Of all the comments made by Mitt Romney in last week's debate, the one which really grabbed folks was his gratuitous offer to defund PBS, even though he likes Big Bird. Now you just know that cartoonists and photoshop experts were delighted. Horsey's cartoon, published yesterday, has plenty of company. Mike Luckovich pumped one out ASAP. Matt Bors put one up yesterday. Libby Spencer found multiple 'toons on the net, see here and here.
More than outrage by the attack on an American icon is involved, however, as Horsey points out.
Mitt Romney may have won the first presidential debate, but what stuck in many people’s minds was his threat to fire Big Bird. Apparently, Romney thinks America’s debt problem can be fixed by picking up pennies along Sesame Street.
Pressed to explain how he would balance the federal budget while cutting trillions of dollars in taxes, the allegedly masterful debater offered up just two specifics: He would repeal “Obamacare” (even though the Congressional Budget Office says the healthcare act actually reduces deficit spending) and eliminate the federal subsidy to the Public Broadcasting System.
Directly addressing beleaguered debate moderator Jim Lehrer, the former anchor of the PBS "NewsHour," Romney said, “I’m sorry, Jim, I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS.... I like PBS, I love Big Bird, I actually like you, too, but I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for.” ...
So, after many long months of campaigning and promising to cut the deficit while also cutting taxes, the single genuine and specific spending reduction Romney has stipulated is the one one-hundredth of a percent of federal expenditures that helps pay for Big Bird, Downton Abbey and the rest of the PBS lineup. Defenders of PBS were quick to point out that eliminating the federal subsidy for public television would trim an amount equal to just six hours – 360 minutes – of spending at the Pentagon.
It seems as if it would be more effective to leave PBS with its minuscule piece of federal largess and, instead, cut six hours – or maybe 24 or 48 hours – of military spending, right? Apparently not to Romney. Rather than trimming the Defense Department budget, he has proposed a radical spike in defense outlays that would take military spending to the highest level in 60 years.
Apparently teaching pre-schoolers colors, letters, and numbers is less important than dropping bombs on them from drones.
Very scary man, him.