Big Bird isn't just a big, yellow bird. Every day, millions of children -- including my two sons and my daughter -- tune in to PBS. What they get is programming that teaches them. They learn their letters and numbers, yes. But they also learn about character. About treating one another with dignity and kindness. They learn that it's OK to be different, and to stand up for their friends.
Governor Romney says he likes Big Bird, but he's going to cut PBS anyway. PBS accounts for about 1/100th of 1% (.0012%) of the Federal Budget. It provides high quality educational content for children. It provides important news and information for adults. Cutting PBS won't help solve the budget deficit, but it will contribute to a character and education deficit. It will contribute to a cultural deficit as important news and information programs are taken off the air. It will rob us of some of our most cherished programs and sources of information.
Mr. Romney, you've refused to offer specifics on your plans, from how your tax plan would help get our fiscal house in order to why you think we should continue giving more than $4.2 billion per year in tax breaks for the oil and gas companies that are making record profits. If you're willing to say you'll cut PBS's budget, which makes up 0.012% of the Federal Budget, you need to to tell the specifics of your big numbers. How will your tax plan cut taxes for everyone while lowering the deficit? Which loopholes and exemptions for high-income earners will you remove?
As it stands, you'll give Exxon and Shell tax breaks amounting to 10x as much money per year as it costs to fund all public broadcasting in America. If you plan to take away valuable public services, I'm asking you for specifics on how you'll make the wealthiest among us and the biggest corporations bear some responsibility, too.
Cutting PBS won't help America, Mr. Romney. I stand with Big Bird. I'm tired of conservatives suggesting that our budget problems can be solved by taking away public broadcasting in one breath, and that we can afford trillions of dollars in tax cuts for the wealthy in the next. PBS costs Americans roughly $26 million per year. Meanwhile it's estimated that your policies would save billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson nearly $2 billion dollars. Surely we can do better.
Stop demonizing PBS and tiny programs that amount to less than one 1/100th of 1% of the budget, and explain to us exactly how your plans solve the real issues, like our imbalanced tax code, our bloated military budget, and corporate welfare.
Mr. Romney, I stand with Big Bird.