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Congress in Action

Five minutes after voting to cut off federal funding for NPR, the House of Representatives voted to continue funding the War in Afghanistan.

How much will defunding NPR help reduce the deficit? Lemme see, according to the CBO, it will save, hmmm, absolutely nothing. How long did Congress spend debating a measly $5 million in funding for NPR? (A one minute ad during the Super Bowl costs more than that. And the government spends more than that on NASCAR.) How much time did Republican politicians spend working on this? I wouldn’t be surprised if it cost far more than $5 million just in Congressional salaries.

Not to mention that this was entirely political theater, since Obama will undoubtably veto the bill if it gets to his desk.

How much does the Afghanistan war cost us? Ten Billion Dollars. Per Month. That’s 24,000 times as much money as the federal government spends on NPR. If we could have reduced spending in Afghanistan by 0.005% we would have saved more money.

After these votes, your elected Representatives flew home for yet another vacation. If you see one of them, let them know what you think.

© Adam Zyglis



  1. Don wrote:

    We (the US) just sent $120,000,000 worth of hardware into Libya, not counting the costs of getting that hardware on station. We as a country continue to have a very skewed sense of what benefits our country.

    I have let my representative know what I think, but he’s pretty impervious to logic and reality.

    Sunday, March 20, 2011 at 9:56 am | Permalink
  2. I’ve been thinking about this possible change for public broadcasting for a while. Agreed, it would hurt, especially the more rural stations that depend more on the government’s financing.

    But I think there’s a silver lining–heck, to me, I think it may just be pure gold. By not being beholden to the government in any way that differs from commercial broadcasting, NPR and PBS would be freed to report the news accurately: maybe even allowing themselves to have more editorials on one side of the ledger.

    Sunday, March 20, 2011 at 9:57 am | Permalink
  3. russell wrote:

    x 2 Thought Dancer

    NPR here (it’s a large market) has the most powerful transmitter and c’mon – “sponsors” do as much advertising as any talk radio show on the dial.

    The VP caught on the video sting was basically right. They will do better without government funding. $90M across 354 stations? Meh. Not even covering the electric bills.

    Sunday, March 20, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Permalink
  4. RK wrote:

    NPR in most large cities does well enough to survive. It is important to keep the perspective of smaller towns in mind, too. Many of these stations do count on subsidies to survive.

    Monday, March 21, 2011 at 11:00 am | Permalink