In the 2012 Presidential election, Republican nominee Mitt Romney decided to make cutting PBS a central issue of his campaign. In fact, even during one of the nationally televised debates Romney stated that he believed funding for “Big Bird” should be cut.
During the 2012 race, he stated:
“I’m sorry, Jim. I’m going to the stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m going to stop other things. I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you, too. But I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it.”
Now, it appears that President Trump’s proposed budget would cut funding for public broadcast. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting currently receives $445 million a year from the federal government to fund local public programming, NPR, etc.
They also would eliminate funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services which was $230 million, this money goes towards various museums and arts programs throughout the country. Overall, there are four arts organizations which will see their budget from the federal government eliminated should this budget be instituted.
Not surprisingly, these cuts will surely be highly criticized. However, many have noted that these agencies will largely be able to operate more within their own jurisdiction without having to meet federally dictated requirements. Now they are expected to simply become more reliant on private donations than they previously have been.
These agencies as a whole make up for about 0.02% of the overall budget of the federal government. Another agency which has been threatened by the new budget is the National Endowment for the Arts.
This has long been put into question by Republican presidents, especially since President Reagan almost eliminated its funding during the 1980’s. After backlash though, they decided to cut the budget substantially rather than cut off all funding.
What do you think of this decision? Should these programs be receiving the level of support from the federal government that they have in the past? Should their funding be increased in the hopes of increasing their influence on Americans?
Let HYPELINE News know what you think in the comments!
(h/t The Wrap)