Wednesday, August 03, 2005

PBS, Pay your own way

SPUD NOTES: Here is a column (and its link) by ABC reporter and best-selling author John Stossel. He spanks PBS (better identified as "Government TV") and its taxpayer funding. Also, in yesterday's Liberty Spuds post titled Ten Most Harmful Government Programs, 36 distinguished public policy experts and scholars list Government TV at number 9.

By John Stossel

My cable company made me a remarkable offer: They want to add a new channel to my cable subscription -- and you will pay for it. The channel will have liberal news, highbrow entertainment and a variety of educational programming. Sounds insane, and yet the channel isn't new. It's called PBS.

Public broadcasting is a classic example of welfare for the well-off. We PBS viewers are 44 percent more likely than other Americans to make more than $150,000 a year.

I enjoy PBS, but it hardly seems fair that the government demands you buy it for me. If I want to see opera, I should pay for it myself. Why should you be taxed to pump "La Boheme" into my living room? It barely made sense in 1967, when most Americans only had the Big Three broadcast networks, but now there are hundreds of channels. If there's a demand for opera or BBC drama, the market will provide it.

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