Don't cry for Big Bird
Hey there Occupy Wall Street, occupy this--one of your favorite characters and favorite friend, Big Bird, from your absolutely favorite, character forming show, The Muppets, is a member of the 1%! And so are Bird's bff's--Elmo, Bert, Ernie and the whole gang. And as for their parents--well, as that foreigner Mark Steyn discovered
[T]he President of Sesame Workshop, Gary Knell, received in 2008 a salary of $956,513. In that sense, Big Bird and Sen. Harry Reid embody the same mystifying phenomenon: they've been in "public service" their entire lives and have somehow wound up as multimillionaires.
But these one per centers have even more! According to Victor Medina of the Washington Examiner who examined Big Bird's corporate tax form from the Sesame Street Workshop
[T]he 990 also revealed that Sesame Workshop received $44,984,003 in royalties last year, which includes sales of Sesame Street brand merchandise like "Tickle Me Elmo" dolls. That means Big Bird made five times in merchandise sales than what he received in government grants.
An even closer look at Sesame Workshop's finances shows the government funding Romney wants to cut is only a small part of their budget and may not be necessary at all. In 2011, Sesame Workshop received $31,555,192 in grants and donations last year apart from the U.S. government. They also raised over $2 million in additional funds from various fundraising events. In all, Sesame Workshop raised almost $34 million in private funds for Sesame Street, aside from government grants.
In addition, Sesame Workshop brought in almost $30 million in revenue from content distribution and media production. In total, Sesame Workshop brought in over $122 million in revenue, not including government grants. On their website, Sesame Workshop claims corporate, foundation, and government support make up 35% of their budget. Realistically, however, government funding only accounts for just over 6% of their budget.
Sooooo, the question remains, why are Big Bird and his pals getting any government money; why aren't they cavorting on any number of...gasp! for profit stations? Because they are for profit. Oh. But Honey Boo Boo would probably love to play with the big yellow birdie. Ah, but would the folks who snub commercial television want any of their pals hanging out personally with the likes of Ms. Boo Boo and her family?
For you see, as the occupy folks have noted, they think tax dollars should subsidize them and their do goodedness over at so called public television even though it doesn't have high viewership numbers from the real public. But for the OWS types, and all the others who are so pained at the thought of Big Bird off the government dole, that's part of the charm.
Businessman that he is, Romney would cut not only government funding for unneeded public television he could probably institute business practices to eliminate those notorious high priced government toilets, lavish government funded conferences and other excessive government waste that permeates government expressed as "Good enough for government work."
Don't cry for Big Bird--s/he will be just fine with Romney as president. And as for the OWS types, well, they might actually have to grow up and get a job.