Archive for Thursday, October 4, 2012

In the battle over Big Bird, Schlingensiepen defends PBS; Jenkins says taxes shouldn’t be supporting it

October 4, 2012


In the battle over the Big Bird vote, Democratic congressional candidate Tobias Schlingensipen said Thursday he would protect federal funding of Sesame Street with his life, but U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, said she would pull the plug.

Democrat Tobias Schlingensiepen, a minister from Topeka, and Republican Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, debate Thursday in a forum at the Dole Institute.

Democrat Tobias Schlingensiepen, a minister from Topeka, and Republican Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, debate Thursday in a forum at the Dole Institute.

The two faced off during a debate at the Dole Institute of Politics and jousted over numerous issues, such as campaign finance and health care.

But the question of government funding for Public Broadcasting and Sesame Street — which came up during the presidential debate on Wednesday — was repeated.

Schlingensiepen said he grew up watching Channel 11 in Topeka and praised PBS for its news, educational and cultural programming.

He said Sesame Street had enriched his life. "I for one would defend it with my life," he said.

Jenkins disagreed. "I am not going to fire Big Bird," she said, but added PBS should not be funded by the government. "Nowhere in this document (the U.S. Constitution) do I see that that is a role of the federal government," she said.

Jenkins said the federal deficit is too high for taxes to be going to PBS. "We could pass the hat and probably keep them open here locally this month," she said.

In other areas, Schlingensiepen continued to hammer Jenkins for taking campaign donations from huge corporate interests, such as Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. He said Jenkins supported their positions to the detriment of every day Kansans.

"My opponent has turned against the people of the 2nd District," Schlingensiepen said.

Schlingensiepen noted her votes against the establishment of a consumer protection agency, disclosing Wall Street bonuses and reining in predatory lenders.

But Jenkins said she has voted with the constituents of the district. She voted against the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, saying regulations in the law hurt local credit unions.

And she has voted to repeal Obamacare, which she said will lead to higher taxes and insurance premiums.

Schlingensiepen said he supported legislation that would require organizations pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into campaign ads to disclose their top donors and how much they spend. He also said he supports limits on how much candidates could spend in congressional races.

"It is extremely important that we make sure there is transparency," he said.

Jenkins said Schlingensiepen was implying Kansans aren't smart enough to figure out who is behind campaign ads. "We live in America. This is an issue of free speech," she said.

The debate was sponsored by the local Voter Education Coalition, a non-partisan organization founded to promote civil dialogue and voter participation.


The_Original_Bob 5 years, 4 months ago

It is sad that this issue has to be dumbed down to, "Big Bird, he's on PBS." PBS is a relic. The days of three networks channels and PBS are long gone. Why, there is a channel now that is called The Learning Channel. It teaches things much in the way PBS did.

/I wrote that in 2003.


/Turns on something called TLC. //Toddlers and Tiaras. ///Puts gun in mouth and pulls trigger.

paulveer 5 years, 4 months ago

Yes, Bob, another reason we need to keep PBS.

livefoniks 5 years, 4 months ago

Give me Honey Boo Boo or give me death.

OhnaLeeWhonVought 5 years, 4 months ago

Outright child exploitation and catering to THE lowest denominator, a complete waste of air time.

buffalo63 5 years, 4 months ago

The sad fact is, Sesame Street is the only preschooling that some children get.

Tara Painter 5 years, 4 months ago

That is not true, my kids watch Nick jr and Disney it teaches them alot, ever hear of Mickey Mouse clubhouse, backyardigans, Wounder Pets, ect.. why everyone is throwing a fit off of one Channel, we need to cut back and all people can do is complain, I don't see any of you offtering any way to cut back spending, what we are to teach our kids is working together not against. So start there and show them that fighting about it sloves nothing. There's no right or wrong answer no matter what either says someone has a problem with it.

chootspa 5 years, 4 months ago

It teaches them that TV comes to people who have the money for cable, and then it teaches them about commercials. Good lessons.

BTW - the amount spent out of the budget for PBS is extremely tiny, especially when compared to the amount we pay for corporate welfare for oil, tax cuts to the rich, military spending, and other items that are magically off the table from people claiming to be serious about budget spending. As one pundit put it, "it's like trying to lose weight by clipping your nails."

chootspa 5 years, 4 months ago

The topic at hand is Jenkin's position on Big Bird. Do keep up. But if you'd like some reading material about green energy, try this one: or this one:

tomatogrower 5 years, 4 months ago

It teaches them which toy is hot this season. Have you figured out how to filter out the commercials?

chootspa 5 years, 4 months ago

"Wounder Pets" sounds like a dangerous show, though.

Beth Bird 5 years, 4 months ago

But you have to PAY for that. I do not have cable and will not pay for cable. PBS is free. My kids watch it exclusively.

KSWingman 5 years, 4 months ago

"But you have to PAY for that. I do not have cable and will not pay for cable. PBS is free. My kids watch it exclusively."

PBS is NOT free. Someone else is paying for your children's entertainment.

Tara Painter 5 years, 3 months ago

TRUE, and there was a time where there wasn't t.v. and yet kids turn out fine and healthy, tv is not a requirement for life!

