Dear The McGlynn,
You’ve probably been hearing a lot about Big Bird since the presidential debate. Images of Big Bird with a “Will Work for Food” sign have even gone viral on Facebook and online.
Studies show that children who watch Sesame Street in pre-school spend more time reading for fun in high school and obtain higher grades in English, math and science than those who don’t. But this is about far more than Sesame Street.1
It’s clear to everyone that you can’t lower the deficit by firing Big Bird. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting which distributes federal grants to PBS member stations received $445 million in funding this year. That’s 1/100 of one percent of the federal budget.2
PBS is watched by more than 117,000,000 people each month. PBS offered more than 500 hours of arts and cultural programming last year and is the number one source of media content for pre-school teachers.3
Federal investment in PBS costs the American taxpayers only $1.03 per year. Not only that but for every $1 in federal funding invested in local PBS stations, those local stations raise $6 to complete their budgets.4
Republicans like presidential candidate Mitt Romney and House and Senate leaders John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are attacking PBS for the same reason they are attacking Medicare, food stamps and public education. They’re on a radical mission to defund programs that benefit all of us in order to fund massive tax giveaways to the 1%.
The Public Broadcasting System was formed as an educational, non-commercial, and public interest alternative to the vast wasteland of commercial networks. PBS is a public good that benefits all Americans. We need to protect PBS from partisan attacks and let the Republicans know that we won’t let them take away our public broadcasting system.
Thank you for standing up against Republican attempts to defund PBS.
Becky Bond, Political Director
“Hands off PBS. Stop your gratuitous partisan attacks on our public broadcasting
system. PBS is a valuable public good that benefits all Americans and deserves
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1. “Why Save PBS?” PBS.com.
2. “No debate about it: Big Bird is small potatoes when it comes to federal budget,” Chicago Sun-Times, Oct. 4, 2012.