A House Appropriations subcommittee has voted to cut funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting by 25% next year, totally eliminating the budget in two years. They also voted to get rid of another program that supports children’s educational television.

While I think it would be a good thing for public broadcasting to be able to shift from federal funds to other sources, simply so they could get out from under government criticism, this amounts to a direct assault on public television. The excuse made by the subcommittee chair, Rep. Ralph Regula (R-Ohio), was that they needed to cut funding somewhere, and they would rather keep college grants and special education funds than the CPB.

That’s right, Rep. Regula. The situation became so desperate recently that you had to choose between programs you had been funding pretty easily for years? I wonder why? Could it be heavy expenditures on the war in Iraq combined with tax cuts?

What infuriates me about this proposal — which should be reversed as it moves onto the House floor — is that I doubt very many people at all voted Republican last time because they wanted public television to suffer. In fact, if you did have a little checkbox where people could designate a portion of their taxes to the CPB, I think it would end up being over-funded. So, where’s our representative government in this case?

The link to the Washington Post may require registration.

Link courtesy of Wonkette