Big Bird Doesn’t Need Big Government

From a (free) editorial in The Wall Street Journal:

According to financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2011, Sesame Workshop and its nonprofit and for-profit subsidiaries had total operating revenue of more than $134 million. They receive about $8 million a year in direct government grants and more indirectly via PBS subsidies. …

At the end of fiscal 2011, Sesame Workshop and its subsidiaries had total assets of $289 million…. these investments included stakes in hedge funds and private-equity funds. …

So Big Bird likes to maximize revenues and investment gains as much as the next muppet. And now the President has made this adorable critter the symbol of federal programs that allegedly require eternal taxpayer aid, even if it has to be put on the future tax bill of today’s pre-schoolers. Is that funny?

How can we trust the government to make the difficult choices required to balance the budget when we can’t even trust them to make the easy choices?  Yes, the $8 million Sesame subsidy is small potatoes, but symbolism is important.  In a 500-channel television environment, the notion that there would be no quality programming without government subsidy is ludicrous.

(Image from Wikipedia)