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Sunday, October 24, 2010

This Week's You Cut - NPR Funding Cut Suggested

NPR firing Juan Williams for expressing his opinion demonstrates an over-reaching political correctness that is chipping away at the fundamental American freedoms of speech and expression....that's what Eric Cantor, House Republican Whip says and I agree with him. That's why I'm voting on this week's You Cut to termination of federal funding for NPR in the latest round of YouCut options.

Go to:

Terminate Taxpayer Funding of National Public Radio
Savings of Tens of Millions of Dollars (potentially in excess of a hundred million dollars)
National Public Radio's (NPR) recent decision to terminate commentator Juan Williams contract because of comments he expressed on another station have brought new found attention to NPR's receipt of taxpayer funds.

NPR receives taxpayer funding in two different ways. First, they receive direct government grants from various federal agencies, including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Education, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Over the past two years this direct funding has totaled approximately $9 million. But NPR also receives taxpayer funds indirectly. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting makes grants to public radio stations. While some of these grants can be used for any purpose, some can only be used to acquire and produce programming. Often this programming is purchased from NPR. Indeed programming fees and dues paid by local public radio stations to NPR accounts for approximately 40% of NPR's budget or about $65 million last year. A portion of these funds were originally federal tax dollars provided to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to the local public radio stations.

NPR receives a significant amount of funding from private individuals and organizations through donations and sponsorships. For example in 2008, NPR listed over 32 separate private donors and sponsors who provided financial support in excess of half-a-million dollars that year. NPR officials have indicated that taxpayer funding makes up only a small portion of their overall budget. Therefore eliminating taxpayer support should not materially affect NPR’s ability to operate while at the same time saving taxpayers millions of dollars annually.

Terminate Exchanges with Historic Whaling and Trading Partners Program
Savings of $87.5 million over ten years
The Exchanges with Historic Whaling and Trading Partners program provides non-competitive grants to support culturally-based educational activities “to assist Alaska Natives, native Hawaiians, and children and families living in Massachusetts linked by history and tradition to Alaska and Hawaii, and members of any federally recognized Indian tribe in Mississippi.” The President has proposed terminating this program in part because it is non-competitive in nature, there is no reliable performance data by which to measure the outcomes of the program, and it has “narrow goals [that] are more appropriately served with State, local, and private funding.”

Terminate the Presidential Election Fund
Savings of $520 million over ten years.
The Presidential Election Fund is a federal program that provides matching funds to political candidates during Presidential primaries, certain third-party candidates, and funds for political conventions. In the 2008 Presidential election the candidates raised over $1.3 billion from individuals and PACs, in addition to taxpayer funds. Eliminating this additional taxpayer subsidy would allow those funds to be used for deficit reduction.

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