On Monday, the Trump Administration released its 2019 fiscal budget proposal (seven months early) which is a pretty good indicator of the spending priorities of the president and his cabinet. In it, of course, are all the infrastructure improvements that the nation needs (and which actually should be a spending priority from the government) as well as expected cuts to the liberal cash cow, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the people who bring us PBS, and NPR.
Over the years, there has been a lot of vitriol about funds to CPR being cut, and how it would adversely affect all those who depend on the public broadcasting networks. However, the Trump Administration is not falling for the rhetoric.
“The Budget proposes to eliminate Federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) over a two year period,” according to the proposal.
“CPB grants represent a small share of the total funding for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR), which primarily rely on private donations to fund their operations,” it continues.
“To conduct an orderly transition away from Federal funding, the Budget requests $15.5 million in 2019 and $15 million in 2020, which would include funding for personnel costs of $16.2 million, rental costs of $8.9 million; and other costs totaling $5.4 million.”
Which is money that the two “non-profits” should have no problem raising.
Many of us out on the fruited plain have made the argument more than once that NPR has a business model that is completely sustainable, and with the sponsorship PBS programming receives as well as their periodic membership drives, there really is no reason for federal funds to go to either broadcasting effort. It seems that the Trump Administration agrees.
This is simply a proposal, there is a long way to go in budget negotiations before the end of September. And it may well happen that with the small sums to CPB, it will be used as a bargaining chip. However, the mainstream media narrative will be that Big Bird is on the chopping block, a line that has worked like a charm in the past.