That’s the per capita tax revenue that is directed to public broadcasting services in the United States. Compare that to well over $100 per capita in European countries. That $1.30 is apparently too much for some Republicans in Congress.

They want to cut funding to less than $1.00 per person per year for next year, and eliminate it within two years. If enacted the cuts stand to hit rural stations the hardest. While many urbanly located stations now raise 90% or more of their funds from private and corporate donors, stations in rural areas still depend on federal funds for 30% or more of their budget.

Much of this hostility has been generated by the conservative charge of a liberal bias in public broadcasting. A myth that I believe is the result of Republicans distaste for the truth. When reporters report on the issue, rather that regurgitating partisan talking points they are accused of being liberal.

This isn’t the first time public broadcasting funds have been threatened, and I’m inclined to think that funding will be restored this time as well. While pubic broadcasting might see minor cuts next year, I doubt Republicans will follow through with their full threat.

But that’s not the point, and they never intended it to be. Instead, repeated threats of funding cuts are intended to keep public broadcasters walking on eggshells as they attempt to please partisan newsmakers.

All the while rural stations are caught in a more precarious situation than most.

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