Palin's Attack On Nea Draws Little Response
Sarah Palin's call last week for defunding the National Endowment for the Arts has remarkably drawn little response from supporters of the agency. Appearing on Fox News's Hannity, Palin described NPR, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities as "frivolous things that government shouldn't be in the business of funding." On Monday, TheWrap.com published an interview with Charles Segars, CEO of the arts channel Ovation, in which he remarked, "This kind of knee-jerk, uninformed rhetoric is the stuff of cheap-shot campaign commercials" and pointed out that calls for "cuts to the NEA don't take into account the substantial return on investment those funds generate in tax revenue to local, state and federal treasuries." But Segars' remarks stood virtually alone until the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday published an article about them, observing that "debt reduction would barely be affected by penciling out the small federal arts agency, which currently operates on a $161-million annual budget. Palin's support of a federal subsidy for the notorious "bridge to nowhere" in her state became a campaign issue when she ran for vice president on the 2008 Republican ticket. That local project carried a price tag of $223 million." (The current cost of maintaining U.S. forces in Iraq comes to $435 million a day, $3 billion a week.) The Times' s commentary has been picked up by numerous websites.