March 2nd, 2011, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government (ALG) President Bill Wilson today urged members of the Senate to cosponsor legislation by Senator Jim DeMint that would defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) after Fiscal Year 2013, the parent company of National Public Radio.
“Senate members who profess to be fiscally responsible need to show the courage of their convictions, and cosponsor Senator DeMint’s bill to completely defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting,” Wilson said
“If Congress can’t cut the small things, like public broadcasting, it will never be able to deal with entitlements or significantly reducing the deficit, let alone paying off the $14 trillion debt,” Wilson explained.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting currently receives $420 million in taxpayer funding.
“Signing on to the DeMint bill is just building momentum to completely defunding the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in the continuing resolution process,” Wilson said, noting that the Continuing Resolution passed by the House for the remainder of the fiscal year will defund the CPB, too.
In an exclusive interview with Americans for Limited Government, Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO), the original House sponsor of CPB-defunding legislation, has called the Corporation “low-hanging fruit” that can be cut.
Lamborn explained, “Why should taxpayers spend $420 million a year to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which is the parent of NPR, when it could survive on its own? It could be out there in the private marketplace, and compete along with everyone else. Why should government be in the broadcasting business at all?”
Senator DeMint has agreed, noting that PBS’ brand, Sesame Street, is a commercially viable entity that needs no public funding. “Shows like Sesame Street are thriving, multimillion-dollar enterprises,” he wrote. “According to the 990 tax form all nonprofits are required to file, Sesame Workshop President and CEO Gary Knell received $956,513 — nearly a million dollars — in compensation in 2008. And, from 2003 to 2006, Sesame Street made more than $211 million from toy and consumer product sales. Big Bird will be just fine without his federal subsidies.”
Wilson agreed, saying, “The Corporation for Public Broadcasting only gets about 13 percent of its total budget from federal taxpayers, which the corporation itself is quick to point out. They can finance themselves via donations, or move toward a profit model if they choose, but taxpayers should not be obligated to pay for programming.”
Last year, ALG launched a national petition drive to defund public broadcasting in the wake of National Public Radio’s firing of Juan Williams. The petition is at: www.defundpublicbroadcasting.org.
“Defund Public Broadcasting Once and For All,” by ALG President Bill Wilson, October 25th, 2010.
ALG Praises Boehner’s Call to Defund Public Broadcasting, October 22nd, 2010
“Where to cut, you ask?” Video by Frank McCaffrey on Doug Lamborn’s legislation, October 19th, 2010.
“The Bare Minimum,” by Rick Manning, ALG Communications Director, October 20th, 2010.
“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.
Interview Availability: Please contact Rebekah Rast at (703) 383-0880 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.