OhnaLeeWhonVought 5 years, 4 months ago

Hmmm...let me see. All of those channels you have listed are only available on cable or some other form of media outlets. ?? Feed my kids and watch whatever is available on broadcast channels, which PBS thankfully is still available on (then again maybe not if Mizz Jenkins has her way) or "let them eat cake" and spend the money on cable access?? I think you know which I'll vote for.

Orwell 5 years, 3 months ago

We can cut giveaways to oil companies and corporations that ship jobs overseas. That would more than cover the cost of PBS.

DillonBarnes 5 years, 4 months ago

Extreme Antique Roadshow: The people are real, the money is real, the drama is real.

sci4all 5 years, 4 months ago

Sure, eliminate PBS, because that 0.012% of the federal budget gets in the way of more corporate welfare for Jenkins and Romney and their big-donor buddies.

By Jenkins' logic, we should privatize roads, public libraries, national parks, tornado sirens, streetlights, and sewage treatment plants. The U.S. Constitution doesn't make provision for those either.

When the government provides those services, at least the consumers - us - have some say in how they're run. When those services are privatized they tend to be monopolies (Westar Energy? Cox? remember AT&T?) and we the people have little to no input.

But Jenkins' corporate buddies would make out like bandits.

John Hamm 5 years, 3 months ago

There is a slight difference between "funding" and "regulating." And, if I remember correctly, "Big Bird" makes a pretty healthy allowance and could fund PBS himself.

Ronnie24 5 years, 4 months ago

I watch PBS a lot.. I also support them at their funding drive. My children loved the programs that were on when they were growing up. My Grandchildren watch the same programs, and learn from them. I watch PBS every day and would hate to lose the great programs they offer. I used to watch the History Channel, and TLC but cannot stand all the reality junk they have on now. I feel that without government help , PBS would fall the way of the other channels. What a shame! Right on autie.

optimist 5 years, 4 months ago

Death by a thousand cuts. PBS may be a small part of the budget but there are probably tens of thousands of programs that the same can be said of. They were all begun by well meaning politicians, often at the urging of well meaning citizens. If we all take the stance that it’s okay to cut the programs important to others but “don’t cut mine” then we continue to invite the status quo. This budget issue isn’t going to fix itself and every year that goes by the future citizens of this country will pay a higher price for.

The debt was run up under the watch of previous generations’ as much as current generations. It is our duty to resolve it. We have an obligation to pay the price in this moment to correct what has been done. We can’t just continue to blame the past. We must act now to preserve the future.

If that means Big Bird goes private sector so be it, but it can’t be the only one to go.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

Actually, it isn't the small ticket items such as PBS and NPR (which provide a great return on the investment, by the way,) it's the big ticket items that are killing us, the two biggest being a massively bloated military industrial complex, and the most expensive and least efficient healthcare system on the planet, along with the massive subsidies to fossil-fuel interests and the too-big-to-fail banks, etc.

If we take care of those drains on the economy, and spend that money instead on remaking it into something that will allow our kids and grandkids to support themselves sustainably, rather than kill them off by the millions, programs like PBS should be easily supportable by anyone not motivated solely by narrow ideology.

optimist 5 years, 4 months ago

"...programs like PBS should be easily supportable by anyone not motivated solely by narrow ideology.”

You’ve shown your true colors here. Right before pointing the ideological finger at the rest of us you inject your ideology by way of throwing out the sinister "military industrial complex card". Then you attack the best healthcare system in the history of the world when in fact it is healthcare insurance that is where the problems lie and the government has some responsibility for that. The increases in premiums that many of us are seeing are oddly reflective of the cuts in payments Medicare and Medicaid are making to hospitals and doctors. That's called cost shifting and effectively a tax on those of us with insurance. Now we've turned the whole system over to the government. My thoughts are that PBS should get out while it can.

chootspa 5 years, 4 months ago

You do realize that the US healthcare system includes insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid, along with the doctors and hospitals and all those people clogging up emergency rooms because they couldn't afford preventative care? Best in the history of the world, snerk.

Orwell 5 years, 3 months ago

"The best healthcare system in the history of the world" costs twice as much, and provides poorer outcomes, than many other countries' health systems. It's only "the best" for those few with unlimited resources. The present system, forcing inefficient emergency-room service and causing over 40,000 unnecessary deaths per year due to lack of needed treatment, is the real cost shifter onto the middle class.

Trumbull 5 years, 4 months ago

Instead of cutting Bigger Bird, we need to look at the Bigger Fish to fry.

fiddleback 5 years, 4 months ago

Optimist, while I can appreciate the irony of your name accompanied with dreary pessimism on this issue, we need really large-bore ideas rather than "a thousand cuts" to become fiscally sustainable. Defunding PBS is like shooting the kitten that eats the scraps out of the back dumpster.

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 4 months ago

It's simple...Cut the bloated defense budget, the bloated prison budget (by legalizing drugs) and we can save big bird and then some...

Frightwig 5 years, 4 months ago

Sesame Street makes millions and millions of dollars every year on merchandising, royalties and licensing. Big Bird is part of the 1%. He will be fine regardless of whether or not PBS loses funding.

