I avoid reading the thin drool offered on the PJMedia website but I happened to read the opinion piece recently offered by a failed artist now church employee who demands the National Endowment for the Arts be totally eliminated
The writer trots out withered, ancient and fake narratives which ignore the reality of what the NEA does and how it does it. The writer wails that crazy commie leftist artists suck up tax dollars to insult you with lousy arty stuff no one needs 'cause art ain't food; another false claim is that all art should be regulated by a free market and therefore insure only good art that everyone likes will survive and crappy art will die; and finally that "all Americans' don't have any creative notions so no creative notion should be supported.
The facts are enormously and utterly at odds with such drivel.
"The NEA’s 2017 budget is $149.8 million. In a nation of 319 million people that amount doesn’t allow the agency to subsidize much of anything. But the endowment has found ways to make the money work with outsized effectiveness and efficiency. It makes thousands of small grants to nonprofit organizations — on average 2,100 a year. Each grant requires the recipient to raise matching local funds — often at a ratio of two or three local dollars for each federal one. So the NEA mostly serves as a catalyst for local groups to raise private and state money to serve their own communities.
On its modest budget, NEA funding now reaches every state, every congressional district, and even most counties — rural and urban — in the United States. Grants fund programs in schools, libraries and military bases. Nearly half the grants go directly to state and regional arts organizations to expand grass-roots efforts. NEA grants never pay overhead or annual expenses. They only fund specific programs of artistic and educational excellence that reach the public."
"The arts in America wouldn’t be destroyed if the NEA ceased to exist. But music, dance, theater, literature and visual arts would become less widely available, especially in schools, rural areas and poorer communities. Access to culture should not be a function of family income. That is why citizens should remind their representatives in Washington that the NEA needs to be protected. Believe it or not, most members of Congress will be pleased to get these letters.
Public support for the arts and arts education is neither a partisan nor a divisive issue. Most Americans want to see the arts in their communities and their schools. Most members of Congress agree. So do most governors and state legislatures. A 2016 public opinion poll conducted by the advocacy group Americans for the Arts found that 55% were in favor of doubling the NEA’s budget (from 46 cents per person then to $1 per person)."
Truth - eliminating the tiny amount of the NEA budget resolves no issue and addresses no problem. So why push for it?
I find it fascinating the writer from PJM is employed by a religious organization, which is exempt from paying taxes - if the writer were truly concerned about fair tax policies, shouldn't he argue that religious organizations should be taxed? So it isn't a tax issue or an economics issue - it's a cultural control issue. It also perpetuates hateful, demeaning, false and ignorant views about anyone who works in the arts - as the article's writer asks, "why should my tax dollars pay for your slacker son to be in a play when if had any talent he would not need any support to reach the heights of success and fame and wealth'.
A few million dollars supporting tens of thousands of arts programs is bad. Billions to subsidize oil companies or banking is good. Only art that is bought is good. The crap you make in your own community is crap, go get a real job, slacker.
The Republican party continues to show it opposes collaboration, open dialog, education, a free press, or anything which provides opportunities for the poor, for rural residents, for schools. Every argument about the arts they offer is debunked but they continue to lie and distort reality - the real problem, they say, is your sin of not being wealthy. Art is for the wealthy and talented - your creative contribution is a laughable pile of crap.
And, as usual, those ideas are held only by a small, angry, petty crowd of deplorable clucks who have a warped view of the world. They simply lust for power for it's own sake while claiming to be your Protectors.