Tax Analysts Blog

We Must End Federal Funding of NPR

Posted on Mar 18, 2011

Of course Republicans despise any radio that espouses views that are more moderate than those of Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage. So when they desperately needed spending cuts, eliminating $432 million of annual subsidies was an easy target for House Republicans. The House voted to defund NPR by a 228-192 vote on March 17.

Liberals love NPR for the same reasons conservatives hate it. But putting the usual political warfare aside, should not also liberals be in favor of defunding NPR? If they cannot bring themselves to support cutting NPR subsidies, what would they suggest? Would they rather cut spending for the poor and the elderly? And, after all, NPR will survive with commercials, corporate sponsorships, and fund drives.

The Republicans tried to defund NPR during the Gingrich revolution of 1995 and failed. It turned out that their biggest problem was not liberals but the many establishment (i.e., non-Tea Party types) Republicans who like and listen to the Diane Rehm show.

The NPR funding debate is a litmus test of how serious Congress in general and Republicans in particular are about spending cuts. If Congress can't even cut NPR it is a sign that deficits are here to stay and . . .dare I say it . . .tax hikes will be necessary. Or perhaps you don't care that your children will be paying big chunks of their diminished incomes to the Chinese.

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