The other PBS shows, however, will rely more heavily "on viewers like you". It's a shame most people are interested in things like "Honey Boo Boo" and "Pawn Stars" than worthwhile tv programs.

optimist 5 years, 4 months ago

Great point. And given that their appears to be a market for intelligent educational TV PBS should have no problem filling this demand as a private sector company. Let those other channels be the place to go for garbage TV.

chootspa 5 years, 4 months ago

PBS would be forced to kill off non-merchandisable, quality shows like Frontline and replace them with garbage shows that make money like Honey Boo Boo. That's what the poster is saying. Way to miss the point.

Windemere 5 years, 4 months ago

To paraphrase Romney from the debate, is it worth borrowing money from China for expenditures like PBS subsidies? He was correct in that Americans ought to view the deficit & debt as moral issues. We've lived beyond our means. People have become dependent on a lot of programs we can't afford (or which will be insolvent soon), and have come to love things like PBS and Big Bird. People who over-borrowed also came to love the McMansions they bought and their vacations to Aruba, but when people or entities spend beyond their means, uncomfortable cuts ought to be made. It's the right thing to do for future generations. Sure, it was politicians on both sides of the aisle who over-spent and over-promised -- But we or our predecessors elected them. The problems won't go away magically. Either we pay big now, or our kids and grandkids pay much, much more down the road.

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago

Except that the big-ticket items, the ones that would actually make a dent in the debts/deficits don't get touched.

Defense, SS/Medicare and Medicaid are the big money.

R don't want to cut defense, and D don't want to cut the rest.

chootspa 5 years, 4 months ago

Oil subsidies account for about 10-52 billion dollars. That's over 117 times the money spent on the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The same people claiming we need to can Big Bird to save 444 million are the same people squawking about a 500 billion cut to defense spending - a result of a bill signed into law by people claiming they were serious about spending cuts. The same people who don't want to save 28 billion by ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. That is, by the way, 63 times what we spend on CPB.

Anyone holding up PBS as the only thing we should cut because "budget" is making an unserious argument. It's as simple as that.

tomatogrower 5 years, 4 months ago

Exactly. We give them that money, and they make lots of profit. Why are we doing this. They make a lot more profit than PBS.

Windemere 5 years, 4 months ago

Corporate welfare absolutely should be cut. Never meant to imply that PBS is first in line for the axe.

chootspa 5 years, 4 months ago

PBS isn't a case of corporate welfare. It's a non-profit we created by legislation for the public good. The president appoints the board at CPB, and the senate approves it.

Orwell 5 years, 3 months ago

Back when we had higher taxes under President Clinton we had sustained economic growth and budget surpluses. Add two unpaid-for wars, an unpaid-for tax cut, an unpaid-for prescription drug benefit (at higher cost, due to a prohibition on negotiation as a gift to Big Pharma) and finally the cost of preventing Great Depression II, and we have record deficits. Why the rush to put the burden for fixing this problem on the sick, the elderly and the poor? You think they aren't uncomfortable enough already?

Trumbull 5 years, 4 months ago

Advertising is to television what junk food is to nutrition. I have recently gone back to watching more PBS because I am growing tired of watching reality TV and commercials. It is sad that the History channel is no longer about history.

Sports is still good.....but even advertising and market audience can influence (ie New York Yankees vs Boston Red Sox is guaranteed).

It will be sad if PBS and NPR go unfunded.

OhnaLeeWhonVought 5 years, 4 months ago

Yeah and like giving billions to Big Oil IS in the constitution! Give me a break Mizz Jenkins, I'm not buyin' your snakeoil.

beatrice 5 years, 4 months ago

Parents everywhere are catching on that when it comes to which government funding needs to be cut, the only one Mitt Romney can be specific about is PBS. Of all the government waste, Romney picks Big Bird as public enemy number one. That is where he begins.

I suspect more than 47% will object to his stance.

Obama got Bin Laden, but Romney will get Big Bird!

Pastor_Bedtime 5 years, 4 months ago

How much do we "borrow each year from China" to prop up foreign governments with our aid ~ often to help those who resent the US no matter what we do? How about industry-specific subsidies, by the dozens, from farm aid to every sort of commodity you can think of, that often goes to line the pockets of the wealthy? At least there is an actual benefit to the nation from PBS funding. It may benefit folks who aren't high on Mittens' priority list, though, as youngsters seldom contribute to campaign coffers, and so must not be that important to the nation. And we need to show those Muppets who is boss in this country, especially since they've run afowl of the Chik-fil-a guy with their immorality.

gravitykills 5 years, 4 months ago

I recently watched a Sesame St. episode with my kids. The glaring highlights of the show.... everybody won, nobody loses, and cookie monster was deprived of cookies.

$450 million government dollars to aid the new eutopia.

Larry Sturm 5 years, 4 months ago

Republicans are against anything that gives a fair public view on anything..

Pastor_Bedtime 5 years, 4 months ago

On PBS, skills like home renovation, artistic expression, farming, gardening, small-scale self-sufficiency like energy conservation, owning chickens, and countless other activities are featured. Our nation's history, government and natural resources are also featured, to the benefit of viewers without the filter and blinders a purely-commercial network would apply. Free thought is encouraged on PBS ~ and that may be the most dangerous element of the network.

No wonder Mitt wants to stifle PBS as it detracts from the message the entitled few want to convey to us underlings.

