Tuesday, February 15, 2011

NewsHour regulars protect PBS' taxpayer support by going after 'entitlement' programs

The Public Broadcasting System, funded in part by the nation's taxpayers, has seduced donations from its viewers over the years by boasting about its unbiased news coverage on the NewsHour.  

 Lately, NewsHour regulars have demonstrated their contempt for at least one group of American citizens they apparently deem unworthy of respect – that would be those same seniors whose trust fund has been ransacked since 1983 to bankroll Washington.

On last night’s edition of the NewsHour, Gwen Ifill repeatedly badgered Jacob Lew, director of the United States Office of Management and Budget, in an attempt to provoke him into explaining why the Obama Administration’s budget didn’t address those 'entitlement' programs. Ifill repeated the word 'entitlement,' with its derogatory connotations, at least four consecutive times until Lew finally explained to her the Administration’s rationale for dealing with the issue.

Later on in the program, Judy Woodruff, referring to those “so-called entitlement programs,” pressed Robert Portman, Republican senator from Ohio, on the same issue. Portman, who once held Lew’s position as director of the OMB, at least noted that the government had raided the Social Security trust fund over the years to pay for everyday expenses.

America’s seniors paid into Social Security and Medicare throughout decades of their working lives, believing those high payroll deductions would provide a safety net for their retirement years. Many of them also served in the military in times of peace and war. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed into a law an amendment supposedly protecting the Social Security trust fund in a “lock box.”

Those same seniors were deluded into believing their nation respected them and wished them well. Now they are facing the reality that the government violated the law by using the Social Security trust fund to pay its everyday expenses, including support for PBS and funding for its two costly wars, while avoiding the necessity to tax the wealthy and close the tax loopholes of major corporations.

In the meantime, seniors are being treated with contempt by political leaders from both parties and media reps like David Brooks and Gwen Ifill as they try to pressure the Obama Administration into gutting Social Security and Medicare.

On behalf of PBS, the NewsHour may be more aggressive in its zeal to go after those ‘entitlement’ programs in order to protect its own government funding from cuts.

Our senior citizens could justifiably sue Washington for violating the law in its misuse of their retirement funds, and PBS viewers should have second thoughts when considering whether or not to donate money to support its flagrantly biased coverage of programs serving the elderly and disabled.

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