Mike Gallagher

I am so angry at the government right now I could spit.

I know that many of my fellow conservatives are upset about the economic stimulus package. And rightfully so. When President Obama said that “now is not the time” for companies to make a profit, I wonder when he thinks the time would be right.

As he presents a mandate to limit the salaries of CEOs who run companies being bailed out by the American taxpayer, I wonder how far that will go. Never before has the term “slippery slope” held such perilous meaning for the United States.

But I’m not livid over Wall Street or the TARP plan or Obama’s socialist-leaning speeches and TV appearances right now.

I’m fired up about TV converter boxes.

This week, the House voted 264-158 to postpone the shutdown of analog TV signals to June 12th. As you’ve probably heard, the switch from analog TV to digital was supposed to take place on February 17th.

But Democrats are worried that poor and rural and minority Americans are simply not prepared to obtain the $40.00 converter box that they will need to watch their favorite episode on television in crystal clear digital clarity.

Apparently, there are more than 6.5 million households in America that still rely on analog TV sets to pick up over-the-air broadcast signals. This, despite the fact that the feds have come up with a massive welfare program to hand out “vouchers” that enable people to request up to two converter boxes per household.

Of course, these vouchers don’t come from the digital TV fairy. You and I are paying for this scheme and to date, we have spent $1.34 billion dollars to make sure every American can watch “American Idol” or “Jerry Springer” whenever they wish.

Forget those shows, this whole debacle is like living in an episode of “The Twilight Zone.”

While headlines are being generated about the Democrat mindset of nationalizing private businesses and bailing out failed ventures, we seem to be ignoring one of the most massive bail-outs ever: the taxpayer-funded process of transitioning people from analog to digital television.

Would someone please tell me why any of us should pay for our neighbors digital converter box?

Every time I ask this question on my radio show, I’ll inevitably get a caller who says, “Well, Mike, since the government is forcing this technical change, they need to pay for it.”

Mike Gallagher

Mike Gallagher is a nationally syndicated radio host, Fox News Channel contributor and guest host and author of 50 Things Liberals Love to Hate.