Heard two bits of information yesterday that hit hard. The one is that the House is proposing to cut Fulbright funding over a billion dollars this week. I'm in the process of finding out whether I'll get a Fulbright to go on sabbatical next year. Suffice it to say, such a cut could hurt deeply!
The other is the proposal to cut funding entirely for public radio. I do watch the local morning news and some of the Today Show on TV. I occasionally will put on CNN or MSNBC for headline news. But NPR is my primary source of news every hour on the hour, driving in to work and driving home. I like listening to Morning Edition, Talk of the Nation, and All Things Considered because the hosts are polite and try not to take sides. I generally don't know their own positions.
These were illustrations to me yesterday of how hard it's going to be to get the deficit under control. If it were possible, I'd prefer for them to do a cross the board percentage cut--to get the budget under control in 5 years we must cut everything x%. I suppose it doesn't work that way but perhaps it could be a place to start.
What can't happen is ideological cutting. Almost everything must be cut, from defense to things like the above that preserve America's soul. Ironically, defunding the arts and value added programs like Fulbright remind me of the old Communist sense that only what is useful in a very narrow and material sense matters. It's funny how if you go far enough to one extreme you can become like the other extreme. Completely defunding things like PBS or NPR is ideological cutting and is counterproductive.
This budget cutting is going to hurt everyone if it is done right. What's the magic percentage? Start there with everything, let each area suggest specifics, and let's go from there. We'll all hurt together.