Small things considered

Defunding NPR is not going to solve America’s defecit problem.

Daily Editorial Board

 

Last week, House Republicans voted to eliminate all federal support for National Public Radio. This vote was a waste of time when Congress should be focused on large-scale reform of government finances.

Public radio is a crucial news source. It also distributes public safety information in rural areas. Cutting off federal funding would cripple many âÄî if not all âÄî public radio stations across the country.

But, even if public radio were without its considerable merits, this vote would still be a waste of time. The Senate and White House will not support defunding NPR, so these cuts will never be passed. Additionally, they would only reduce spending by about $7.8 million. This is a minuscule fraction of the federal budget.

The cuts are so useless that even fiscal conservative Ron Paul, R-Texas, has criticized the measure, saying its purpose is to allow Republicans to âÄúgo home and brag about how theyâÄôre great fiscal conservativesâÄù while not taking actions that will truly cut spending.

The vote to defund NPR is a distraction. It would save an inconsequential amount of money and do far more damage than good. It is not a serious measure to confront the federal governmentâÄôs fiscal problems.

In contrast, 64 senators, evenly divided by party, sent a letter to President Barack Obama last Friday. In it they asked him to form a partnership with them to deal with the countryâÄôs deficit comprehensively by taking a hard look at entitlements and tax reform.

Instead of playing games such as voting to defund NPR, Congress should grow up, face the countryâÄôs fiscal issues head-on and act as the leaders we elected them to be.