Fourteen months before the switch is scheduled to be turned off on old-fashioned analog TV broadcasting, the federal government is talking about the $40 coupons designed to ease the transition for folks who haven't bought digital sets or aren't hooked up to cable or satellite.
Yeah, my tax dollars are going to subsidize television for the lazy, the ignorant, and the poor (although note the coupons are not means-tested...as a non-cable subscriber with a non-digital set, I can get a coupon, even though my tax return will indicate I could afford both cable and a plasma TV).
I suppose one could make a case that people need broadcast TV for school closings, weather reports, or emergency information on local news, but I get that stuff with a $10 AM/FM/weather band radio that will still work after February 17, 2009...and baseball games, too.
...OTOH, I look forward to the riots when people who didn't get a coupon for a converter, or can't figure out how it works, or otherwise didn't act in time wake up and there's no TV. ZOMG! No TV! WTF are we going to DO all day?!?!