Jobs have been cut- homes have been lost. Yet government funds are still being extended to US consumers to help pay for the converter box necessary for the upcoming, congressionally mandated analog-digital tv broadcast switch on February 17, 2009- now even further extended to June.
To that end, any household- regardless of their income can request two $40 coupons.
The total cost of this plan, you ask? $ 1.5 billion dollars! Cut from initially 3 million.
If thats not enough- Congress has pre-authorized 11 million MORE vouchers for households. And another $600 million in the stimulus package from President Obama.
Their public message is that this is absolutely splendid for the American home! Personally, I saw at least 30 commercials and government-funded, advisory messages over the past fews months- reminding me to cash in my voucher.
What's not great about getting a basically free converter box? You go home, plug it in. This is so cool! But oh wait- look at the resolution! Then you ask yourself, "Wouldn't that look great on a bigger screen?" And then (here is the important part) you go out and buy a new tv and a fun new tv programming plan with all the great HD channels- which you won't need the converter box for.
The House and Senate, including many Republicans, Democrats and of course Barack- all believe that this will generate a lot of income/taxes for the government. Good right? Well-unfortunately they are digging into the fed's already empty pocketbooks! So, they can spend 1.5 billion dollars on TV converters! Not on food and definitely not on housing loans-which the banks don't care about either, by the way. (Thank you bail-out plan.)
Why are they mandating this? Who benefits from this?
We do know that TV manufactures, programmers and retail stores are making bank on this transition. Not to mention companies, such as Verizon and At&t whom already have spent 16 billion on guaranteeing access to the soon-to-be-vacated public airways.
Isn't it just so fab that the same company that runs the DMV, runs this? I mean- if people don't have their $40 dollar box, how in the world are they going to pay for their $60 tv plan so they don't miss Tyra Banks playing the fool again?