Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spaced Out on Art Funding

It seems congressional leaders have some more important things to do than to hear from left-wing actors Kevin Spacey and Alec Baldwin on the matter of federal subsidies for the arts.

Spacey makes the wild assertion that for every $1 billion the federal government invests in art programs, it gets $29 billion in return to the U.S. Treasury.
"For that billion dollars that is put into the funding of arts and culture around this country, $29 billion comes back into the Treasury... There is no other issue, no other area of the budget, that has that kind of return on its investment,” he said.
Really Kevin? How does that work? Where do you get that $29 billion figure and how is it directly connected to the $1 billion showered on the arts community by the federal government?

Because if it's true the government shouldn't invest $1 trillion to subsidize America's starving artists. After all wouldn't that mean $29 trillion for the U.S. Treasury that could be spent on such boring things as infrastructure, childhood education, and feeding poor people?

Could the $29 billion be the amount of taxes artists, art-related businesses, movie-producers, and other art-related industries pay to the government? And if so, what doesn't the $1 billion of government subsidies have to do with it? If that $1 billion were withheld tomorrow, there were still be movies, painters, actors, singers, etc. There were still be a huge market for art in this country even if government cuts its subsidy for it in half or to even to zero.

At a time when all sorts of special pleaders are being told they're going to have to do with less from the government, it shouldn't be hard to tell a couple of millionaire actors where to shove their demand to keep the handouts coming.


Blogger Dannytheman said...

I'm kind of torn on this one. While I agree with you, Gil, that these left of Stalin actors make up numbers, I do think there should be some money allocated for the arts.
I am not sure how to supply it without abusers taking advantage, but I know that art and music are very important balancing weights in society.

April 7, 2011 at 6:40 AM 
Blogger Bob Bohne said...

Left of Stalin? LOL. But I do agree with Danny. Like anything else, there will be those who take unfair advantage of government money, and those that will use it to benefit society. I would be interested in knowing how much government money goes into sports related programs. The building of stadiums, school sports programs etc.

April 7, 2011 at 9:06 AM 
Blogger jake said...

Artists with imagination -- good.
Economists with imagination -- bad.

Who is Kaiser Sosay?

April 7, 2011 at 10:03 AM 

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