It is time to get serious about actually cutting the deficit and stop talking about it. The three week continuing resolution (CR) just passed by the House with very modest cuts in order to keep the government running while negotiations with the White House and Senate Democrats proceed should be the last olive branch. And the cuts should also include some lefty sacred cows such as elimination of funding for public broadcasting.
Moreover, it should come with a warning – no more CRs, and no authorization for raising the debt ceiling unless at least $60 billion are cut in total in the current year’s budget and there is an ironclad commitment to cut at least $100 billion in the next year’s budget (which is still less than 10 percent of the current deficit).
It is absolutely ridiculous, for example, to be debating whether to cut all government subsidies for National Public Radio. It should be done immediately, without any equivocation.Yet, as Charles Krauthammer pointed out on the “O’Reilly Factor” last night, the Left is insisting on maintaining the funding. Their argument is that since NPR delivers a good news product – a dubious proposition in itself – they should continue to receive taxpayer money to keep their operation going.
This is the mentality of the Left in a nutshell. If they deem something worthwhile, the rest of us should be more than happy to pay for it whether we like it or not. Forget the marketplace. Consumers are too dumb to know what is best for them.
As Krauthammer put it, in a clip shown on “the Factor” from his debate with NPR’s Nina Totenberg, the tax-payer subsidized correspondent who once infamously expressed a wish for then-Senator Jesse Helms and his grandchildren to get AIDS from a blood transfusion:
if the product is so superior, why does it have to live on the tit of the state?
Here is what Totenberg said during that debate:
There is a reason that we are the only news organization other than Fox with a growing audience. It’s because of our product, which is straight-shooting, factual and spends an enormous amount of money gathering news from all over the country and the world. Judge us by our product.
There is just one obvious difference. Fox has had to compete in the marketplace for its viewers without a government handout. In fact, the Obama administration has been outright hostile to Fox News. It has done what it can to turn viewers away from Fox by denigrating its “product.”
The Obama administration also appears to be unwilling to take on NPR’s supporters such as George Soros (who has contributed his own millions to further steer NPR towards his progressive outlook). It’s time to call their bluff.
We’re not talking about depriving needy children of food or taking medicine away from Grandma. The only jobs that may be lost are Totenberg’s and others in her overpaid circle. We’re talking only about making progressive elitists compete in the marketplace rather than “live on the tit of the state.”
Would Obama be willing to risk a government shutdown by acceding to shakedowns from NPR and his Leftist base? Let’s find out, because more sacred cows will need to follow such as government subsidies for Planned Parenthood. And then let’s get serious about requiring major spending cuts as the price for agreeing to authorize an increase in the debt ceiling.
Joseph Klein is the author of a recent book entitled Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations and Radical Islam