Matthew Herbert 5 years, 4 months ago

nothing has historically said "free thought" throughout the world like government run television.

Pastor_Bedtime 5 years, 4 months ago

I see on PBS a far, far greater degree of diversity of viewpoint than on any of the major commercial networks. While "government run television" may mean a monopoly of viewpoint or a mere propaganda machine in some countries, that's certainly not the case at "goverment funded" PBS.

chootspa 5 years, 4 months ago

The BBC just called to point out that it exists, as do countless other public broadcasting networks that were modeled after it.

Matthew Herbert 5 years, 4 months ago

poor journalism. I was at this debate. The topic of PBS took up no more than 2 minutes of a 65 minute debate. There is NO WORLD in which this was even close to the main issue of the two candidates.

Ken Lassman 5 years, 4 months ago

So give us some better journalism--it can't be that hard. What were the take home points for you between the two candidates?

Windemere 5 years, 4 months ago

Right - better to shift to big issues. Size and intrusiveness of Fed govt, debt, deficit. Amazing (actually scary) that the electorate is still up in arms whenever there's talk of cutting just about anything. What's really frightening is what happens if politicians continue bribing people and corporations with goodies and pork instead of doing the hard work of getting the fiscal house in order. The big line items are SS, Medicare and Defense. All 3 must be tackled to make a real dent. But Big Bird should also not be immune.

bd 5 years, 4 months ago

PBS & NPR need to stay out of politics! I can't stand NPR news!

MarcoPogo 5 years, 4 months ago

If only there was some possible way to avoid it. We are all prisoners!

5 years, 4 months ago

Mirrors on the ceiling, the pink champagne on ice and she said "We are all just prisoners here, of our own device."

And in the master's chambers, They gathered for the feast. They stab it with their steely knives, but they just can't kill the beast

George_Braziller 5 years, 4 months ago

Well then watch and listen to your Fox news on cable. Here's a shocker for you - not everyone has cable.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

"PBS & NPR need to stay out of politics! I can't stand NPR news!"

On balance, PBS's news and public affairs programming tends to lean slightly rightward, and NPR news shows tend to air views fairly equally from across center-left to center-right spectrum.

But I expect that what you really mean is that you want the skewed propaganda of Fox and Rush, because the more factual and fair nature of PBS and NPR don't feed your fact-free prejudices.

tomatogrower 5 years, 4 months ago

I doubt if he has ever listened to NPR. Whenever they ask questions of someone on the left they ask the questions that right wing people would ask. When they interview the people on the right, they ask the questions the left wing people would ask. I'd say that was pretty balanced.
Granted they don't delete stupid stuff, like the delegate at the Republican convention that said she wanted Obama out, because he didn't look like a president and that Mrs. Obama did not dress like a first lady, but maybe you should try not to send the lunatics to your conventions.

Centerville 5 years, 4 months ago

NPR does serve as a shelter for the sanctimonious. That's why no one else pays any attention to it (but have to pay for it anyway).

chootspa 5 years, 4 months ago

It cost you all of $1.35 last year to fund both NPR and PBS combined. I'm sure you were really bummed about having to turn down the extra shot in your Americano.

jonas_opines 5 years, 4 months ago

"NPR does serve as a shelter for the sanctimonious."

Yes, if only they'd learn to be humble and aware of their fallibility, like MSN Liberals and Fox Conservatives.

chootspa 5 years, 4 months ago

And even bitter Fox Conservatives that used to be sanctimonious NPR hosts.

Chris Golledge 5 years, 4 months ago

So, it's OK to borrow money to increase our military budget, but it is not OK to borrow from China to, in some small way, educate our children.

Thanks, that's clear enough for me.

Soapbox 5 years, 4 months ago

The future is here and brought to you by "The Obama Administration"

The future is here and brought to you by "The Obama Administration" by Soapbox

Russell Fryberger 5 years, 4 months ago

This just enforces my voting decision for 2012. I will have no part in the politics that keep destroying this country. Who on this thread wasn't raised getting some good information from PBS that you never would have gotten otherwise? Such a big loss for such a small amount. Jenkins and Romney, I hope a Big Bird craps on your political aspirations.

tbaker 5 years, 4 months ago

Saying you would have never got the information otherwise (without PBS) simply means you wouldn't have looked for it. The idea certain information can "only" be found on PBS is hogwash.

Soapbox 5 years, 4 months ago

Then you pay for with your $ not mine. Whiny!

wastewatcher 5 years, 4 months ago

Would the LIBERAL DEMOCRAT TOBIAS please explain his priorities? I believe Mr. Romney said he would not borrow money from China to fund Big Bird. Does Tobias believe the Government should pay for everything? I come down on JENKINS side on this one, she is a common sense conservative and should be re elected!!!!!!

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 4 months ago

re-elected? Right-wing dipstick! I think you meant tarred and feathered and ran out of the country. Send bucket-mouth south to Mexico.

Dick Sengpiehl 5 years, 4 months ago

In fact Lynn Jenkins does not represent the majority of the 2nd district citizens and has an approval rate in the 35% range. Many of us are sick and tired of her right wing 96% voting record. And Tobias is one who will compromise, not Representative Jenkins who has followed the party line.

