Can super-rich help?

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It's often been said what the government gives, the government can take away, and for years the government has been giving money to support numerous worthwhile endeavors, such as the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

But recently President Trump proposed cutting federal funding for the network, to the tune of some $450-million dollars. As expected, the outcry was immediate and dramatic.

So here's a suggestion I've taken from the Bernie Sanders playbook about the rich helping the needy: Madonna recently earned $125-million in one year. Michael Jackson earned $825-million, in one year. So, if the estates of the dead Michael Jackson, and the very much alive Madonna were to give up a little more than half of their income, it would completely fund the missing government money.

Of course, if assorted other dead celebrities, or living movie stars, recording artists and football players were to chip in a couple of million here and there, it would lessen the burden on the super-rich.

Now, I can understand why Tiger Woods needs a $60-million home in Florida, why Oprah Winfrey needs a 23,000 square foot home costing $85-million in California, and why Tom Brady needs a $50-million home in Los Angeles. After all, there is a certain lifestyle they have to maintain. But if it came to a little downsizing to help the beleaguered CBP, certainly they would be willing to sacrifice a few million to help out.

By the way, that $450-million in government funding is only a small part of the total CPB budget, about 10 percent. The rest comes from underwriters and private individuals.

Personally, I think the government ought to help fund worthwhile public projects, including broadcasting. But if the government backs out, then those who can ought to step up to help.

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Larry Burriss
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