The people at Maine Public Broadcasting Network should take a moment and listen to themselves.

They may produce some highly sophisticated radio programming, but in the ongoing budget talks in Augusta, they are coming across as more than a little immature.

The network was told to come up with a way to cut $46,526 from its budget to help the state reach $25 million in savings needed to fill a hole left in the budget passed in June. MPBN’s leaders responded that their $1.5 million allotment of state funding had already been cut $500,000, and that was enough.

“Since the state is already saving over $500,000 through providing less than the statutorily required appropriations, MPBN does not believe that the targeted cut is appropriate,” wrote John Isacke, chief financial officer for MPBN, in a letter to a special budget panel.

Isacke seems to have forgotten that legislators can change “statutorily required appropriations” by writing new statutes if they have the governor’s support. And that shouldn’t be a problem in this case, since the governor is the guy who wanted to cut all of MPBN’s funding earlier this year.

And MPBN should consider that even if its budget could be saved, the money not cut from its budget would have to come from somewhere else. Considering where most of the money in the state budget is spent – schools and social services – the network may not be looked on very sympathetically by the public in its next pledge drive if it is spared this go-round.

It’s not too much to ask recipients of state funding to show what their budget would look like if it absorbed a cut. If the result is onerous, the Legislature has the ability to look for the savings elsewhere.

But the people at MPBN should consider what refusing to participate sounds like and change their tune.