Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Friday, October 12, 2012

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Arts

If you've seen the Big Bird ads, they are silly.  Unfortunately, the idea of cutting PBS and other foundations that support education and the arts is serious.  Every time there is a budget cut discussion, they become the favorite targets of Republicans, even though their cutting would save very little and do a host of damages. The services are PBS which includes NPR and The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

According to ABC News PBS is .00012 percent of what the government spends.  The US spends 430 million for PBS and NPR.  Romney's idea is far from original.  The house tried to make such a cut in 2011, but it is also clear that such a cut in regard to the deficit and balancing the budget would be like spitting in Death Valley and expecting it to become tropical.

According to PBS the rural PBS and NPR stations will go off the air as roughly 50% to 60% of their budget is  the money for support. It would cripple this industry and as a result if they lost these stations, PBS and NPR would likely cease to exist. Even for the larger stations that government funding is 15 percent of operation expenses could not support the loss of the smaller stations.

These are privately owned small businesses that would go out of business.  Didn't someone say they wanted to protect small business? The funding is about $1.35 per person per year or about 1/2 cent per day. To survive most stations raise $6.00 for every dollar contributed by the government. In other words they are productive business that provide a service that is in the national interest.

Add to this the cutting of the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities which receive a whopping $167.5 million dollars.  In one recent House budget the cutting of the NEA and NEH and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting which cuts funding for these three would save $7.8 billion dollars of the next 10 years or .003 percent of the 2.5 trillion the budget was suppose to save.   Yes, it is truly wasteful government spending to eliminate funding that helps to support  5.7 million jobs in the arts nationwide.  Aren't we suppose to be trying to create jobs?


We know students involved in the arts are more likely to stay in school.  They are better problem solvers.  They work better in group situations.  They are more creative thinkers and tend to think outside the box. All traits that employers say they want.  The above photo shows the impact that PBS has kids according to several studies.

According to CNN "PBS is a leading video resource for high schools, offering older kids exceptional age-appropriate programming, such as "NOVA" and Ken Burns historical documentaries; it supplies 20,000 digital tools, such as in-depth teacher lesson plans, for students from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade; half a million teachers rely on the PBS educational resource "Learning Media."

Yep cutting Big Bird is a silly thing to make fun of, but it is a serious idea.