The recent budget battle has pissed me all kinds of off. I don't expect Congress, which is made up of mostly lawyers, to be the masters of economics, but I do find their proposed cuts a bit disturbing. While I believe most of us agree that spending is indeed out of control, few of us will see eye to eye on what programs need to be sliced.
Not surprisingly Republicans seem to be under the notion that cutting spending for the National Endowment for the Arts, NPR, and other programs regarding the humanities, will somehow balance our budget. Now I understand that the GOP and their Tea Party brethren is against most social spending except for Medicare, federal funding for the troops' living and health expenses, or any money going directly to their constituency. Yes they're against slashing the largest piece of our deficit pie and instead seem to be pandering to their base who look at the arts as wasteful.
The arts should never be thought of as expendable. They help our workforce, economy, and is something we all take part in. If we left the humanities to the private sector exclusively you can look forward to more museums honoring fast food, creationism, and Hanna Barbara cartoons while you watch the ones you love close their doors. Your local theater will only show musicals based on Michael Bay films. The next generation of musicians may consider Rebbecca Black's "Friday" to be the pinnacle of artistic expression.
Now some of you may think this disturbs me because I'm some sort of tax and spend liberal, of which I'm not. Fiscally I lean towards the Teddy Roosevelt brand of Republicanism, but I'm fully aware that the humanities affect all of us, from the clothes we wear to the houses we live in. To say the richest country in the world can't afford to further our arts education is laughable, especially when we consider how expensive our wars are.
Yes in times of budget crisis we all must compromise, but the GOP will have you believe that cutting taxes on the wealthy and limiting social spending will somehow solve our nation's deficit woes. I for one would gladly pay more come tax time if it means our country will continue to flourish in one of our greatest exports, the arts.
So write your Senator if you agree with me and hope it won't fall on deaf ears, as I'm afraid my email has.
"What NPR did, I'm very proud of, and what NPR stood for is non-racist, non-bigoted, straightforward telling of the news." - Ron Schiller