In the first presidential debate, Mitt Romney finally named a federal expenditure that he wants to cut:
The federal government subsidy to PBS.
Basically, Romney says, he wants to kill Big Bird.
Now, to close our $1+ trillion budget deficit, we’re going to have to make hard choices. And as beloved as Big Bird is, there’s no reason his head shouldn’t be considered for the chopping block.
So, how much money would Romney save by killing Big Bird?
According to Schuyler Velasco in the Christian Science Monitor, killing Big Bird–or, more specifically, cutting the federal subsidy to PBS, which makes up 12% of PBS’s funding–will save $445 million.
Now, $445 million is a drop in the bucket when compared to the $1+ trillion deficit and the $3.5+ trillion budget.
But it’s not nothing.
And when budgets are reduced to their line-item amounts, what you discover is that most lines seem relatively minor in the grand scheme.
But you’ve got to start somewhere. And there are no easy decisions.
Most of PBS’s funding comes from sources other than the federal government. PBS is a great organization, so if the federal subsidy were eliminated, hopefully it could find ways to plug the hole. So, maybe, even if Romney killed Big Bird, others would jump in and save him.
So, although killing Big Bird won’t make a dent in the federal budget that Romney has promised to balance, we’re going to support Romney on this one.
Go ahead, Romney. Kill Big Bird.