"The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants" - Albert Camus

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Time To Cut Off NEA And NPR

It is high time for the upcoming Republican majority in the house to seriously consider de-funding publicly funded farces masquerading as impartial media like the National Endowment for the Arts and National Public Radio. 

In the name of fairness and transparency, however, I should point out that less than 17% of NPR's funding comes from tax revenues (including competitive grants from federally funded institutions). The rest of NPR's budget comes from corporate sponsorship, foundation grants, investments and dues and programming fees paid by 797 independent public radio stations. Nevertheless, it is a partially subsidized medium. 

NEA, on the other hand, is an independent agency of the federal government - thus is fully tax payer funded.

In the first place, an educated, wealthy, free market based society has no business supporting arts or broadcasting through tax dollars, no matter how insignificant the subsidy.  The whole concept defies the purpose of having a free society.  Although, arguably, there may have been some limited basis for supporting such entities with taxes when they were first created (due to lack of sufficient media outlets, etc.), the current realities do not support such extravagances, especially while the U.S. is flirting with financial doom thanks to decades of unchecked government growth.

Second - and this is the one that bothers most conservatives/libertarians - is the obvious left leaning tendencies of such organizations.  We are all aware of NEA supported ingenious art displays such as the cross in a jar of urine. More recently, NPR went on the offensive against Tea Party and tax payers who support its principles.  And to top it all, it was just reported that George Soros is donating money for NPR to hire 100 political reporters (I wonder which way will they be slanted in their unbiased reporting?)

It remains to be seen if the new crop of Republicans will have the courage to do what previous congresses have failed to do.  NEA and NPR have only one purpose: to denigrate conservatism, with tax payer funding, at every chance given.  It is long past the time for their abolition.

(If you are interested, Accuracy In Media had a good piece on this subject five years ago.  I highly recommend it.)

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