Engadget summed this up nicely:
Shortly after Barack Obama’s transition team urged Congress to postpone the looming digital TV transition, FCC chairman Kevin Martin has hit back with suggestions to keep things on track. His primary concern is that delaying the cutover, which has been scheduled for years and advertised as such, will confuse consumers — and honestly, we think he has a point. If the February 17th changeover date suddenly becomes meaningless, we could definitely see consumer confusion about this whole ordeal hitting an all-time high. Martin was quoted at an interview at CES as saying that “there are options they can do without having to delay to get coupons flowing immediately,” suggesting that extra funding should be hastily given or that those 90-day expiration dates be marked null and void. Additionally, many broadcasters have already scheduled work to take down their analog equipment, and cancellations could be costly and disruptive.
The “crisis” is over an estimated $2 Million backlog of converter box coupons. While I find it hard to believe that many people simply can’t afford the $40 box to make their TV continue to work (verses $10 w/ coupon), it seems like a small problem. I mean Obama is spending $140 million on his inauguration but $2M isn’t anywhere to be seen?
UPDATE: Obama spent $170 Million and now holds the record for the largest temporary toilet even in US history.
Seriously, if Obama’s best solution to a $2M crisis is to kick the can down the road – God help us with impending problems in health care, energy, social security, and others. The sad part is that hundreds of millions have been spent over the last few years hammering this one specific date and switchover… Why are we going to WASTE all the money and effort to not spend $2M that we are going to go ahead and spend anyway a few months down the road?
Of course at this point it comes as little surprise from the President that is already kicking the can on catching Bin Laden, ending the war in Iraq, reviving the economy, energy independence and just about anything else he promised during the campaign. It seems his re-election strategy is to push off any problems into the future – so he can fix them in his second term!