Pro-puppet protesters intend to turn out a massive crowd November 3rd for what has been termed the “Million Muppet March.” Elmo acolytes aim to cast Mitt Romney as Oscar the Grouch ahead of the pivotal election for telling taxpayers in his first presidential debate that he doesn’t intend to borrow money from China to fund PBS.
The overwhelming reaction by millions to a Mitt Romney throwaway line about Big Bird illustrates many voters’ dismal awareness of national issues. This is in large part the fault of the media and the Obama campaign, which have dwelt on frivolous distractions the entire election year. The first presidential debate was the first dose of economic reality many voters were exposed to in a long time and some did not take to it well.
What Mitt Romney proposal prompted such a groundswell of indignant adults willing to take to the streets to defend Bert and Ernie?
I’m sorry, Jim, I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m going to stop other things. I like PBS, I love Big Bird. Actually like you, too. But I’m not going to — I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for. That’s number one.
While many jabs at Romney about the candidate ‘attacking’ Sesame Street are tongue-in-cheek, they apparently reflect a deeper mentality that the role of government is to act as a charity ward that funds everything our hearts desire. The disastrous economic consequences of this point-of-view and the wasteful government it promotes obviously go uncountenanced, if they are not met with outright denial.
The United States government is over $16 trillion in debt and there are trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see. Due to unfunded liabilities for social welfare and entitlement programs, the pricetag for government looks to be in the range of $100 trillion out to about 2050. And the demographics mean the funding problem will only get worse. As Baby Boomers head into retirement, relatively fewer workers will be in the labor force to replace and support them (not to mention the disincentives of working harder and paying ever more for other people’s retirements).
These are serious matters and that so many are angry about a trivial cut to what could be the self-sustaining enterprise of public broadcasting reflects how much this nation needs to grow up. It would behoove many to take a walk down twentieth century memory lane and ponder the abject failure of collectivism or even read a morning newspaper on the economic collapse of socialist Europe.