is demand for its programming, it should be able to get by without taxpayer assistance since it only gets 13 percent of its funding from federal tax dollars. But if the CPB cannot survive in the real world like everyone else, because there is not a market for its programming, it is not the responsibility of taxpayers to continue to foot the bill for a luxury."
"Video: Congressman Doug Lamborn Introduce Legislation Defunding Public Broadcasting," Americans for Limited Government, June 16th, 2010 (download).
"Time to Stop Funding Luxuries, Like Public Broadcasting," by Rebekah Rast, ALG News Contributing Editor, June 14th, 2010.
"Is Public Broadcasting Hurting the Arts?" by Robert Romano, ALG News Senior Editor, June 15th, 2010.