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