For over 20 years I’ve supported National Public Radio because I’ve found their news coverage superior to anything else. In the last few years I’ve subscribed to several podcasts connected to NPR and they tell me the best way to support these podcasts lies in support of my local NPR station (KPBS). Starting last year I sent in my donation to KPBS and have included a letter to the program director Tom Karlo.
I’m writing this in the hopes that more of us support NPR. Here is this year’s letter to Tom:
Last January we sent in our annual contribution to support KPBS.
In that letter I spoke about how freedom of the press found itself under unprecedented fire from the White House and those foolish enough to believe the President’s lies. A year later I still have the same concerns and, frankly, find PBS and NPR my best weapon to fight back and protect our First Amendment rights.
When I tell people I support public radio some will dismiss it as having a liberal bias. I used to ignore it, but I no longer do. I tell them this: PBS and NPR provides smart, in-depth, reasoned news that does not tell us how to think, but instead enlightens us to the issues. Time again I come away with an understanding of all sides of a controversial issue and I can form my opinion after considering all sides. I explain that PBS and NPR are not balanced because that creates a false equivalency. “Today’s topic is the connection between the MMR vaccine and autism. On one side we have a renowned pediatrician and on the other side we have the mother of a child with autism. You decide.”
And finally I tell them that if this level of reporting leans left, I’m OK with that. I’m willing to be thoughtful enough to care about our environment, our neighbors, and our grandchildren.
In addition to listening to KPBS I also listen to several NPR podcasts and I want you to know which ones I support:
Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me
Please give my best wishes to your staff and know how much all of you mean to me.
I hope you’ll support your local NPR station.
From his earliest days on the campaign trail President Trump has promised tax reform. As with many Republicans he bought into the fiction of supply side economics, previously known as trickle down economics. This theory claims that if we cut taxes more people will have more money. They will spend that money and create more wealth that will more than make up for the loss in tax revenue. Many of us argue that this is popular not because it’s true but because makes us feel good, much like the Atkins Diet. It doesn’t help people lose weight in the long run but it’s popular because it tells overweight people that they can eat bacon and cheese omelettes and still lose weight.
Last week the President signed into law a tax reform bill that he claims will be good for America, particularly the middle class. Additionally he claims it will hurt him. Of course since we don’t have access to his tax returns we can’t say, but he has often bragged about his wealth and since this bill will lower the highest tax bracket from 39.6% to 37%. And while 2.6% may not sound like much, if you claim taxable income of $100 million (not unheard of among the wealthiest), that 2.6% pencils out to $260,000, or a little over a quarter of a million dollars. That may not be much for Mr. Trump, but it is for the rest of us.
Many of us looked at this tax bill with hope as Republicans have often claimed that they are the party of fiscal responsibility, as opposed to Democrats who they characterize as the party of “tax and spend.” They claim the Democrats want all our money only to figure out how to spend it on frivolous programs that cause more harm.
We counted on Republicans like Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Jeff Flake of Arizona who promised not to vote for a tax package that would increase the federal deficit. By the way, I wrote an earlier article on the difference between the federal deficit and debt.
So how do they get around this? They lie. They claim the tax cuts will pay for themselves but that depends on unsustainable economic growth. You can read an this article but basically Presidents have little control over economic growth. Anything less than hopelessly optimistic economic growth will balloon both the deficit and the debt.
Don’t care about this? Fine. But if you have children, grandchildren, nephew, nieces, or young people you care about you need to explain to them how they will have to repay the debt you saddled them with. It’s a little like using cash advances to pay for frivolous purchases with the knowledge that if you do it for long enough you won’t have to clean up your own mess.
To quote our President, let’s see what happens.