A Billion Here, a Billion There…America Sets Another World Record

Osama got Bin Laden; I'll get Big Bird!Well it’s official!  Both Obama and Romney have spent over one BILLION dollars each on their respective campaigns!  This is a record sum in the history of U.S. elections!   (Hooray for Citizens United!)

To put this in perspective:  That is more than FOUR TIMES the entire annual budget of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which Romney said he will shut down to help balance the budget deficit!

The CPB’s annual budget is composed almost entirely of an annual appropriation from Congress, plus interest on those funds.  For fiscal year 2012, its appropriation was US$445.2 million (including $1M in interest earned).  That’s less than one-fourth of this year’s presidential campaign spending!

Romney’s answer to Jim Lehrer’s debate question about how Romney was going to achieve the 5 trillion dollars of savings needed to fund his proposed military expansion and his proposed tax cuts for oil companies and the wealthy, while balancing the budget at the same time, was to say that he’d start by axing CPB (although he prefaced it by remarking that he likes both Lehrer and Big Bird).

Five trillion divided by five-hundred million is TWO THOUSAND.   You would have to kill the Corporation for Public Broadcasting TWO THOUSAND TIMES to raise that kind of money!

Even if CPB were among the government services that should be cut to save money, how could that be the first answer to the question?!?!?  Axing the CPB, wouldn’t make a dent.

Obviously, Romney’s answer was not a practical one; it was a bone thrown to the far-right, which hates NPR and PBS.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) is a non-profit corporation created in 1967 (under President Johnson) by an act of the United States Congress and funded by the United States federal government to promote public broadcasting.  Between 15 and 20 percent of the income of all public broadcasting stations have been funded from federal sources, principally through the CPB.

The CPB provides some funding for the Public Broadcasting System (PBS),  National Public Radio (NPR), and, to a lesser extent, for other broadcasters that are independent of those organizations. In more recent years, the CPB has started funding some Internet-based projects.

Public broadcasting stations are funded by a combination of private donations from listeners and viewers, foundations and corporations (59.4% of total revenues of all stations), state and local taxes (21.8% of total revenues), local and national underwriting, and federal funds, principally through the CPB (15.5% of total revenues).


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