Alec Baldwin, Stanley Tucci and a bunch of lobbyists are crawling all over Capitol Hill attempting to steal more money out of our pockets to fund “artists” who don’t have the talent to survive on private donations and earnings.
Robert Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, the premiere lobbying org for arts groups, said that while “some of the rhetoric is negative,” the records of Santorum and Romney both reflect some support for arts funding. He’s encouraged by President Obama’s request to increase funding for the NEA to $155 million, restoring it to the level before last year’s budget standoffs, when it was slashed to $146 million.
“It is a tough environment,” Lynch said. “It is very brave and very leaderly of the administration to ask for this increase because it is a time when all you are hearing about is cutbacks and cuts from government.”
“The sense I get from the White House, the sense I get from the Hill, is that there is a fairly positive energy for this fairly modest investment because of the economics of it, because it is a job creator and economic stimulator,” he added.
Last week, Lynch and Stanley Tucci, on the cusp of the opening of “The Hunger Games,” appeared before a House subcommittee on Capitol Hill to press for the budget increase. On April 16 and 17, a number of industry figures will trek to Washington to participate in a series of lobbying events, including the Americans for the Arts’ annual Nancy Hanks Lecture at the Kennedy Center, to be given this year by Alec Baldwin and featuring a performance by Ben Folds.
Advocates in entertainment say that arts funding, including federal grants, strengthens the creative sector, which benefits the industry.
What’s revealing about all of this is that these are the same people who wring their hands over world hunger and think America can do more to eradicate it. And yet, when given a choice, they choose to lobby for that $150 million or so to go to dirty pictures and interpretive dance, as opposed to starving children.
You would think that truly compassionate Hollywoodists would step in and say, “You know what, we’ll pass the hat and cover the NEA budget ourselves if the government will send this $150 million to UNICEF.”
If not UNICEF, why not AIDS or cancer research, or stem cell research?
Ah, liberal priorities.
You can always replace those who die prematurely, but dirty pictures created by the marginally talented can only come from the public trough.