Who Pays for Big Bird’s Supper?
by Michael Peroutka, Institute on the Constitution
In the first presidential debate of 2012, a surprisingly relevant question was asked by the moderator, Jim Lehrer.
Mr. Lehrer asked Mr. Romney to describe the standard he would use to reduce government spending. Mr. Romney’s answer to this and to some other questions revealed his flawed view of the Constitution.
Whether he would fund a program or not, he said, came down to whether it would be worth borrowing money from China to pay for it. He went on to say that the Public Broadcasting System, including the character “Big Bird,” would not meet his standard.
While this may have gained him a debate point over his opponent, it also demonstrated his lack of qualification for the job he seeks. This is because the standard that his oath of office calls for—which he is duty-bound to follow—has nothing at all to do with China.
The President’s oath of office is to . . . the Constitution. And the Constitution does not authorize any spending on a Public Broadcasting System.
No offense to Big Bird. There is just no constitutional authority to feed him with taxpayer birdseed.
Mr. Lehrer’s question was a refreshing and unexpected one. But Mr. Romney’s answer indicated that he doesn’t consider the legal authority granted by the Constitution to be his guide.
To the contrary, Romney’s answer revealed that, if elected, he would use a subjective standard for government spending—not a Constitutional one.
By his own claim, he plans to act just as lawlessly as the one he seeks to replace.