Trump recently released his proposed budget for 2019, and on the chopping block once again is the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) which provides federal funding for PBS and NPR. The proposal seeks “To conduct an orderly transition away from Federal funding,” and have the CPB “primarily rely on private donations to fund their operations."
The budget which included $300 billion in new spending, slashes the funding provided for CPB from the current $445 million to a measly $15 million, a number that doesn’t even cover personnel costs for the 50-year-old nonprofit. The CPB was created in 1967 to support public TV and radio, and is considered to be “one of America’s best investments.”
PBS president, Paula Kerger, issued a statement regarding the cut funding:
“Public broadcasting has earned bipartisan Congressional support over the years thanks to the value we provide to taxpayers. PBS, our 350 member stations and our legions of local supporters will continue to remind leaders in Washington of the significant benefits the public receives in return for federal funding, a modest investment of about $1.35 per citizen per year, which include school readiness for kids 2-8, support for teachers and homeschoolers, public safety communications and lifelong learning. PBS is focused on providing high-quality content and universal public service to the American people, which is why we enjoy strong support in every region of the country, in both rural and urban areas, and across the political spectrum.”
The proposed $4.4 trillion budget adds a 13% increase in military spending and allocates $18 billion to pay for The Wall, but makes serious cuts to a lot of programs that are actually beneficial to Americans. Trump’s proposal would cut half a trillion dollars from Medicare over the next 10 years, and it also slashes funding for the National Science Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency. It drops funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities in an effort to “begin shutting down” the programs.
The budget can not take effect without congressional approval, and these programs including NPR and PBS all survived Trump’s cuts before. Let’s hope they can do so again.