KSWingman 5 years, 4 months ago

"Schlingensiepen...said Sesame Street had enriched his life. "I for one would defend it with my life," he said."

Greater love has no man than this: to lay down his life for Mr. Snuffleupagus. -Schlingensiepen 3:16

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 4 months ago

Defense, Medicare, and social security. These represent over 60% of federal spending. Everything else, including PBS spending, is small potatoes and cutting it is more ideologically based than serious economic policy.

beatrice 5 years, 4 months ago

or ... vote for Obama.

The entire amount given to cover PBS for an entire YEAR is what the Pentagon spend is SIX HOURS!

tbaker 5 years, 4 months ago

By your metric, Social Security, MEDICARE and MEDICADE would burn through the annual public broadcasting budget in about 2 hours. DoD is only 19% of the US federal budget B.

Corey Williams 5 years, 4 months ago

Yes, defense is only about 20%, but all those supplemental spending bills for Iraq didn't come out of that 20%, did they?

5 years, 4 months ago

"The entire amount given to cover PBS for an entire YEAR is what the Pentagon spend is SIX HOURS! "

Exactly, it's very little money. There remains, therefore, no reason that those people who find value in it, pay for it. I don't know the numbers for TV, but I do know that 93% of public radio listeners do not financially support their station*. They use the service, but they expect others to pay for it. These people - who are the richest demographic in radio - need to step it up.

Whether PBS is "good " or "bad" is irrelevant - I don't have any opinion on it because I don't watch it. But either way, those who watch it need to support it. If they won't support it, for what possible reason do they demand that others who don't watch it support it?

  • I am the 7%

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 4 months ago

For all you idiots out there who just can't seem to see the big Bird is bankrupting the USA! Wake up, sheeple!

Big Bird is bankrupting this country!

Big Bird is bankrupting this country! by Crazy_Larry

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 4 months ago

Eisenhower would keep Big Bird around. Bucket-mouth Jenkins should be tarred and feathered! What planet do these idiots come from?

chootspa 5 years, 4 months ago

Not the planet in which Eisenhower would be viewed as a Republican anymore, unfortunately.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 4 months ago

Neither WOMEN nor Republicans nor Democrats nor the Upper Middle Class/Middle class can afford the Republican/RINO Party!

Public Education is a strong player in new Economic Growth yet republicans starve the system of funding which starves our teachers of resources. Which starves the desired level of education = stealing from our children’s future.

Trying to kill an educational institution such as Sesame Street and PBS is reckless and irresponsible. Republicans are out of touch going on 32 years.

Is the market value of your home worth less than your mortgage? How much market value have home owners lost since 2007? Trillions of $$$$.

Let's talk about entitlements that have literally destroyed jobs,economies and retirement plans. And made owning a home a risky investment - now that is remarkable.

DC republicans have been successful at wrecking our economy big time twice in the past thirty years. Because of the pattern I am convinced it is their economic policy established under the direction of Reagan/Bush.

Bush/Cheney accomplished a remarkable achievement by destroying the world economy which of course makes it difficult for the USA to bounce back quickly. The question becomes how in the world did they sucker financial institutions worldwide into buying bundles upon bundles upon bundles of bad USA home loans worth trillions of dollars in bad debt?

What an incredible and criminally insane economic policy? I don't believe the entire world can afford the economically reckless republican party that was born in 1980.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 4 months ago

Want to get rid of an item that costs taxpayers smart legislation and tax dollars? Dump the insider trading privilege that members of congress enjoy. But against the law to normal citizens. Don't cha know how legislation can be affected over concern of dividends?

5 years, 4 months ago

Merrill, you got something right. Cherish this moment.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 4 months ago

Other partisan entitlements I cannot afford.

Let's talk about entitlements that literally destroyed jobs,economies,retirement plans. And made owning a home a risky investment - now that is remarkable.

--- This ENTITLEMENT - Bailing out The Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan Heist aka home loan scandal sent the economy out the window costing taxpayers many many $$ trillions (Cost taxpayers $1.4 trillion), Plus millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance.

--- This ENTITLEMENT Bailing out the Bush/Cheney Home Loan Wall Street Bank Fraud cost consumers $ trillions, millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance. Exactly like the Reagan/Bush home loan scam. Déjà vu can we say. Yep seems to be a pattern.

--- This ENTITLEMENT - Bush/Cheney implied many financial institutions were at risk instead of only 3? One of the biggest lies perpetrated to American citizens. Where did this money go? Why were some banks forced to take bail out money?

Is the market value of your home worth less than your mortgage? How much market value have home owners lost since 2007?

The fewer republicans the more our properties will become worth and the more likely USA jobs will be reinvigorated.

tbaker 5 years, 4 months ago

Back in the day when we got our TV and radio from antennas, and the folks out in the sticks couldn’t get any commercial reception – save PBS & NPR – I can kinda-sorta understand the need for a publically funded broadcast. That’s obviously not the case now. Years ago they were called "non-commercial educational" stations, and one could argue but for public broadcasting, where would our children be getting this invaluable “education” from? Again – that’s not the case now. Today they run many of the same commercials as their openly-commercial competitors -- they just call the commercials "enhanced endorsements" or "enhanced underwriting messages". Yeah right…

The fact is no one at these organizations has provided a single compelling argument to support the idea tax payers should be picking up the bill for these media outlets. I have yet to hear an answer to the question; “Why would it be a bad idea to force NPR and PBS to compete in the marketplace like everyone else in the media business?” Crickets…

I think these media outlets will do just fine without any taxpayer money.

