Assuming there is new Republican clout in Washington following this year's elections, many are wondering how much backbone the newbies will show when it comes to standing up to the Obama agenda.
Will they repeal healthcare?
Will they face the media onslaught to oppose Obama's deficit spending?
Will they demand Constitutional authority for every bill they pass?
An early test of their fortitude may come in this emerging uproar over NPR, PBS and the CPB in general. There's no reason in our culture to have a state-run media. No reason. Sesame Street can survive on its own - it will get advertisers.
If the Republicans follow through on their threats and do what should have been done long ago - defunding the Corporation for Public Broadcasting entirely of taxpayer monies - it could be a good sign that they're serious about solving some problems and eliminating some waste.
And don't fall for the nonsense that says, "Oh, but it's pennies! NPR doesn't get that much in the way of federal funding." And while it is true that NRP's website acknowledges that only 5.6% of its funding comes from the combination of local, state, and federal government funds, Mark Browning has done a great job exposing that fraud:
At first glance, this distribution of funds seems to confirm that public radio's support does not come in large amounts from the direct allocation of tax moneys. After all, 5.6% is not a gigantic portion of the budget, is it? But let's look more closely. That 10.1% that comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is 99% provided by -- you guessed it -- the federal government. Those university funds, whenever they are provided by a public university, represent taxpayer-provided dollars. We can safely assert that three out of four university-supported stations are publicly funded, which means that more than 10% (three-quarters of that 13.6%) is taken from the taxpayer's pockets.
So far, we find that NPR member stations count on direct or indirect taxpayer money for some 25% of their funds -- and that's before we consider some of the largest portions of their budgets.
Obviously the support by individuals, businesses, and foundations does not constitute taxpayer funding, right? Not so fast. These donations are tax-deductible; thus, they are subsidized by the government. Granted, not every gift is actually reflected on an individual or business tax return, and not all of those that are itemized wind up offsetting high marginal tax rates. Still, it is reasonable to believe that on average, these gifts result in deductions at the 25% tax bracket. Since these three categories add up to roughly 64% of station funds, we can reasonably argue that 16% of that money (64% x 0.25) is subsidized by the tax code.
In the end, then, local NPR affiliates derive something like 41% of their funding from taxes, either directly or indirectly.
So show us your seriousness, Republicans. Show us it will be a new day. Show us you honestly want to defend the taxpayer against abuse.