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Comments about ‘My view: PBS is a trusted source and essential to the American public’

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Published: Sunday, Oct. 21 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

PBS IS commercial television that has some federal funding.

Practically ever program on PBS starts or ends with "This program made possible by a grant from XYZ Corporation, bringing you world class widgets at a reasonable price" or some such advertisement. Yeah, the nature of the commercial is different from what we see on regular commercial TV, but it is a commercial nonetheless.

If PBS's programming is of sufficient quality to draw such advertisers, they can add a few more and save the taxpayer money.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

That was an excellent article, but it missed the entire point. The Federal Government was not instituted to fund worthy projects. The Federal Government is allowed to operate by the citizens IF it constrains itself to the duties that the citizens have allocated to it. Those duties are listed, one by one, in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. We have limited the authority of Congress to tax us ONLY for those duties and we have explicitly stated that all other duties are to be left to the States or to the people (10th Amendment).

That means that MOST of the programs and projects of the Federal Government are outside their realm of authority. Any President, who fulfils his oath of office, must eliminate those programs, even if those programs are popular and deemed necessary by most of the public.

The sad fact is that few people read the Constitution. Few people understand that we, the people, have limited the role of government. Few people understand that forcing everyone to pay for Big Bird is not legal.

Emajor
Ogden, UT

Conservatives suffer under the delusion that cutting drops in the barrel like NPR and PBS will somehow get us anywhere near solving our deficit. The problem is that there are not enough drops that can be cut that will get anywhere near closing the deficit unless problems in the big spending areas (Medicare, Social Security, and Defense) are solved. What's Mitt Romney's solution? Cut PBS (which will save us a hundred million or so) and increase defense spending (which will cost us a hundred billion!).

Couple this with the morally bankrupt idea that anything that cannot generate a profit is worthless, and you have a winning combination. Romney/Ryan 2012!

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

PBS is in a hostage situation relationship with the government. We need PBS, but I'm hoping it can wean itself from government funding so it can continue to do things that make conservatives uneasy, like educate children and inform people and provide programming somewhere above dancing with the stars.

one old man
Ogden, UT

The main reason people like Mitt want to defund PBS is because they are afraid of it.

Afraid of it because it dares tell the truth.

And truth frightens them.

cns
St George, Utah

I love PBS and send checks to two radio stations and two TV stations.
But Mike Richards has it right. The founding principles of the Federal Govt as contained in the Constitution do not include -- Well, if its worthy, makes us feel good about ourselves and doesn't cost a lot of money, it OK.
My checks to PBS stations are modest, but if everyone who enjoy PBS stations would support them financially, even if modestly, then Federal dollars would not be needed.

J Thompson
SPRINGVILLE, UT

Let's look a little more carefully at history. Let's look at the infamous "tea tax" of King George. He told us that it was just a "little tax". He told us that we were being taxed less than others. The old us that if we didn't agree with is dictate that he would send his military to crush us.

We responded and demanded freedom from him, from his "authority" and from his "little taxes". We demanded liberty to choose for ourselves. We fought and we won. We created a government controlled by the people where the government would NEVER be allowed to dictate anything to us without our explicit permission.

Now "Americans" are telling us: "It's just a little tax." "You're unAmerican if you don't believe in Big Bird". "The President has the right to do whatever the people tell him to do." It rhetoric goes on and on. It is just propaganda perpetrated by a "community organizer" who sits in the Oval Office.

Emajor
Ogden, UT

"We created a government controlled by the people where the government would NEVER be allowed to dictate anything to us without our explicit permission."

Like the Iraq War? Didn't get to choose on that one did we? Rather expensive, too. How about the billions upon billions in subsidies given to large corporations? I don't have a choice in the matter, do I? JThompson, there are a LOT of laws and taxes created and passed without our explicit permission, laws 99% don't even know about. And conservatives pen their fair share of them.

You want to talk about propaganda? Look at your own post comparing a fairly elected mainstream political party candidate to King George. You're losing perspective here.

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

Sorry, Mike Richards, but as usual, you've misread the Constitution, which provides for things like PBS as contributing to the General Welfare of the nation. I'd be happy to cite the relevant case law. PBS is constitutional.
Excellent article, superbly articulated. Well done.

Gildas
LOGAN, UT

Less government money and more people's money to public television would give more control to the people.
Do cable television companies that provide "local stations", including the local pbs stations, contribute to the PBS budgets? It's an interesting subject.

SEY
Sandy, UT

What "good" things are NOT allowed under the General Welfare clause as now interpreted? By that I mean to ask is there any limit to the number or type of good things covered by it? And who gets to decide what contributes to the general welfare? Is it determined by the consent of the governed or by the governors?

I don't mean to start an argument, these questions are rhetorical. The argument over the General Welfare clause is moot, but that doesn't mean it's either right or good.

