Of course, no one wants to kill off Big Bird. It's Big Bird, man and who doesn't love Big Bird?
And, yes, we realize that cutting funding for Sesame Street and PBS would not amount to a drop in the bucket with respect to debt reduction but if the President wants to talk about "fairness" in the economy and with respect to our tax code then what is fair about tax-payers subsidizing the well-off, the very well-off?.
From the Wall Street Journal:
According to financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2011, Sesame Workshop and its nonprofit and for-profit subsidiaries had total operating revenue of more than $134 million. They receive about $8 million a year in direct government grants and more indirectly via PBS subsidies. Big Bird and friends also receive corporate and foundation support, and donations amount to about a third of revenue. Distribution fees and royalties comprise another third and licensing revenue makes up the rest.
At the end of fiscal 2011, Sesame Workshop and its subsidiaries had total assets of $289 million. About $29 million was held in cash and "cash equivalents," mainly money-market mutual funds. Another $121 million on the balance sheet was held in "investments." According to the accompanying notes, these investments included stakes in hedge funds and private-equity funds.
Bain Capital could not be reached for comment.
And it goes from being an issue of fairness to that of principle. That principle being why are tax dollars going to prop up such obvious Wall Street fat cats. So, if we're serious about eliminating subsidies and closing tax loopholes what more obvious choice is there?
Sorry, our yellow-feathered friend, but we've got a hunch you'll do just fine off the government dole.