According to a document uncovered by The New York Times, Trump’s new budget director, former Representative Mick Mulvaney has proposed eliminating all funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. In 2016, WORT received $92,971 in direct grants from CPB (about 14% of the station’s total revenue.) WORT’s operating budget is already razor-thin and the loss of CPB funding would severely cripple the station.
Coinciding with this proposal, Representative Doug Lamborn (R-CO) introduced a bill to defund the CPB altogether. The fate of this bill is as yet undecided, but without support from CPB, WORT’s resources and the services it contributes to Madison will be vastly reduced.
CPB helps ensure public access to non-commercial, high-quality content and telecommunications services. For fiscal year 2014, CPB’s budget was only $445.5 million (compared to $584 billion budgeted for the military) and 95% of CPB’s budget goes directly to content development, community services, and helping to fund more than 1,400 locally-owned public and community radio and television stations, including WORT.
In a statement Lamborn released following the introduction of his bill, he said:
Republicans and the new Administration need to demonstrate that we take our fiscal responsibility seriously. American taxpayers do not want their hard-earned dollars funding superfluous government programs just because that is the way things have always been done. That’s why I have reintroduced two pieces of legislation to permanently defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and National Public Radio. CPB received $445 million during Fiscal Year 2016, and this money could be put to better use rebuilding our military and enhancing our national security.
The time to get involved is now. President Donald Trump and right wing politicians such as Representative Lamborn are moving as quickly as possible to silence any and all voices that disagree with them and dare to speak the truth. Instead, they want to take the pittance it spends on WORT and its allies and further fatten the budget for the military industrial complex. Now more than ever before, WORT needs your support. You can help thwart their plans by making a donation to WORT today, so free speech radio can continue to survive and thrive!