$650,000,000 Well Spent

tv converter box coupon

Under Title II of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 subheading Department of Commerce, I found something I deem patently absurd and blatantly ridiculous; $650,000,000 being allocated for the ‘Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Program’.  I’m going to assume that you’re all aware of the shift in television broadcasting from an analog signal to a digital one.  This conversion will only effect those still using an antenna to obtain their television signal.  For reasons of economic stimulus and recovery, $650,000,000 will be spent to ensure that these antenna users will have easier access to the digital signal via $40 coupons to obtain a digital converter box.  Wow, these converter boxes must be expensive right?  Wrong, they cost on average $49.99.  There is no eligibility requirement to receive this coupon and the only limitation I could find was 2 coupons per-household.  We’re spending hundreds of millions of dollars so that people can watch tv?  At least the millions of unemployed won’t be bored.  The best part though is of the $650,000,000 being allocated; ‘$90,000,000 may be for education and outreach, including grants to organizations for programs to educate vulnerable populations, including senior citizens, minority communities, people with disabilities, low-income individuals, and people living in rural areas, about the transition and to provide one-on-one assistance to vulnerable populations, including help with converter box installation.’  Unbelievable.  I wonder how much of that $90,000,000 I could get to teach my grandparents and their fellow ‘vulnerables’ in Florida how to hookup their cable boxes?  On a scale of awful to amazing, I’m gonna have to give this one an abismal.