It just doesn’t get any better than a couple of super-wealthy Hollywood celebrities, in a fit of self-importance, running around Capitol Hill demanding taxpayers foot the bill for their pet projects — in this case, $167 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. We are broker than broke and already saddling future generations with trillions in unpaid debt, and rather than do the decent thing and hold a Hollywood fundraiser to raise this cash, these two are demanding we pay for it.
Can you imagine the goodwill Hollywood would engender if they were to stand up as an industry and say:
“You know what, America? We got this. We understand what’s happening in this country. We understand you’re already over-taxed and worried about the deficit. And while we realize $167.5 million in the face of trillions isn’t a whole lot, it is something we as an industry can cover. We call on Congress to cut this from the budget and assure the NEA this town will plug that funding hole with our own money.”
My guess is that just a tenth of the profits from “Avatar” could make up the funding gap. But they will never do it for three reasons:
- It’s the decent thing to do and therefore not in them.
- They need a reason to run around Capitol Hill feeling important.
- They get a sick thrill knowing we’re paying for bullwhips in butts.
Despite the absence of an official hearing, lobbying org Americans for the Arts forged ahead with a Tuesday morning event in a House caucus room, where Alec Baldwin, Kevin Spacey and others read excerpts of their prepared testimony.
“Many people who are making the cuts don’t believe in the cuts themselves,” Baldwin told the gathering of hundreds of arts advocates. “They’re just speaking from an old, tired script.” …
Baldwin compared the current budget battle to that of the 1990s, when he also testified before a congressional committee. Back then — the height of the so-called “culture wars” — federal support for controversial artists like Robert Mapplethorpe and Karen Finney gave ammunition to critics calling for the elimination of the NEA.
Those controversies, Baldwin said, “don’t exist today.” He said the motivation for the latest proposed cuts was “laziness.”
I am in favor of using Planned Parenthood’s government money to fund the NEA. Can we agree on that Alec and Kevin?
I don’t know about you but I’m ready for a government shutdown. These public employees can just go home and lean on their own damn shovels for a change.