Cutting arts funding hurts the economy

Posted on: January 25, 2011

Monday (1/24) on the Los Angeles Times blog Culture Monster, Christopher Knight writes, “If you gave me a buck, and next year I returned $18.75 to you, would you think that was a good deal? I would. With savings accounts, money markets and even stocks yielding just a few percentage points on investments these days, a return in excess of 1800% is pretty staggering. Yet, that’s what happens with federal support for arts and culture. It pays for itself 18 times over. … Nonetheless, congressional Republicans are once again proposing job-killing cuts to the federal arts budget. They aim to slash it, even zeroing out tiny agencies such as the NEA and NEH, as a report last week from the Republican Study Committee proposed. In these scary, economically strapped times, what passes for an argument is their claim that ‘we can’t afford it.’ But the numbers show the argument is just fear-mongering bunk. Does all that revenue come directly from federal arts spending? No. Would slashing that spending significantly damage the revenue? Yes. The impact is direct and indirect.”

Posted January 25, 2011