McDonnell Doles Out Corporate Welfare, Slashes PBS as Not a “Core Function” of Government


    According to our ever-hypocritical, right-wing ideologue Gov. Bob McDonnell, here’s why he decided to use his line item veto to hack PBS funding:

    …When I took office, I pledged to refocus state government on its core functions by finding ways to make government more efficient and effective, and to wisely spend the hard earned money of Virginia taxpayers.  That is why, in returning the signed appropriation bill, I have decided to reduce the appropriation made to public television and radio stations.  In today’s free market, with hundreds of radio and television programs, government should not be subsidizing one particular group of stations. We must get serious about government spending. That means funding our core functions well, and eliminating spending on programs and services that should be left to the private sector. This is a smart, practical budgeting decision to make Virginia government smaller and more efficient and save taxpayer dollars.

    This is wrong in just about every way conceivable, including the laughable notion that there’s a “free” market in broadcasting in this country. Did they teach Bob McDonnell any economics at Pat Robertson U? Apparently not.

    Specifically, though, why do I say that McDonnell’s a hypocrite? First, let’s start with McDonnell’s massive corporate welfare to Northrop Grumman and other corporations, a strategy that has produced minimal numbers of jobs for huge outlays (tens of millions of dollars, many times the cost of funding PBS) of taxpayer funds. Second, McDonnell is also a big fan of subsidizing wine, tourism, and film, none of which – as conservative blogger Norm Leahy pointed out – is a core function of government (“Where in Virginia’s Constitution, for instance, does it call for Virginia to serve as the marketing department for Virginia wine-makers?”). Third, McDonnell’s the same guy who just got slammed on national TV for his Big Lie that Virginia has a budget surplus.

    The thing is, if Bob McDonnell really believes that Virginia’s flush with cash – as he loves to brag all over the country – then why the urgent need to cut a couple million bucks {UPDATE: actually, make that a whopping $424,001}, absolutely nothing in the context of the $78 billion Virginia budget, from PBS? Obviously, it’s b.s.; just like his right wingnut brethren in the U.S. House of Representatives, McDonnell’s not really concerned about “sav[ing] taxpayer dollars,” he’s all about pursuing his extreme ideological agenda (in this case, because a significant number of people in his “base” falsely believe that PBS is “biased” against them) and rewarding the rich and powerful. Period. Everything else is just political rhetoric that certainly wouldn’t pass a PolitiFact (or any other) fact check.


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