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Fire Big Bird?

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How much do we give to PBS, anyway? Governor Mitt Romney got a laugh in the first Presidential debate when he said he would cut the organization’s funding and fire Big Bird.  “I’m sorry, Jim,” Romney said to moderator Jim Lehrer, former anchor for PBS NewsHour. “I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m going to stop other things. I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you too. But I’m not going to—I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it. That’s number one.”

If Romney stops borrowing money from China to pay Big Bird’s salary, what would that do to the budget?

Total federal spending? About $3.456 trillion.

Amount of that that went to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and from there to PBS? About $506 million (and only roughly $1 in $7 of PBS’s budget is federal money).

How to compare them? Maybe a pie chart?


The chunk going to the CPB (and from there to PBS) is almost too small to see!