Tuesday, March 29, 2011

a discussion with my "representative", Congresswoman jamie herrera/buetler voted to "defund public broadcasting" Please read the following response from my local PBS (Oregon Public Broadcasting), then scroll down to read the drivel SHE sent me (which I sent to OPB), THEN I sent the one from OPB along with HER email BACK to her (though I doubt if ANY teapublican will be interested in TRUTH...

Rep. Jamie Herrara/Beutler (Wa. Teapublican)

Public Broadcasting Response MUST READ - how else are you to learn the truth??

Read this then scroll down to read her original response to me about defunding something as valuable and thrifty as PUBLIC BROADCASTING where she pulls figures out of her ass;

Begins with response from OPB (Oregon Public Broadcasting) to Rep Herrera's outrageous reply to ME about cutting funding to public broadcasting which is further down.  These Tea Parties and Republicants just PULL NUMBERS OUT OF THEIR ASS and people BELIEVE THEM.

March 30, 2011
Dear Joe,

Wow. Thanks for sending this in. We asked our President, Steve Bass, to try and explain things:

This seems to be their standard response and it's kind of a mash up of various things. Here are some points that you might consider in response:

* While it is true that NPR receives little direct federal funding, CPB provides support to local public radio (and television stations) to support operations. This is particularly important to stations like OPB that serve significant rural areas.

* HR 1076, which is the bill that Rep Herrera Beutler voted in favor of, saves the taxpayer not a single dime. It does not cut any funding to CPB at all. Rather, it restricts OPB and other public radio stations from using any CPB or other federal funds to acquire programming from NPR and virtually every other source. This would put in place burdensome restrictions that appear to be strictly punitive in nature rather than sound public policy.

* HR 1076 would have a significant negative impact on OPB's operations. It would threaten OPB's ability to maintain our Northwest News Network, which we cooperatively with other stations, to provide coverage in Olympia among other areas.

* This bill would also eliminate funding for OPB's new environmental journalism center, which was funded by CPB and which will create news bureaus at six stations across the Northwest to cover environmental technology, renewable energy, natural resources, and sustainability.

* The public overwhelmingly supports federal funding of public broadcasting. According to a recent survey, 69% of voters believe that federal support of public broadcasting should be continued.

* Residents of Rep Herrera Beutler's district are significant users and supporters of OPB and other public broadcasting stations. In fact, OPB's Portland radio station has the largest audience share of any public radio station in the nation and there are more than 10,000 OPB contributors in SW Washington.

Thanks again for sharing this with us Joe and especially thank you for being a public broadcasting supporter. We will get through this because of folks like you.

March 25, 2011
Dear Mr. Xxxxx,
Thank you for contacting me regarding federal funding for public broadcasting and National Public Radio (NPR).  It is an honor to represent the people of Southwest Washington and I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

Public broadcasting is a valuable education resource in our community.  In addition to providing civic-minded news and educational programs, they also offer programs that help children prepare for success in school -- programs that inspire learning and are geared toward improving the quality of life in our community.   However it is time to discontinue the practice of taxpayer dollars being used for public broadcasting.

When providing federal funding, it is important to consider the financial structure and health of these organizations.  For instance, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) has well known, brand-name public programs like Sesame Street that make millions on their own. Sesame Street for example, made over $211 million from toy and consumer product sales from 2003-2006. In addition, this taxpayer-subsidized broadcasting also raises strong support from private donors and interest groups.

Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) is a parent company of NPR. According to NPR's website, "NPR does not receive any direct federal funding, but it does receive a small number of competitive grants from CPB and federal agencies like the Department of Education and the Department of Commerce. This funding amounts to approximately 2% of NPR's overall revenues. The largest share of NPR's revenue comes from program fees and station dues paid by member stations that broadcast NPR programs." In other words, NPR does not rely heavily on federal funding.

Additionally, these organizations offer their executives the following excessive salaries as reported in the Wall Street Journal article titled, "Public Broadcasting Should Go Private: If these outfits can afford to pay lavish salaries to their heads, they don't need taxpayer help."

o   Sesame Workshop President and CEO Gary Knell received $956,513 in compensation in 2008.

o   According to CPB's 2009 tax forms, President and CEO Patricia de Stacy Harrison received $298,884 in reportable compensation and another $70,630 in other compensation from the organization and related organizations that year.

o   PBS paid President Paula Kerger $632,233 in annual compensation in 2009 – as reported on the 990 tax forms all non-profits are required to file.

o   NPR gave Kevin Klose, president emeritus of NPR, $1.2 million in compensation.

If these organizations can afford to give such generous salaries to their executives, surely they can operate without tax dollars.

CPB and NPR are aggressively lobbying to prevent Congress from saving hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars each year by cutting their subsidies.  As Congress considers ways to close this year's $1.6 trillion budget deficit, cutting funding for CPB has even been proposed by President Obama's bipartisan deficit reduction commission.  It is important to dig down and find every opportunity to cut spending, because taxpaying citizens, many of whom are unemployed or underemployed, will be financially responsible for a culture of government overspending.


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As Jim Hightower explains it, is that “the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans possess more net worth today than the bottom 90 percent of us combined. Worse, these privileged few and their political henchmen have structured a new economic ‘normal’ of long-term joblessness, low wages, no benefits or worker rights, miserly public services, and a steadily widening chasm between the rich and the rest of us.” We must restore sanity to this nation.