You know, there’s something I want to get off my chest.
Do… do you guys even like Big Bird? I’m just throwing that out there — worst Sesame Street character. Always walking around, kinda condescending. Calling Oscar a grouch (maybe it’s because he lives in a trash can).
Oh, right, that wasn’t what I was going to talk about.
So, this won’t go away, so we’re going to talk about it. During the first presidential debate former Governor Mitt Romney noted that, in handling the budget deficit, he would cut Obamacare and, in trying to give another specific, he said he would cut funding for PBS.
Here’s what Romney said about that in the debate:
I like PBS. I love Big Bird. … But I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for.
The Obama campaign then started sending out e-mails saying that Mitt Romney “wants to kill Big Bird.”
…okay. Let’s… all right. Let me collect my thoughts for a second.
A couple of things with that, guys. Number one: Romney doesn’t want to kill Big Bird. Sesame Workshop gets like $7.9 million in funding — their full budget is $130 million. They’re a non-profit, which is to say, anything they sell (toys, games, etc.) goes right back into making more educational programming, particularly international, as locally they’ve pretty much got critical mass on that.
Cutting federal funding does not kill Big Bird, as boring a character as he may be.
Now, let’s go with what the federal funding mostly does: of the $400 million-plus we give them (that’s million with an M, less than 1/10,000 of our national budget, PS), most of that goes to local stations.
And finally, did I mention that it’s less than 1/10,000 of our national budget? And that it’s for your local PBS station?
So, let’s review:
- Mitt Romney doesn’t want to kill Big Bird.
- If Romney cuts PBS, it won’t kill Big Bird.
- The money Romney’s cutting would go to local stations more than the main CPB stable of productions.
- Cutting PBS does about as much to help solve our financial crisis as, say, Tweeting that I like Natalie Portman helps me win her heart.
Everyone got that down? Cool.
Question: What programs would you actually cut down to help balance the budget?