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago

The fact that they have to run ads now is because of lowered government funding.

If you really don't understand why a publicly funded station is a different entity than a commercial one, and the reasons why that might be a positive thing, I don't think I can help with that much.

But it should be obvious that it's the lack of public funding that has made them more like commercial stations, and that's not a good argument for less public funding if we don't like the commercialization of them.

tbaker 5 years, 4 months ago

I don't need any help Jafs. I understand quite well. Perhaps it is you who do not understand that things change. Back in 1967 when Congress passed the Public Broadcasting Act, the options a family had for quality children’s/ educational programming were severely limited, and in some cases, PBS was the only choice people had. 40 years later things have most definitely changed. Now there is a huge and growing commercial broadcasting marketplace for all kinds of children's programming and educational media — on radio, TV and the Internet. Sesame Street, for example, is a multimillion-dollar enterprise more than capable of thriving in the private market.

PBS's time is up. It served its purpose. Americans should be proud of what it accomplished and the valuable service it provided to our society in its day, but it is no longer needed. Arguments to continue spending tax money on this obsolete program are therefore purely ideological. There isn’t a single thing PBS provides that people cannot now find in the information market place.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

"40 years later things have most definitely changed. "

Yes, things have changed-- we now have 100's of channels of crap programming rather just 3, with public broadcasting being one of the only consistent sources of quality programming.

tbaker 5 years, 4 months ago

Assuming this is true, in what way does it justify spending tax dollars on it?

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago

I've seen a number of programs on PBS that don't exist anywhere else.

There is of course a lot more programming now than in '67, but there's also a lot of junk, as bozo points out.

One can't avoid the fact that popularity, and the willingness of advertisers to pay lots of money for commercial time aren't synonymous with quality.

tbaker 5 years, 4 months ago

In an era when 41 cents of every dollar the government spends is borrowed, it is difficult for me to believe an otherwise rational person would try and justify government spending designed to ensure someone's tastes in "unique" TV programing are being conveniently satisfied free of charge. Even if some program cannot be found anywhere else (which I seriously doubt) this is obviously not a prudent expediture of the tax payers money.

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago

You're entitled to your opinion.

In mine, there are much more seriously large expenditures in the federal budget that should be cut, and many ways in which we're wasting money - PBS isn't one of them.

Public television and radio serve an important function in our society.

Given that you're a libertarian, it's obvious that you would cut much more of the federal budget than I would, purely on ideological grounds. I'm not sure why you try to justify these cuts in some other way, especially when you move the argument from one thing to another, first saying there's nothing on there that's not available elsewhere, and then saying providing programming not available elsewhere isn't enough of a reason to keep funding.

tbaker 5 years, 4 months ago

Jafs, no one including you has described what the important function public broadcasting provides. If it is nothing more than "...ensure someone's tastes in "unique" TV programing are being conveniently satisfied free of charge" then that doesn't justify it.

You are correct. I would like to see several cabinet level agencies shut down, but not on ideological grounds. I want to see them shut down for common sense reasons like we can't afford them, they are wasteful and inefficient, they have no basis in the constitution, they are no longer needed, the private sector would provide the function better/faster/cheaper, etc. For example, there are 48 jobs programs spread out over numerous different government agencies at a cost of over $18B. What do we have to show for it? The same can be asked of PBS.

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago

You're contradicting yourself.

First, you say there's no reason for publicly funded stations, then you say you understand quite well what the benefit of them is, and then again that there's no benefit.

Commercially funded stations run on the basis of what sells advertising time, and as I've pointed out, popularity doesn't equal quality, as is greatly evidenced by many programs on many commercial stations.

Publicly funded stations don't run on that basis, and can thus choose programming based on other criteria, like quality.

There's a level of intelligent, calm discussion and debate on many PBS shows that's just not available on commercial stations, as well as live music programming, etc.

I hate to sound elitist, as I generally don't believe in that sort of thing, but the quality of these sorts of shows, and the effect of them on one's psyche is clearly at a higher level than much of commercial tv. They enrich our lives, rather than simply entertaining us.

In my experience, the same is true of public radio.

A disclaimer - I don't have a huge satellite dish with a gazillion stations, so it's possible there are some offerings I'm not aware of on those channels. But that points out the other benefit of public funding - people don't have to spend that much money to get access to them.

tbaker 5 years, 4 months ago

I'm not contradicting myself. I said there once was a need for public broadcasting, but that need is now more than met by the commercial media market place. "Quality" programing is a relative statement. In the context of this discussion it is more accurately described using the word "taste" or "personal preference." Just because someone cannot conveniently find free television programing that happens to suite their tastes is not a reason to force the tax payers to provide it.

Jafs, you’re right again. We’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one. I just cannot fathom how a country with the largest national debt in the history of the world, who puts nearly $2 million more on the tab every minute, can justify borrowing more money from the Chinese Politburo so people can have eternal reruns of the Peter, Paul & Mary reunion concert and British sitcoms provided to them free of charge. I’ll never get my head around that. Moving on…

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago

I was going to let you have the last word here, but there are so many distortions in your post of what I would advocate that I can't let that stand.

