Big Bird and the gang from Sesame Street already receive a very small sum of the hundreds of millions taxpayers spend on public broadcasting and Sesame Workshop, which reaps a great deal of money from licensing the characters it owns, would do just fine without it. The same could be said of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting as a whole, which receives $444 million from taxpayers, just 15% of the money it earned in fiscal year 2010.
The notion that cutting federal funding to PBS would kill Big Bird is dishonest at best. Taxpayers don’t own the yellow bird or any of his friends, a private non-profit that does very well for itself does. The belief that cutting a small fraction of its funding would result in the company closing shop on a very profitable business defies all logic. Meanwhile public broadcasting as a whole reaps millions from wealthy billionaires and corporations along with generous contributors from around the country. While they might feel the need to trim the fat a little they would continue to broadcast just fine without our money. Public radio and television will continue and so will Elmo and company.
For more on the subject check out Why Big Bird’s Federal Subsides Need to Go from Heritage.