Frankly, I have no objection to our taxes paying the approximately 430 million dollars a year that go to support the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Compared to the ruinous cost of our war in Afghanistan it’s a drop in the bucket. Afghanistan costs us 190 million dollars a day. That means that if we could pare off three days cost of the Afghan adventure it would pay for a year of public broadcasting.
I suggest we do our own personal cost-benefit analyses. What do we get for the part of our tax dollars that go to support the Corporation for Public Broadcasting? Television and radio that inform and delight— music, public affairs, news, drama, and coverage of science and the arts.
And then I ask myself about the almost ten years of (to me) fruitless sacrifice in Afghanistan. I don’t really feel any safer from terrorist attacks. We haven’t caught Bin Laden and we are constantly being assured that there is light at the end of the tunnel; that another number two Al Qaeda or Taliban leader has been killed, and that our leaders have finally “got it right.”
If we are serious about balancing the budget or reducing the deficit we should be willing to ask if our imperial wars aren’t just emperors with no clothes. Should we not begin to withdraw our troops and our financial commitments?
Public Broadcasting constitutes a vanishingly small part of our 1.3 trillion dollar budget. I’d rather pay for NPR than the Afghanistan war— so far it’s been a lot more successful and a lot cheaper.