Winglish
Lehi, UT

Most television stations that are privately controlled give me little to zero hope for the future of our nation. PBS does give me hope. I have been subjected to weeks' worth of my daughter's chant of "O-bam-a! O-bam-a!" ever since she peeked over my shoulder while I was reading about Romney's Big Bird moment. Even a seven year old girl understands that PBS is Constitutional as being a general welfare for our nation, which is starved for educational and family friendly television.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

J Thompson,

I don’t think Pres. Obama has any more to do with PBS than did Pres. Bush II, Clinton, Bush I, Reagan, etc. So if this is an error, it is one that presidents on both sides have perpetuated.

When Ken Burns was filming the Civil War series he explained to Pres. Reagan how it was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and PBS along with funding from corporations and foundations. Burns relates it this way “Reagan put both hands on my shoulder and said, ‘That’s it! We need public-private partnerships. The government primes the pump, and then the private sector has the motivation to get involved. Good work! I can’t wait to see the finished film.’”

So, wrong or not, Ron was okay with it.

J Thompson
SPRINGVILLE, UT

Has it really come to this? Has Obama sunk so low that he is trying to tell us that his $5 trillion addition to the deficit was necessary so that he could feed Big Bird? How many of the complainers who demand that everyone be forced to feed Big Bird voluntarily made contributions to PBS? How many of they think that those who did not voluntarily fund PBS should be forced to fund it? How many of those same people think that we should be forced to fund KSL or any other local station that also provides news, commentary and programming to enrich our lives?

Forcing someone to support the "arts" is diabolical. Telling us that some program is so valuable that our agency needs to be taken away so that that program can continue is more than diabolical. Using the force of government to take away our agency is a plan so anti-American that no American who believes in the Constitution should stand idly by.

Makid
Kearns, UT

Hmm, the article is well written. However some comments are confusing.

If people think that the Government shouldn't be in any public eduction service (which PBS falls under) are you against all things that aren't specifically enumerated in the Constitution?

Such as, Equal Opportunity? Disabled Access Rights, Food and Drug Administration, FBI, CIA, NSA, Interstate Highway fund, Foreign Aid, NASA and Human Rights?

If things were not pushed by the Federal Government to make it equal for everyone in the country, we would have multiple states where it would be illegal for women to work.

FBI, CIA, NSA are not anywhere in the Constitution yet they all protect us.

How about the Food and Drug Administration? Everyone wants to cut regulations with the EPA but why not food? Why not allow more mercury in food, that might bring back a few thousand jobs. That's all that matters right?

Highways? Commerce isn't a reason, let each state support the roads themselves, those that don't build or fix can suffer the consequences.

PBS falls under General Welfare as an educated society is a better society. This is why childless parents still pay for schools right?

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

J Thompson,

Please.

"Forcing someone to support the "arts" is diabolical."?

". . . our agency needs to be taken away so that that program can continue"?

If taxation takes away agency, then ALL taxation does so and govt. cannot exist.

Even if the supported program is precisely enumerated in the Constitution, if taxation takes away agency then ALL programs so supported are wrong at their base (the Constitution can't make it right to take away our agency).

All govt. is the sacrifice of some rights (not agency) in order to ensure others. Which ones we sacrifice and how much, is (in the US) drawn up in the Constitution. How we fix problems is also found in the Constitution. Any other solutions are (by definition) unconstitutional.

J Thompson
SPRINGVILLE, UT

ANY taxation that is not authorized by the people in the enumerated list in Article 1, Section 8 is diabolical. It is government in operation outside of the boundaries that the people have allowed. That is diabolical. Nobody but the devil himself would have anyone break the law. Honest people do not break the law. Law abiding people do no break the law. Feeding Big Bird from the public treasury is not allowed by the Constitution, notwithstanding those who think that any "good" program is allowed by the General Welfare "clause" of the Constitution. They have failed to read the whole document. They have failed to note that if "General Welfare" did what they think it did that authorization to support a military would never have required six separate clauses in Article 1, Section 8, because defense is listed in the same sentence as "General Welfare".

People ignorant of our Constitution make unsupportable claims. If they took thirty-minutes to educate themselves by reading the Constitution, they might begin to understand how ridiculous their statements sometimes are.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "My view: PBS is a trusted source and essential to the American public"

If your view actually represents the truth, then the American public should be willing to voluntarily support PBS 100%, rather than suffer some percentage of PBS' support to be filched forcibly from our pockets.

It's way past time your view is put to the test. PBS must sink or swim on its own merits.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Emajor,
if we cannot make the easy cuts like NPR and PBS, how can we make the hard decisions like SS and medicare?

Eric,

I believe you are stretching the general welfare clause to the breaking point. It would improve our general welfare if we all had smartphones and tablet computers, but that does mean uncle sam should buy them all for us.

Makid,
you cannot have interstate commerce sithout highways, thus they are authorized under the commerce clause.

Richard Votaw
Sandy, UT

If only PBS was politically neutral, not the left of MSNBC that it is, I might support it. But that is not the case, let them get their funding from the leftist people that want it support it.

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