Today, Americans for Tax Reform, joined by its spending affiliate, the Center for Fiscal Accountability, and its technology affiliate, Digital Liberty, sent a letter to the House of Representatives urging members to vote for a bill to defund National Public Radio. H.R. 1076, sponsored by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) is slated to be on the floor tomorrow. From our letter:
Domestic, discretionary spending has exploded over the past two years, skyrocketing by 84 percent. As the country confronts its mounting debt, lawmakers should look to scrutinize every corner of the federal budget and start eliminating programs that are better handled by the private sector – NPR certainly falls into this category.
The underwriting of National Public Radio, with which other media resources must compete, amounts to forced subsidization of certain types of speech by taxpayers, offering a competitive advantage over other broadcasters who have been forced to endure the economic downturn on their own merit. Lacking similar initiative to sustain its operations without public funding, NPR continues to grow and is slated to receive a $31 million increase in its budget next year. What’s more, NPR is a financially viable company on its own. In 2008, in the midst of the recession, NPR posted $77 million in profits.
NPR claims on its own website that it is an “independent, self-supporting media organization,” stating that “less than 2 percent” of its overall revenues come from government funding. If this is the case, NPR should be required to be truly “self-supporting” by existing entirely without taxpayer funds.