Saturday, January 05, 2008

The $1.5 Billion Giveaway

Got your attention, did I?

It disappoints - but doesn't surprise - me that the feds are giving out $1.5 Billion in coupons to help people convert from analog to digital TV. I wish I was making this up.

WASHINGTON - Millions of $40 government coupons become available Tuesday to help low-tech television owners buy special converter boxes for older TVs that might not work after the switch to digital broadcasting.

Beginning Feb. 18, 2009, anyone who does not own a digital set and still gets their programming via over-the-air antennas will no longer receive a picture.

That's the day the television industry completes its transition from old-style analog broadcasting to digital.

The converter boxes are expected to cost between $50 and $70 and will be available at most major electronics retail stores. Starting Tuesday, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration will begin accepting requests for two $40 coupons per household to be used toward the purchase of the boxes.

Viewers who have satellite or cable service will not need a box.


Congress, in ordering the transition to digital broadcasting, set aside $1.5 billion for the coupon program, which will fund 33.5 million coupons and other costs.

Emphasis definitely mine.

Look, this is the world we live in, dislike it as much as we may. Self-government is in retreat around the globe, if I can be so bold as to borrow that imagery from Mr. Paine. Only until we begin to get people talking about balanced government - what it is, how we lost it, how we get it back - we're going to continue along that high road to communism.


Call Me Mom said...

Gee, you mean the government thinks it's so essential for me to watch television that they are willing to subsidize my ability to continue doing so?

And here I was, looking forward to not having a television that worked. Imagine the productivity that I would have if I wasn't watching TV. Imagine the self fulfillment from not watching hundreds of advertisements a day telling me how dissatisfied I should be with my life and my lowly self. Oh, wait a minute, I don't watch the silly thing more than an hour a day. I would miss "Good Eats" with Alton Brown, but wait! I can just order the DVD's and not have any commercials.

Why, exactly, do I need to be able to watch television?

Rick Darby said...

Bread and circuses.

Er, no. Just circuses.

Gives the masses something to occupy their vestigial minds while their country joins the Third World due to mass peasant immigration, overpopulation, and funny money.

Michael Tams said...

Precisely because of the reasons Mr. Darby mentions, Mom. The people need something to keep them distracted from the wholesale fleecing that is going on within the government.

Rome wasn't built in a day, but I imagine a large part of it could have been destroyed in that amount of time.

Terry Morris said...

Dear Uncle Sam,

I'd really like to have one of them High Definition tvs--the bigger the better--but I also don't want to have to pay for it out of my own earnings. Do you think you can convince Mom, Mike, and Mr. Darby to git me one via income redistribution?

Your faithful servant,


P.S. Dad always said "beggars can't be choosers." Whatever.

Michael Tams said...


LOL, they keep making those things bigger and cheaper every year. Is that too much to ask for? And if we split the cost between 3, 4, or 5 of us, the pain would be much easier to bear. Sort of like our imbalanced government, right? Any destructive idea can be had if you divide the cost among enough people and keep the details from them, right?


Call Me Mom said...

I think that the democratic party should be subsidizing this instead of the government since so much of what is shown on television seems to be supporting the political agenda of the left.

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