Ryan's Budget Cripples Wasteful TV Subsidies

Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 12:01 PM

By Michael Shannon

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Apologists for wasteful, runaway government spending, like Nancy Pelosi, claim there is no room to cut in the federal budget. And even if some wildman were serious it would still be impossible because most of the deficit is driven by entitlements.
 
It’s a lean, mean spending machine and the only way to reduce the federal deficit — as if that was a priority for Democrats! — is through a “balanced” approach.
 
For Pelosi and Obama, “balance” means tax increases “balanced” by crippling cuts in defense spending.
 
In truth Democrat leadership could care less about deficit spending or balancing the budget. That’s why once again the Democrat-controlled Senate won’t even bother to produce a budget, even though it is required by law.
 
This is utter moral bankruptcy on the part of Harry Reid and the rest of the Democrat majority. The abandonment of their responsibility as legislators in exchange for short-term political gain is simply beneath contempt.
 
Making budget decisions in public simply doesn’t work for Democrats politically. If they propose any reductions in the rate of spending increases (I won’t dignify this with the term “cuts”), some portion of the Democrat base will be enraged.
 
Tinkering with federal handouts offends tax feeders. Reducing the reach and scope of government threatens federal employees and NGOs dependent on tax dollars. The only segment of the population that might benefit — some taxpayers, conservatives or the next generation — either already votes Republican or will be voting too far in the future to make a difference now.
 
So doing nothing on budgetary matters and then attacking the GOP when it acts responsibly is viewed as smart, though cynical, politics.
 
Voters with competitive House and Senate races need to remember this budget failure in November. Just as there are no alcoholics that are only social drinkers, there are no Democrats that are also fiscally conservative.
 
It’s entirely possible your particular Democrat is sincere regarding his fiscal bonafides, but his first vote in the House or Senate will be for either Pelosi or Reid, and as long as those two spendaholics have checks they can never be overdrawn.
 
Fortunately there is room for budget cuts that will measurably reduce spending and more important, demonstrate government programs are not eternal.
 
Last week I urged conservatives to oppose the crony capitalism exemplified by the Export-Import Bank and vote to abolish it. Now it’s time for the GOP to strike a blow against crony culturalism.
 
Hundreds of millions are spent annually subsidizing the cultural affectations of the one-percenters. In his new budget, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., proposes a series of baseline spending cuts over the next 10 years that will eliminate the annual deficit by 2024.
 
Before you become too optimistic, keep in mind the Obama deficits will still be with us. Under Democrats the U.S. takes out the budgetary equivalent of a new trillion-dollar mortgage each year. Ryan eliminates that madness, but his budget only pays the interest without reducing the principal by so much as a dime.
 
Ryan’s cuts not only eliminate the spending, they eliminate the program. This will force culture snobs to pony up their own money instead of relying on tax dollars from "Duck Dynasty" fans to subsidize their entertainment.
 
First on the block is $445 million given to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. PBS began at the beginning of the television era when visionaries with access to tax dollars thought TV would be a tremendous tool for education.
 
America had few TVs and almost nothing to watch. Now everyone has TV, there are hundreds of channels and still almost nothing to watch. PBS abandoned the tweedy-professor-scratching-on-blackboard broadcasting model in favor of leftist talk shows and BBC imports. But it never abandoned the tax subsidy. If Snookie programming can get by without federal funding, snobby programming can, too.
 
Christopher Ruddy, the founder of Newsmax, recently started Newsmax TV without federal subsidies; PBS can continue its existing network without subsidies, too.
 
Next we have the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Each of these programs receive $167.5 million a year. In return taxpayers are exposed to “art” chosen by the same university eggheads that have recently approved “gender-free” bathrooms.
 
The vast majority of work paid for with your tax dollars would never see the light of day if it had to appeal to the general public for support. Much of the “art” approved by either endowment is either vile, culturally degrading, or frivolous. Eliminating these three programs saves a total of $780 million in the first year and graphically demonstrates budget seriousness.
 
America’s middle class doesn’t subsidize filling up the one percent’s Bentleys and it shouldn’t subsidize filling up their idle hours either.
 
Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher (for the League of American Voters), and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports — Go Here Now.
 
 
 

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