Friday, March 9, 2012

REED QUESTIONS SPENDING ON PAKISTANI TELEVISION SHOW; Cites $20 million of taxpayer money for Pakistani version of Sesame Street as example of waste

Congressman Tom Reed is highlighting the State Department program which is spending $20 million of taxpayer money on a Pakistani version of the television show Sesame Street as the latest in a series of examples of government waste.

“We are borrowing more than forty cents of every dollar we spend,” Reed said.  “We must carefully examine every single dollar. Television programming in foreign nations should not be a priority for our government. We expend far too much on foreign aid as it is, but to pay to produce television shows strikes me as an egregious example of misspent money.”

Reed noted that his criticism is not directed at the show itself. “Sesame Street has long carried a message of religious tolerance and respect for differences,” Reed said. “But as we debate where government will cut more spending, why American tax dollars are being squandered on any foreign television show is beyond me.”

Reed intends to examine all foreign aid dollars line-by-line and seek justification from the State Department for the expenditures. “In a time when we borrow money from foreign nations in the name of our children and grandchildren, we must always ask, line by line, if each expenditure of foreign aid makes sense.” Reed observed. “To me, this example clearly does not."

The spending for Pakistani television is the latest example in a series Reed has undertaken to shine light upon unnecessary spending. Reed has highlighted $462 million in wasted tax dollars thus far.  

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