Should government dollars fund the arts? | The Tylt
Should government dollars fund the arts?
The U.S. spends far, far less on arts funding than our European counterparts do. Per capita, our National Endowment for the Arts spends 1/40th of what Germany spends on the arts. And many argue the arts are not a nice extra; the arts are central to what makes us human.
Trump plans to stop funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. The NEA budget is $148 million. Trump's inauguration cost $200 million.
With crumbling infrastructure, struggling public schools, hungry and homeless citizens, can we really justify spending money on art? Do we need to address the real life-and-death issues that confront our nation before we talk about culture? No one is saying artists can't make art—they just may need to do it without federal assistance, as so many already do.
@rogerlsimon But if we abolish the NEA, we'll end up with only that art which people are willing to pay for with their own money. Horrors!
The NEA got $148 million in funding in 2016, a year when the federal government spent about $3.9 trillion. What the government gives to the arts is astonishingly small. At the Washington Post, Philip Bump points out that arts spending makes up less than 0.02 percent of federal spending:
Put another way, if you make $50,000 a year, spending the equivalent of what the government spends on these three programs would be like spending less than $10.
There is a solid, evidence-based argument that every dollar invested in the arts is an investment in jobs, healthy communities, tourism, and economic growth.