First, most of our debt (about 85%) is not owed to foreigners.

Second, I have never advocated for deficit spending, and in fact have argued against it a number of times. In my view, being debt-free is the ideal to strive for. If we're going to have debt, it should be minimal, and we should be paying it down over time. Keynesian theory promotes the idea of accumulating surpluses during the good times, and using that money for government stimulus when necessary, which many people seem to forget. And, I'm not some sort of hard-core Keynesian either - I find a number of their ideas problematic.

The big spending at the federal level has nothing to do with PBS - the three largest contributors are defense, Medicare/SS, and Medicaid, which make up about 60% of federal spending, at least. Cutting funding to PBS will do virtually nothing to reduce our debt load.

Your snide comments about programming are noted, with disappointment - I gave you more credit than that - perhaps I was mistaken. I was thinking of programs like Bill Moyers, Religion and Ethics, Washington Week in Review, etc. on the news side, and classical music programming on the music side.

Given the commercial choices, I'd be pretty willing to bet that folks who listen to NPR, and news shows like the ones I mentioned, are much more well informed than folks who listen to Fox News.

I'm a little confused about something - you seem to be pretty Libertarian, but seem to want to soft pedal that - why? Libertarians believe things like taxation is theft, and want to vastly reduce the size of government - if you believe that, why not say it loud and proud?

If not, please provide a small list of things that you think government can do better than the private sector.

tbaker 5 years, 4 months ago

Your right Jafs, I am more of a small “l” libertarian who picks and choses aspects of the ideology I agree with and will stand firm on. Other aspects of the ideology I find naïve in application, but I agree with in principal, and believe the government should have a bias towards this way of thinking, but the real world simply won’t accommodate it, hence the small “l”. Some things about the philosophy are timeless, others are not.

As for the debt, the point here isn’t about who holds it, as if that distinction somehow mitigates the problem, the fundamental issue remains the fact it is dangerously large and it’s growth is accelerating taking us to a point where the effects will be so catastrophic they will hurt a lot of people. I believe we should be more concerned about this than we are the admittedly snarky PBS programing examples I cited.

I’m well aware of the largest drivers of the debt, but saying PBS has nothing to do with it is disingenuous. The sacred cow philosophy perpetuates the debt. Citing the quality of public broadcasting as a reason to continue spending tax money on it is a non sequitur. You presume there is no suitable substitute, coupled with the relative uniqueness of the programming merit public funds. You are supporting a personal value judgment with an assumption that seeks to impose on those who work to pay the taxes without their due consideration. How do you define the threshold that once crossed assigns sufficient merit to a piece of media so as to justify spending the people’s money on it? Who makes that call? What is wrong with putting the matter of funding for PBS to a vote in congress? How would this diminish its self-evident virtue? Would it not stand on the many advantages and benefits you point out?

Keynesian economic theory has failed every single time it has been applied. There is not a single example of it working, and it is in large part responsible for the suffering occurring in this country today. The same can be said for government stimulus spending. It prolongs the economic down-turn and increases its severity.

The small list of things government does that are better than what the private sector can do. That is an easy request to reply to. The enumerated powers in the constitution are a great list. To be more succinct;

The legislative function The police (military) function The judicial function When properly applied, the interstate commerce function Treaties and international relationships

Hows that?

P.S. There are few examples of gross ideological bias and utter disregard for what may be left of journalistic integrity in the profession than those routinely exhibited by Mr. Moyers. He is one of the most prominent examples of why continuing to fund PBS is a mistake. At his best he is a brazenly divisive ideologue with no regard for the truth.

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago

You like to move the goalposts around, which is a bit disturbing.

The line "borrow from China to pay for PBS" implies that borrowing from China is a bigger part of our debt than it is, and that PBS funding is the big problem with government spending, neither of which are true.

I agree that the debt is a real issue, and should be dealt with.

As far as I know, public funding for things like PBS is in fact decided by Congress, so they can vote on it anytime they want to, right?

Some of the fundamental ideas of Keynesian economics make sense to me, and seem like common sense - I suspect your perspective on them is quite colored by your ideology.

Right - so you'd eliminate the vast majority of the government, just like most libertarians would. That's ok, but please don't pretend you're making some sort of reasoned judgement about public funding of PBS when your ideological stance is so extreme.

Any examples or sources to support your view of Moyers? Just calling people names doesn't really prove anything in my book.

tbaker 5 years, 4 months ago

Sigh…please point out how I moved the goal posts. Geez…

Lets start with Moyers. Speaking of the National Rifle Association he said: “…the enabler of death -- paranoid, delusional, and as venomous as a scorpion." Does that sound like a fair and balanced journalist to you? When Moyers was LBJ’s press secretary he directed the journalists to participate in asking the President “planted questions” during press conferences, and sanctioned them if they didn’t comply. (several books from the era, Google the topic) Sound like a guy with any integrity to you? He is a far-left ideologue and makes no attempt to conceal this fact.

