PBS: Our Incredible Success Should Prove To Mitt Romney That We Need A Government Subsidy!

“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. I 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 it.” – Mitt Romney in the Denver debate

Maybe 50 years ago, when the deficit was small, there was no Internet, and there was only a handful of TV stations, there was a case to be made for PBS. Back then, you could have said, “We’re not hurting financially and PBS helps us get culture and children’s programming out to the poor who don’t have a lot of other cheap ways to get it.”

You may agree with that or you may not, but at least it’s a legitimate argument.

In 2012, there is no longer ANY legitimate argument for continuing to subsidize PBS. For one thing, we’re on pace to borrow: 9 billion dollars from China over the next decade to fund PBS. In what universe does that make any sort of logical sense? Particularly since there is a glut of channels providing consumers, including poor Americans, with an extraordinary number of options? Getting beyond that, 80% of Americans have access to the Internet at home and if you add in the people logging in from school and work, almost everyone now has the same access to high culture that only the wealthiest Americans had 50 years ago.

So, what is the: PBS argument for continuing to leech off the American taxpayers? It mainly seems to be that it’s doing so incredibly well.

We are very disappointed that PBS became a political target in the Presidential debate last night. Governor Romney does not understand the value the American people place on public broadcasting and the outstanding return on investment the system delivers to our nation. We think it is important to set the record straight and let the facts speak for themselves.

…For more than 40 years, Big Bird has embodied the public broadcasting mission — harnessing the power of media for the good of every citizen, regardless of where they live or their ability to pay. Our system serves as a universally accessible resource for education, history, science, arts and civil discourse.

Over the course of a year, 91% of all U.S. television households tune in to their local PBS station. In fact, our service is watched by 81% of all children between the ages of 2-8.

So, each year PBS reaches 91% “of all U.S. television households” to go along with its long running, popular kids’ show that brings in more than 50 million dollars; so that proves PBS needs help from the government…wait, what? Google and Microsoft should try to get their slice of the same corporate welfare pie that PBS is eating by trying that line of reasoning, “Gee, since we’re so successful, that proves we need 500 million dollars a year of taxpayer money. That’s not all that much compared to the stimulus bill, is it? So, fork it over!”

The fact of the matter is that if PBS went out of business TOMORROW, Sesame Street would be picked up somewhere else a week later, within a month 95% of its audience would be happily watching alternate programming, and within six months, hardly anyone would even remember that it ever existed in the first place. PBS is a greedy, rotten corporate citizen and it should stop mooching money off the taxpayers and pay its own way.

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