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Letter


NTU Supports Legislation to End Federal Funding of Public Broadcasting
A Letter to Representative Lamborn

June 10, 2010

The Honorable Doug Lamborn
United States House of Representatives
437 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative Lamborn:

     On behalf of the 362,000 members of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), I write to offer our support for your legislation to end all federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

     While CPB is a private, non-profit organization that raises its own funds through many different outlets, taxpayers still bear the burden of approximately 13 percent of its total income. CPB received $420 million from taxpayer subsidies in 2010 alone, and that number is likely to grow considerably in the coming years. There is little doubt that public broadcasters disseminate useful information and quality programming, but taxpayers simply should not be responsible for funding a private entity that exists in a robust market serving consumers of many preferences and income levels.

     Furthermore, it is unjustifiable that federal funding of the CPB has risen 26 percent over the past decade when the original purpose of that exercise has become virtually obsolete. Initially, the Public Broadcasting Act was created to institute taxpayer-backed public broadcasting in order to make telecommunications services available to all citizens. That is hardly a concern today as we find 99 percent of Americans in possession of a television and over 95 percent of them have access to the Internet.

     If Congress is serious about looking for ways to cut spending, public broadcasting is one ideal place to start. If CPB only receives 13 percent of its funding from taxpayers, surely it can find ways to make up that shortfall. It is imperative that our leaders take immediate action to rein in our $13 trillion debt and restore fiscal responsibility to Washington.

     We commend your efforts in drafting this legislation and look forward to working with you to ensure it becomes law.

Sincerely,

Jordan Forbes
Federal Government Affairs Manager