Follow along please: Fact: The US borrows money from China. Fact: 41 cents of every dollar the government spends in borrowed money. Fact: Since a portion of the money spent to fund PBS is borrowed, a portion of that is obviously borrowed from China. Clear?

If you think my assessment of Keynesian economics is wrong, provide an example of where it has worked. I would save you the trouble, but please look anyway.

What is extreme about operating the federal government within the boundaries the constitution set for it? What is extreme about stopping the deficit spending and paying-down the national debt? These things will require large cuts in federal spending. Whole agencies without a sound constitutional basis should receive serious scrutiny. What is extreme would be to assume we can continue to operate the government as we have and face very dire consequences for millions of people in the very near future.

Maddy Griffin 5 years, 4 months ago

De-funding PBS (0.012% of the budget) to save the economy is like cutting your toenails to lose weight.This message is brought to you by the number 47 and the letters F and U.

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 4 months ago

Raising taxes on the top 1% isn't going to save the country but cutting Big Bird will!

lunacydetector 5 years, 4 months ago

pbs is only good when they have the cool shows on during their fund drives.....and besides, the Koch foundation funds most of the shows on there anyway

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

" the Koch foundation funds most of the shows on there anyway"

No, they fund the programs that the Koch brothers like. Eliminate the rather modest government funding, and PBS/NPR would broadcast ONLY those programs that the Koch Bros. like.

KSWingman 5 years, 4 months ago

If you want to listen to "Car Talk" or watch "Monty Python's Flying Circus", then you pay for it. Don't expect me to subsidize your entertainment.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

As if those are the only programming options available on PBS.

Here's the deal-- if commercial networks wanted to provide the programming that's available on PBS/NPR, etc., they would. They have the funding if they want to do it. But they don't-- they primarily give us reality shows, soap operas and sitcoms. Their "news" and public affairs programming are superficial and sensationalistic.

But that goes a long ways towards explaining why Republicans hate public broadcasting so much. They like it when folks like you know only what their propaganda machines tell you, and otherwise keep you pacified with lowest-common-denominator crap.

I expect that in the Roman times you'd have been very satisfied going to the Coliseum and being entertained by the murder and mayhem financed by the oligarchs to keep your mind off of how miserable your life was otherwise.

KSWingman 5 years, 4 months ago

"Here's the deal..."

Umm... no. HERE's the deal. Pay your own damn way. Stop expecting other people to subsidize your entertainment.

Terry Miller 5 years, 4 months ago

Back when I was watching PBS and Sesame Street the only cable we had was 1 channel of HBO. I was not allowed to watch much of any of the programming that was offered at that time on the only real cable channel HBO. Instead I watched Sesame Street, and several of the other popular PBS children's shows on PBS in the late 70's and early 80's and I am now thankful that my head as a child was filled with all that great re-enforcing educational material that I see much less of these days. I actually was given the entire Sesame Street book collection in hardback to feed my mind and fill my time instead of the latest toy on the market scheduled to break into bits within 5 minutes of leaving the store. My family was not loaded with money to just spend without thought, but rather they made their dollar go much farther by buying the entire Sesame Street book set that went hand in hand with the daily lesson or skill presented on the show and that helped Sesame Street and PBS have a much more substantial impact on my ability to learn once I was in preschool and on. i was not gifted or anything but I did seem to understand what I went on to be taught in grade school. So I got to say thank you PBS for the foundation of my education. I hope that somehow a way is found to address everyone's concerns and will hopefully allow PBS programming to live on. Call me a big dreamer.

tbaker 5 years, 4 months ago

Who gets their TV from an antenna these days? Thats the only way PBS is "free."

Orwell 5 years, 3 months ago

A number of households struggling to pay for food and medical care can't possibly add a monthly cable bill to their budgets. Your simplistic assumption says a lot about the people who want to cut PBS.

Tara Painter 5 years, 3 months ago

were struggling too, its called teaching your kids yourself and not the T.V.

John Hamm 5 years, 3 months ago

Quite a few people have realized that there is a tremendous amount of free broadcasting available over the airwaves and, believe it or not, it's in HD.

JackMcKee 5 years, 4 months ago

Jenkins is a Tea Party wind up doll. That bimbo doesn't have a thought of her own in her pea brain.

Orwell 5 years, 3 months ago

She used to be fairly moderate, before the party extremists prohibited independent thought.

Liberty275 5 years, 4 months ago

"He said Sesame Street had enriched his life. "I for one would defend it with my life," he said."


John Hamm 5 years, 3 months ago

Interesting comments in this thread - funny how Liberals can rant and rave over funding of a Public Broadcasting System which for all intents and purposes could, nay should, be self supporting but they don't give a durn about what's happening in the world around them. Somewhere along the line priorities have really become distorted.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

I like my tax dollars being spent on public education,higher education and on other education facilities such as PBS and NPR.

I don't like my tax dollars being spent to undermine public education and to cover the cost of tax cuts for the wealthy or to fund AMC with $47 million Kansas tax dollars to move from one side of the border to the other. Then being bought by a chinese conglomerate = double whammy.

I don't like using $200-$300 Kansas tax dollars for building a roadway known as the SLT for pork barrel projects known as the local real estate industry = corporate welfare. How many more hundreds of local roadways do gasoline powered vehicles need?

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