Not too long ago I wrote to one of the Senators from NH … the one I disagree with … a lot … urging her to vote against cutting funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Kelly responded much as I’d have expected. I was annoyed and wrote a response to her, which was returned. Specifically, the return e-mail said that it was “rejected by the recipient domain.” This, in spite of the fact that Kelly had said that she was very interested in my views … and I believed her.
So I finally googled her and got another e-mail address, to which I sent the e-mail below.
And in the meantime, since I decided to blog about it, I thought I’d check into some of the retorts I was more or less pulling out of my ass. (I don’t have a staff to help me with that.) So I googled the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and found that their appropriation for 2010 was “$422 million (including $2 million in interest earned).” Meanwhile, I have NO idea why she is promulgating idea that the purpose of CPB was to bring TV to the hinterlands … kinda like rural electrification or something, I guess.
So then I did some research on Rupert Murdoch’s tax break(s) … let’s just say I am pretty darn sure that the CPB appropriation doesn’t some close. Representative Anthony Weiner puts it quite well, I think … Anthony Weiner to Hannity: “Rupert murdoch’s a very fine man, but you want to give him a tax cut and borrow it from my kids. No deal.”
But anyway … herewith, my coupla e-mails to my friend Kelly … and her initial response to me, all the way at the bottom. It’s an interesting read.
Your office replied to a recent e-mail that I had sent you regarding cutting funds for Public Broadcasting. You said that you wanted to be in touch and were interested in my views. However, all of my attempts to reply were returned to me. You have to admit, it’s ironic, to say the least! (Nowhere in your e-mail did it say that you were writing from an address that did not accept replies. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org) So anyway, I’ll copy/paste my reply below … along with your original e-mail. You said that it was important for you to hear from us … and I would like to believe you, recent experiences notwithstanding:
Dear Senator Ayotte:
I appreciate your response; however I disagree with much of what you say, as is to be expected, I suppose.
- I would be curious to know how much of the trillion-dollar deficit can actually be attributed to the CPB. Anywhere near as much as, say, tax loopholes and tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans?
- And I wish that I had more faith in the motivations of those in the GOP who are suddenly freaking out about the deficit. Where was everyone during the 8 years that the Bush administration was happily running the budget into the ground? NOW you are up in arms? All of this righteousness about the deficit looks more to me like an excuse to cut funding to programs and organizations that have always been unpopular with the Right. Carpe Diem, as they say, eh?
- And the argument that the government shouldn’t subsidize competitors in the broadcasting marketplace is undercut, to my mind, by the fact that the government certainly subsidize the likes of Rupert Murdoch with its tax policies. How much of his subsidy do you think Rupert would have lost, had Congress had the gumption to not extend tax breaks for the wealthiest of the wealthy?
- And how do you think that figure would compare to the CPB funding that is now being so righteously cut in the name of deficit reduction?
I am disappointed by your response. Hopefully the country will wake up to what is happening … and hopefully you will continue to listen to your constituents. All of them.
JordanCornblog (no, that’s not what I actually signed … but next time I might!)
From: U.S. Senator Ayotte
Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 4:39 PM
Subject: Reply from Senator Ayotte
February 23, 2011
Thank you for your comments regarding federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. I appreciate hearing from you.
The Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 created the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). This organization was designed to ensure that telecommunications services were available to all United States citizens.
As you may know, Representative Doug Lamborn (R-CO) introduced H.R. 68 and H.R. 69 on the floor of the House of Representatives. These two bills would prohibit federal funding for the CPB after fiscal year 2013. Additionally, on February 17, 2011, the House passed H.R. 1, the Full-Year Continuing Resolution Act of 2011, which terminated federal funding for CPB.
Our nation is in a fiscal crisis. This year’s budget deficit is projected to reach a staggering $1.6 trillion, and our national debt exceeds $14 trillion. It is of the utmost importance to me that our government does not burden our generation and future generations with crippling debt. This fiscal reality calls for making tough decisions and may necessitate the need to reduce funding for certain worthwhile programs.
Although the CPB airs many quality programs, it is capable of standing on its own through a variety of financial resources, such as member station dues and contributions from foundations, corporations, and private individuals. In these tough fiscal times, funding for public programming should not be placed on the backs of American taxpayers.
The initial intent of the Public Broadcasting Act (PBA) was to provide telecommunications services to all citizens. Yet, over 99 percent of Americans own a television, and over 95 percent now have access to the Internet, making the goal of the PBA obsolete, and federal funding for CPB unnecessary. The government should not be in the business of subsidizing competitors and trying to pick winners and losers in our nation’s thriving broadcasting marketplace.
Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding this issue. As your Senator, it is important for me to hear from you regarding the current issues affecting our state and nation. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I may be of any further assistance.
Kelly A. Ayotte
U. S. Senator