Budget cuts is the mantra of new House Republicans. The House GOP leadership initially promised to cut at least $100 million in government spending in their new bill. After taking a look at things, they revised that number to $60 million, but the new members are not having any of it. They want the original $100 million, and they are cutting everything possible. The next few articles will highlight some of the glaring cuts. This article deals with the GOPÂ’s plan to eliminate funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
On Friday, March 4, 2011,Â Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) introduced legislation to completely eliminate funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which includes NPR and PBS. Republicans have been after the CPB for a long time, most recently when Juan Williams was fired for comments deemed racially insensitive.
In an op-ed in the Washington Times,Â Sen. DeMint says, Â“Shows likeÂ Sesame Street are thriving, multimillion-dollar enterprises," DeMint wrote. "According to the 990 tax form all nonprofits are required to file, Sesame Workshop President and CEO Gary Knell received $956,513 -- nearly a million dollars -- in compensation in 2008. And, from 2003 to 2006, Sesame Street made more than $211 million from toy and consumer product sales. Big Bird will be just fine without his federal subsidies.Â”
Gary Knell responded with, Â“Sesame Workshop puts all of the proceeds it receives from the sales of its products and programs back into the research, development, and production of new educational programs for children.Â The revenues derived from such activities offset about two-thirds of the research and production costs associated with the WorkshopÂ’s educational programs. The remaining one third comes from a combination of philanthropic support, corporate sponsorship and government funding.Â”
Â“As a result of this financial revenue model, we are able to deliver each new season of Sesame Street to PBS with more than 93% of production costs covered by licensing activities or corporate sponsorships. In 2010, Sesame Workshop had total operating revenues of $136.4 million and total operating expenses of $136.5 million.Â”
Sesame Street will be okay without the government funding because they structured their financial model to work within this system and streamlined their processes. Most likely they will cut programming if and until they can raise money to cover the loss.
This is not the same for other entities on CPB that are not as popular as Sesame Street. This also includes broadcasting on the public level. Eliminating funding for CPB only serves a Republican agenda for budget cuts and not the people, especially the children, it reaches on a daily basis.