On Valentine’s Day, NPR got a nice box of taxpayer-funded chocolates from President Obama and in return NPR sent the president a Valentine. Byron York reports:

Public broadcasting received a vote of confidence today from the Obama Administration,” NPR said in a statement Monday.  “The President’s FY 2012 budget submission to Congress included $451 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) for the two year advance appropriation for FY 2014, an increase of $6 million over FY 2013 funding.”

Vivian Schiller, the head of NPR — and focus of much controversy over the firing last year of commentator Juan Williams — released a statement saying she is “grateful to the Obama Administration for recognizing the importance of public radio to the life of communities across the nation.”

York notes that it is difficult to determine just how much of the network’s money comes from the federal government. Schiller has maintained that it is less than 2 percent of the budget.  (The most recent budget available was $166 million.) Republicans claim the take is more, though nobody knows exactly how much more. NPR receives money from not just the Corporation for Public Broadcasting but also from the National Endowment from the Arts and the Departments of Education and Commerce. CPB money that goes to local stations is used to purchase NPR programming.

This is a lot of money to pay for a radio station that many taxpayers find inhospitable to their views. The firing of Williams-for the sin of being politically incorrect-was offensive to many of us. These are good reasons to defund NPR. But the main reason is that the government shouldn’t be in the radio business. This is particularly the case in a time of looming financial crisis. Republicans should fight hard on this issue.