Yes folks, your friend on the Washington Post opinion page, George Will, wants to reduce your tax burden. He argues that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) is a waste of taxpayer dollars. It is forcing average taxpayers to foot the bill for radio and TV shows that members of Congress value.

Naturally, Mr. Will is concerned about the burden that CPB is putting on the pocketbook of Joe and Jill Sixpack. He tells us that it has cost the country $12 billion. Most people may not offhand have a good sense of how much $12 billion is. Unlike Post owner Jeff Bezos (who got rich from his company's exemption from having to collect sales taxes), they don't have that sort of money. They may also not realize that Will was referring to cumulative spending on CPB over 50 years. 

If Will was interested in more honest discussion of the burden imposed by the appropriation for CPB, he could have told readers that the annual spending of $445 million (0.013 percent of total spending), comes to roughly $1.40 per person per year. This means that if we zero out the appropriation, Joe and Jill Sixpack can get themselves another third of a six pack with the savings.

It might have also been worth mentioning in this context the tax deduction for charitable contributions. If someone like the Koch brothers decide to donate $1 billion to their favorite think tank producing nonsense denying global warming, Joe and Jill Sixpack will have to pick up the tab for 40 cents on the dollar, or $400 million, since the Koch brothers will have reduced their tax liability by this amount. Post readers are looking forward to the Will column highlighting the unfairness of a system that makes average taxpayers pick up the tab for whatever it is that the Koch brothers and other billionaires want us to watch.