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Rejected Artists: Senate Removes Art From Stimulus Package

Looks like the Grammys wish for a secretary of the arts won't be coming true anytime soon. The Senate voted 73-24 yesterday to ensure the arts will not receive any of President Obama's stimulus package.

The amendment will not only hit museums, theaters, and art centers, but also other leisure-loving places like swimming pools, zoos, and community parks. It will "ensure that taxpayer money is not lost on wasteful and nonstimulative projects." Unstimulating art is the worst anyway!

The House's original plan penciled in $50 million — a 1/17,000 piece of the $827 billion pie. Americans For the Arts, an advocacy and lobbying organization, hopes to delete the amendment from the final draft. It's launching an email campaign and placing ads that say "Arts=Jobs" in political journals this weekend.

But when three-quarters of the Senate says no, last-minute efforts to reverse its decision sounds like wishful thinking. Artists!


Join The Conversation
pob pob 8 years
My Answer is yes they should and so should the arts. Without supporting the arts we are taking away one of the most proven education tools to foster critical and creative thinking. The question of the stimulus putting money into the arts goes much farther supporting pictures on the wall, or controversial art installations or beautiful music. It even goes beyond the jobs it both directly and indirectly supports. It would support our entire way of culture and particularly our concept of educating our future generations so they can be competitive in the global economy. With out one of the finest tools to teach critical and creative thinking we further hamper or kids, grandkids and so on. Not only have we put several generations in debt we are no trying to take away their hope of every getting out of it. Even GM recently apologized for there lack of creative forward thinking when they were asking The Senate for 18 billion and stated that they would use the monies if granted with emphasis on creative forward thinking so they would not get left behind again. How are they going to find employees in the future if The Arts are not supported across the board, not just through the NEA, which is and has long been under attack as well. My two cents...
pob pob 8 years
Hello CaterpillerGirl, Question: Do you think math and science should be financed by the stimulus?
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
Harmony, I care about the arts, but i dont think they should be financed by the stimulus. thats all. No one is celebrating people being out of a one.
jadenirvana jadenirvana 8 years
Gross, why can't we be more like France. This is an enforcement of America's reputation of Bush-era ignorance. I wish Obama had been able to push through to make us a more cultured country.
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 8 years
Roosevelt made the arts a top priority. This is extremely sad. And no CG "tens of thousands" does not "cover it." But it's quite clear that most people on this thread could care less whether the arts survive or not. Celebrating that people that are in the arts are going to be out of a job is disgusting.
stephley stephley 8 years
We're not just off of work because we're hurt: we're deeply in debt, we're hurt, the bills are coming in and the job we thought was going to carry us through is being phased out so we need to get ourselves retrained for the future fast. We need multi-level solutions.
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
Inflation has been a huge problem over the last three years with unnaturally low interest rates propping up artificial growth, which lead to a very real bust. In order to see this in action globally, one only needs to look at the value of the dollar against other currencies. The inflation of our currency (as a measure of our debt and printing) has made it much less valuable currency to those abroad/ Domestic consumption of U.S. debt has slowed considerably, which says quite a bit, and to think China can continue to afford a trillion dollars of our debt after undergoing their own economic crisis is awfully brave.
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
I think that the risk of run away inflation is not as great of the risk of not doing anything. Firstly, inflation will become a problem if people stop buying our debt. That hasn't happened and I don't think it will happen based on all masses we could sell at auction in January. Secondly, I'm not completely saying inflation isn't going to be a problem. Of course it will with interest rates so low and a huge national debt. But the risks of not passing a spending package, I believe, are of greater proportions.
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
Mydiadem, how do you respond to Dave's claim that run away inflation will hurt the U.S. economy?
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
Most economists would disagree with you that increasing government spending isn't going to help us create jobs. And the answer to your analogy is to have short term disability insurance :)
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
As a detractor, I will have to say I think you're wrong. We know the country is in bad shape. We just have a different idea about how to get us out of this mess. Increasing government spending isn't going to help us, it will only cause inflation to skyrocket, and keep us in this mess longer. Here's a simple analogy: You get hurt and can't work, but the bills keep coming in. Where do you get money to pay the bills? You could go to the bank and ask for a loan, but why would the bank loan you money, when you aren't able to work and repay it? Even if you somehow get the money, now you have an additional bill to repay, and you're still not working.
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
I meant to type detractors, oops.
stephley stephley 8 years
That's the impression I get Mydiadem.
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
I'm starting to think detectors of the stimulus just don't think the economy is all that bad and are thinking this recession is like other recent ones and a rebound will be right around the corner.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
stephley stephley 8 years
I can live with that.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
steph, I dont agree.
stephley stephley 8 years
The number of stores that are closing at this time can be blamed on the economy. I've been around long enough to be able to tell what is regular ebb and flow of business life and what is exceptional.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
IMO the problem is "the arts" and everything that it encompasses is not generally viewed as a high job producing industry when in actuality it is. Politicians worry too much about picking philosophical fights with particular artists they may disagree with and miss the forest for the trees. Not only is it a high job producing industry by its very nature it will attract more tourism and make everyone's life involved richer.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
but thats business as usual. I worked at the mall for 12 years, stores came and went. you cannot blame that entirely on the economy.
em1282 em1282 8 years
I think that depends on where you are, though. All the Circuit Citys in my neighborhood are closing, along with Spencer's, Hot Topics, etc.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
Stephley, some stores make it like Bed Bath and Beyond and some stores dont like Linens and things BOTH of whom are in my mall. Circuit city, closing...Best Buy...staying open Rite Aid closing, CVS WALGREENS staying open Claires closing....Spencers,Hot topic staying open Pac Sun closing Aeropostole (sp?) Hollisters, Abercrombie staying open THATS BUSINESS.
em1282 em1282 8 years
"The National Endowment is something different - it isn't tasked with keeping museums or zoos or park projects open. And it would require extra funding to meet new demands. " Yup, 100% true.
stephley stephley 8 years
The malls where stores like Circuit City, Linens & Things, Steve & Barrys have closed and stores like Rite-Aid, Claire's, Blockbuster and Pac Sun are hanging by a thread?
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
California has gotten themselves into this problem. California spends tens of millions of dollars aiding people with welfare outside the federal system. Pays 100% for illegal immigrants to have their babies here. Those that they will continue to support their entire life. The liberal agenda and refusal to cut spending is their problem. The federal government should not bail them out. They need to cut spending which no one in the CA legislature will do.
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