Get ready for more money-raising telethons on PBS if Mitt Romney wins the 2012 election. The Republican candidate has listed the public broadcasting channel among areas of the arts he plans to cut funding for if he gets into office. Seems donations from people like you really might be the backbone of PBS if we wind up with a Republican president.

In an interview with Fortune, Mitt Romney makes a wide variety of the usual campaign promises with plenty of focus on his promise to tax the rich rather than the middle class. He also promises to turn the spending axe on areas receiving endowments and subsidies from the government. Among them are arts-based programs such as the National Endowment for the Arts and PBS. Romeny argues that the money they’re receiving is contributing to a huge national debt, and they’ll have to go it on their own instead of getting money the U.S. has to borrow:
”I very much appreciate and like what they do in many cases, but I just think they have to stand on their own rather than receiving money borrowed from other countries, as our government does on their behalf.”

PBS is a channel that is often the subject of many jokes and sarcasm. Remember Homer’s fake pledge on The Simpsons that brought the wrath of Betty White down on him? Classic. With the government subsidy cut, PBS would rely a lot more on donations (real ones) to stay alive. Either that or go the route of most other channels and air commercials. It’s not like anyone has to watch them anymore anyhow in the age of DVR.

The real question is, can slashing funding to a few such programs really get America out of our current financial hole? Perhaps the U.S. government should instead take a cue from PBS and hold a telethon. I bet Betty White would host.

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