Target: Governor Mitt Romney
Goal: Prevent federal funding cuts to PBS, a channel that helps educate young children
In the first presidential debate of 2012, Governor Mitt Romney was aggressive, assertive, and said what he needed to say. Unfortunately, much of what he said was slightly threatening. The victims of Romney’s assault? Small children. The threat? Stopping subsidies to PBS and ultimately ending Sesame Street for the American youth.
When asked by moderator Jim Lehrer how he would tackle the deficit problem in this country, the governor responded, “It’s not just an economic issue… it’s a moral issue.” He continued on to describe the immorality of overspending as well as increasing taxes, a crime that he says slows down the rate of growth in the American economy.
In order to stop overspending and avoid tax increases, the governor proposed cutting funding to programs that do not pass a test; programs that are not “critical” enough to the American people. If they fail, they will be cut, and the first program on the chopping block is PBS, a station that airs Sesame Street.
“I’m gonna stop the subsidy to PBS…I like PBS, I love Big Bird…But I’m not gonna keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it,” he said. As much as his eloquence and strong opinion appeared attractive to many viewers, the content of his speech was nothing short of questionable.
Federal funding for this station is already quite low, and it comprises less than one ten thousandth of a percent in the overall budget. Of all the federally funded programs out there, this is one of the few that educates as much as it entertains young people, and that sure seems like a recipe for economic growth.
This show has been watched by millions of Americans since 1969 when it premiered. A study in 1996 showed that 95% of preschool children had watched the show by the time they were three years old, and today it remains one of the few children’s programs that is both entertaining as well as educational. For many young people, Sesame Street is a vital program that reinforces information they learn in school, such as new words, spelling and grammar, and even kindness.
It is unarguable that educational television has gone down the tube in the past decade, and there are reasons for it. Children are displaying decreased attention spans and media has responded by creating colorful, fast-moving, and often crass cartoons that result in laughs, but little knowledge. Sesame Street is unique, and funding for it should never be reduced, let alone cut off. Tell Mitt Romney to respect education, and stop threats to defund PBS.
Dear Mitt Romney,
In the first Presidential debate of 2012, you announced that you planned to stop subsidies to PBS and ultimately prevent American citizens from viewing the shows it airs, such as Sesame Street. This is problematic because Sesame Street is one of the few shows left that educates children as well as entertains them.
You also said that you hope to cut spending and increase economic growth at the same time. To reduce educational children’s programs does not promote growth – it promotes unintelligence. Reading and writing are critical skills for children to learn, and Big Bird, and the rest of Sesame Street’s characters, helps to teach them these things.
Please understand that education is important for this nation. Republican candidates are constantly attempting to reduce programs that promote learning at the expense of children who are the future of this country. Stop threatening these programs. Stop threats to Big Bird, Sesame Street, and the federal funding of PBS.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: PBS Kids