Shutdown Austerity: No Money for Kids’ Cancer Treatments; PBS, NPR Still Get $445 Million

I wrote the other day that I was waiting for Big Bird to make the headlines amid this government shutdown, lamenting to his young viewers that due to the Republican-led shutdown, he wouldn’t be able to be on the TV anymore. Well, he’s made headlines, but not for that reason.

The headline is that he’s still getting paid big bucks while children’s cancer treatments get halted. You can’t get more “political leverage” than kids with cancer. (Well, I suppose what would top that would be homosexual, Black Muslim kids with cancer. That would be a politician’s dream come true.)

The deal was that Harry Reid blamed the GOP for the “shutdown” and said that because of the shutdown, the National Institutes of Health wouldn’t receive funding, and some 30 kids wouldn’t be able to receive new, life-saving treatments. So, the GOP offered a bill that would allow funding to the NIH, thereby allowing these kids to receive treatment. But, Reid didn’t want to do that. He wasn’t going to budge. He’s got principles.

Meanwhile, Corporation for Public Broadcasting gets its $445 million appropriation, which means PBS, NPR and Big Bird all get their paychecks. At least we know where the administration’s priorities are.

They want CPB to continue receiving federal funding amid this “shutdown,” because of all the jobs that they provide. That is, according to what CPB told Fox News:

“The United States Treasury sent public broadcasters their two-year advance appropriation — a sum, approved by Congress in 2012 for FY 2014, representing only 0.01% of the federal budget. Seventy percent of these indispensable dollars are promptly sent to locally-owned and operated stations in cities and rural communities all across the country, as they have been for most of the past 40 years. There, they provide jobs for more than twenty thousand people who are working to support ‘America’s Largest Classroom’ as well as life-long learning for all Americans with our unique cultural, public affairs and news programs.”

Seasoned politicians like Harry Reid and the President should know better. Never say no to kids with cancer. That’s suicide. But they’d rather have the money flowing to TV and radio stations (which have been rather friendly to the President in recent weeks) than to have kids receive cancer treatments. The Dems keep telling themselves that they’re “winning” this game, but they keep shooting themselves in the foot.