Big Bird doesn’t need taxpayer handouts, Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Wednesday.
Testifying before the House Budget Committee Wednesday, Mulvaney defended the elimination of taxpayer funding for PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting required by the White House’s budget proposal.
Mulvaney said he’s got nothing against “Sesame Street” and that he even watched it as a child:
“Regarding the public broadcasting, look, I mean, my mom tells me I saw the very first ‘Sesame Street.’ Okay. In fact, I was curious that there's a printer in the back room here with Bert's picture on it. They've, evidently, named the printers here, Ernie and Bert.”
But, Big Bird is doing “extraordinarily well,” so he can support himself – and, in fact, makes more than any of the congressmen who want to keep taking money from American families in order to pad his wallet:
“It's a for-profit corporation. And, it does extraordinarily well. I don’t know if Henson Associates is owned by Disney, has a license agreement with Disney.
“I can assure you Big Bird makes more money than everybody in this room.”
“When I go to that family in Grand Rapids and say, ‘Is this what you want your money to go to this?’I think they might tell me, ‘No.’ Maybe, they can afford to do it without us.”
What’s more, Big Bird is currently getting a hefty tax cut – and that’s okay Mulvaney said:
“Big Bird actually does get a fairly large tax cut. We want him to. Henson Associates that owns Big Bird has been paying the highest corporate tax rate in the world for the last several years. We want them to have money that can create.
“We believe they're more creative than we are and believe that money would be much better invested by a private corporation, by a private individual than it would be by the government.”