The NPR ‘emergency’

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[Commentary] The bipartisan Congressional Budget Office ran the numbers and calculated the impact the "emergency" defunding of National Public Radio measure would have on government spending: “No effect.” Five minutes after acting on this budgetary emergency, House Republicans voted to continue the war in Afghanistan -- which costs about $10 billion. Per month. They then flew home for a vacation.

During the debate over Afghanistan, cost was no object. “War is expensive and it should not be measured in the cost of money,” said Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas). But the 0.0001 percent of the budget going to NPR was a fiscal emergency. “It’s about saving taxpayer money,” proclaimed Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), the Republican floor leader. But this was undercut by freshman Rep. Rich Nugent (R-FL), who argued that “to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves in is sinful and tyrannical.” Tyrannical? “We are not trying to harm NPR,” he added. “We are actually trying to liberate them from federal tax dollars.” Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), in his speech, complained that NPR’s “programming often veers far from what most Americans would like.” He said NPR was being targeted because it advocates “one ideology.” And everybody knows what ideology that is. It’s the ideology of Click and Clack, from Car Talk.


The NPR ‘emergency’