Diary

Art & Culture Will Survive Without Federal Funding

It is the typical response of the ousted political establishment to cry wolf when new a power is installed, within the beltway. In fact, it has gotten to the point that many on the left, including some very liberal Republicans, are losing their minds over reports of Trump’s alleged “skinny” budget proposal.

The media jumped on the fire after a report, released by The Hill, pointed to the rumors of the Trump Administration adopting a budget proposal that would cut the budgets of several federal agencies. In fact, reports suggested that the budget proposal that the Trump Administration will be sending to congress in the coming days is, loosely, based on the Heritage Foundation’s theoretical budget proposals for a fiscally conservative and efficient government.

As pointed out in a column on the larger scale of the alleged budget proposal that I penned for The Daily Caller, “it is not that surprising that the administration’s plan “hews” close to the Heritage plan when economic researchers for the foundation were appointed to the Trump transition team.”

From this realization, though, some of the key issues that left brings up on Trump’s “dramatic” cuts proposal is the revelation of his administration on the propaganda machines of some of the federal government’s “endowments” for culture.

One major highlight that is sparking outrage in the Smug-NPR community is that the plan calls for privatizing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), eliminating years of bias news media at the expense of the taxpayers. Other issues, which seem to be sparking, even more, outrage, is the proposal’s call for completely eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Not surprisingly, Hollywood and Broadway stars, large art trade groups, and the direct beneficiaries of art and cultural subsidies went up to bat, in defense of keeping federal funding programs to the cultural fields.

In fact, the many celebrities going out against the idea of a smaller government and a freer economy are utilizing the climate change alarmists’ strategy of doomsaying some practical fiscal policy. Simply put, the “endowments” need to be cut.

Though together, both endowments and the CPB make up way less than 1 percent of the annual federal budget, the cutting of the programs will prove effective in the long run. In a financial bind, like the one the federal government finds itself in, cutting back on even the smallest of expenses can do wonders and can produce a long term saving. Not to mention, there was absolutely no economic value coming from these programs, per the fact that they were simply mechanisms for redistributing wealth from the private sector, to the public sector (via taxation), back to the few select industries in the private sector.

And simply saying that art and culture will face a “dark age,” of sorts because the Trump Administration defunded unfair programs is ludicrous and lacks clarity. Continuing to support the endowments, in particular, is merely advocating for the government to continue the act of picking and choosing the losers and winners in the arts and cultural industries, thus creating an uneven marketplace. The government can say they will fund millions of dollars to certain segments of society, yet the government, physically, cannot create economic value out of thin air, essentially.

Just like the film subsidies debate, there is no benefit for sponsoring projects that will prove inadequate in the grander, economic scheme. Competition needs to flourish.

As I digress, I want to leave you with a few words from the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)…

For FEE, Tyler Cowen, an American economist, academic, and writer, wrote in 1995 that, “Advocates of government funding portray themselves as progressives but they actually support a historically reactionary position,” and that, “Capitalism has proven to be the most favorable system for the arts, letters, and music.”

Nevertheless, to further add context, the endowments, like the NEA, have long spewed the agenda of the dominating political party in the executive branch. For nearly a decade, the NEA has financially sponsored controversial exhibits and projects that go against the “democratic mandate” of the agency, ergo offending the taxpayers.

Even the slightest of cuts in “cultural” funding is a good thing for the free market of ideas that circulates through the art and creative industries. Backing it further castrates the American taxpayer, even more than they already have been.