Do Arts Funding Cuts "Threaten America's Soul?"

Michael Medved

8/11/2011 4:01:49 PM - Michael Medved

A recent column in The Seattle Times warned that proposed cuts for the National Endowment for the Arts “threaten America’s Soul.” David Hahn, a composer with an international reputation, acknowledged that the NEA’s $150 million budget could fund “only a very few arts groups, but at least the department is a symbol saying: ‘America cares for the arts.’”

 

Actually, private funding from corporations, individual concert-goers and museum members, conveys the same message much more forcefully—delivering a hundred times more money for art than all governmental appropriations combined. Americans enjoy the arts, and pay for that enjoyment as never before; we hardly need a federal bureaucracy deciding what’s worthy of official endorsement.

 

If our leaders ever mean to get serious about trimming budgets, they must begin with programs like the NEA that waste taxpayer money for functions better handled by the private sector.