The bill that would have delayed the February 17 switchover from analog to digital television failed to get the necessary two-thirds vote in the House Wednesday after House Republicans united to block it.
The GOP members had argued that a delay would place undue hardship on smaller broadcasters who would be forced to maintain dual transmitter sites for an additional 90 days and that it would confuse consumers.
They favor a more limited measure that would free up funds to allow more $40 vouchers for converter boxes to be sent to those requesting them. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration says that 2.6 million coupon requests are currently wait-listed.
There shouldn't even have been a voucher program to begin and it certainly shouldn't be expanded in the current economic crisis.
Television is not a necessity nor a Constitutional Right. It is a luxury, and the government should not be using tax dollars to fund luxuries for the citizenry.
Of course, if the American public wasn't zoning out in front of crap like "Survivor" and "Damages", they might actually start paying attention to how our elected officials are abusing their power and the money they extort from us via the tax system. If the American public started paying attention, we might actually see some real change in the way our government functions.
And that idea gives Obama and the rest of the Democrats, as well as most of the Republicans, nightmares.