After Mitt Romney said in Wednesday night's debate that he would cut federal funding for public television, President Obama's campaign started campaigning on saving Big Bird. No wonder his federal budgets are so full of red ink.
Defending Big Bird, Obama ignores Romney's point: We actually borrow money from China to finance our subsidy of public television. That is comletely insane. It's also completely unnecessary, as beloved programs such as Sesame Street are fully financially viable without government subsidies.
“Sesame Workshop receives very, very little funding from PBS,” Sesame Workshop Executive Vice President Sherrie Westin said after the debate. Exactly.
The non-profit made more from product licensing ($47 million) in 2011 than it got from the government. It listed assets last year of $411 million — just $24 million shy of the entire 2013 federal appropriation for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Obama says we should continue borrowing from China to fund an organization that is rolling in cash and does not need any government subsidies. Romney says that makes no financial sense. No matter how cute Big Bird is, Romney is right.