The tried to do this last year and it looks like they’re going to try it again this year:
On a party-line vote, the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees health and education funding approved the cut to the budget for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which distributes money to the Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio. It would reduce the corporation’s budget by 23 percent next year, to $380 million, in a cut that Republicans said was necessary to rein in government spending.
Republicans are looking for ways to save taxpayers’ dollars, amid fiscal conservatives’ concerns over the budget deficit.
“We’ve got to keep our priorities straight,” said Representative Ralph Regula , an Ohio Republican who is chairman of the appropriations panel that approved the cut. “ You’re going to choose between giving a little more money to handicapped children versus providing appropriations for public broadcasting.”
Gotta love the Republicans. When it’s big business, the rich, or the War!OnTerror! they can’t spend the money fast enough and when they finally decide to start cutting spending they go after programs that are already paltry in comparison to begin with.
“Dick Cheney and the Republicans have decided to go hunting for `Big Bird’ and `Clifford the Big Red Dog’ once again,” said Representative Edward J. Markey , a Malden Democrat who led the successful effort to reverse the cuts last year. “PBS is right at the top of their hit list—always has been and always will be, until they can destroy it.”
Most of the savings would come by eliminating subsidies for educational programs and grants for a number of technological upgrades.
Of course PBS is accused of having a serious liberal bent so it probably shouldn’t come as a big surprise that the Republicans want to destroy it. They’d rather their constituents remain ignorant sheep so anything that promotes education has got to go! But hey, they’re just trying not to spend more than last year, right? Right?
Uh… not really:
The cuts are included in a $142 billion spending bill covering domestic social programs in health, education, and labor. Even with the cuts to public broadcasting, the bill would spend $1 billion more in total than is being spent this year on those programs, and $4 billion more than President Bush had requested for those areas of spending. Student loans and research grants to local hospitals are among the areas that would see funding boosts.
If they’re already over by $1 billion dollars from last year anyway then what difference is another $115 million going to make? Not a damned bit of difference. It’s not about saving money, it’s all about trying to gut an institution they can’t stand.
Hat tip to Think Progress.