Sacrifice PBS in favor of health care and defense spending

Big Bird by Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

Article Highlights

  • It is of course correct that PBS constitutes a tiny share of federal expenditures. But is the share too large?

    Tweet This

  • As a nation, Americans must confront the cold, hard reality of our fiscal situation. @michaelrstrain

    Tweet This

  • For the past 4 years, the government of the US spent $1 trillion more than it took in. @michaelrstrain

    Tweet This

It is of course correct that PBS constitutes a tiny share of federal expenditures. But is the share too large?

I grew up on Seasame Street. (Though Big Bird wasn't my favorite.) I watch Charlie Rose. I like NOVA, and I watch the PBS Newshour quite regularly. PBS even helped cultivate my love of Mr. Bruce Springsteen and his mighty E Street Band by airing their old concerts.

But as a nation we must confront the cold, hard reality of our fiscal situation. For a long time it was believed that the government could provide guns and butter, but that providing more of one meant providing less of the other. In the parlance of economists, government maximized subject to constraints. Well, over the last decade or so we have paid a lot less attention to living within our means. At the end of the 2002 fiscal year public debt was about one third of GDP-today it is close to 75 percent. For the past four years the government of the United States spent one trillion dollars more than it took in.

Read the full argument on US News and World Report Debate Club.

Michael R. Strain is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Michael R.
Strain

What's new on AEI

AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters
image A nation divided by marriage
image Teaching reform
image Socialist party pushing $20 minimum wage defends $13-an-hour job listing
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 27
    MON
  • 28
    TUE
  • 29
    WED
  • 30
    THU
  • 31
    FRI
Monday, October 27, 2014 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
State income taxes and the Supreme Court: Maryland Comptroller v. Wynne

Please join AEI for a panel discussion exploring these and other questions about this crucial case.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 | 9:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
For richer, for poorer: How family structures economic success in America

Join Lerman, Wilcox, and a group of distinguished scholars and commentators for the release of Lerman and Wilcox’s report, which examines the relationships among and policy implications of marriage, family structure, and economic success in America.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 | 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
The 7 deadly virtues: 18 conservative writers on why the virtuous life is funny as hell

Please join AEI for a book forum moderated by Last and featuring five of these leading conservative voices. By the time the forum is over, attendees may be on their way to discovering an entirely different — and better — moral universe.

Thursday, October 30, 2014 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
A nuclear deal with Iran? Weighing the possibilities

Join us, as experts discuss their predictions for whether the United States will strike a nuclear deal with Iran ahead of the November 24 deadline, and the repercussions of the possible outcomes.

Thursday, October 30, 2014 | 5:00 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
The forgotten depression — 1921: The crash that cured itself

Please join Author James Grant and AEI senior economists for a discussion about Grant's book, "The Forgotten Depression: 1921: The Crash That Cured Itself" (Simon & Schuster, 2014).

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.