Friday, March 11, 2011
In this era of trillion dollar budget deficits, Democrats and Republicans both agree that governmental spending excesses must be ended. But at what point do the cuts go too deep and jeopardize not only our way of life, but the very essence of the American spirit?
According to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, that point occurs when the GOP threatens to withhold federal tax money from Nevada's annual "Cowboy Poetry Festival." The festival is currently funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, which uses taxpayer dollars to richly reward artists who can't sell their work to anyone, and who stubbornly refuse to be creative for free.
Mr. Reid says that without taxpayer dollars, the "tens of thousands of people who come (to the festival) every year would not exist." Which doesn't actually make any sense, and suggests that Mr. Reid may have taken a horseshoe to the head a few times while attending poetry readings.
Here at Hope n' Change, we're genuinely supportive of the creative arts. But we don't believe that true artists will (or even could) stop producing if tax money dries up. The saying "Ars Gratia Artis" means "Art for Art's Sake," which is what motivates the genuinely creative. If they can earn great wealth, or just enough to cover their materials, that's terrific. And if not, that's life.
Our country simply doesn't have the money to pay for "everything, all the time" anymore. So it's time to put the National Endowment for the Humanities out to pasture.