Wednesday, March 09, 2011

The Real Question

There are many valid reasons that the government should no longer fund public broadcasting. And more are emerging on almost a daily basis, particularly as NPR's fight to continue to feed at the public trough reveals more about the biases inherent in the organization. But as David Haranyi points out in a piece in The Denver Post, the most compelling argument is also the simplest one to make:

The function and purpose of government has been rather expansive over the past few decades. Do we really believe that providing tax subsidizes for entertainment and journalism is one of the charges of government? The argument may have held up in the past, but in today's world it simply doesn't.

Whether NPR and PBS are biased to the left or not (stifling laughter) is not what the debate should be about. Rather, like all government spending, it should be a simple question of whether the program in question is a legitimate function of government or not. As Harsanyi notes, in the case of public broadcasting the answer comes as easily as the question should.