by Dave Blount | July 11, 2017 3:48 pm
The U.S. Constitution does not grant the federal government the power to redistribute our wealth. If the Constitution were still fully in force, there would be no federal welfare, no ObamaCare, and no wasting our money on the corrosive antics of the liberal elite through the thoroughly pernicious National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities. As things are, we read this:
A new report from the Illinois-based initiative Open the Books provides an eye-opening look into the size of that tab. The study includes virtually every grant the NEA and NEH have made since 2016, and additional details about the endowments’ activities as far back as 2009. This includes grants to 71 entities with assets over $1 billion, and one grant to a California enterprise that celebrates the work of a Japanese-American artist best known for declaring: “I consider Osama bin Laden as one of the people that I admire.”
Open the Books has exposed other unconscionable waste:
The group’s earlier initiatives include reports on federal payments to so-called sanctuary cities ($26.74 billion in 2016) and the eight superrich Ivy League universities (nearly $42 billion in federal payments, benefits, and tax advantages over the last several years). Harvard alone sits atop an endowment of $36 billion, and altogether the Ivy League controls tax-exempt endowment funds of some $120 billion, equivalent to $2 million per undergraduate. Yet taxpayers are footing the bill for massive subsidies for these institutions, where the cost of attendance now approaches $70,000 per annum.
Maybe that’s why James Madison et al. withheld authority to redistribute our wealth. They knew Washington spending our money for us would result in corruption and waste, with the well-connected gorging regardless of need.
Getting back to the artsy stuff,
The latest Open the Books report reveals that in 2016 federal arts agencies dispensed more than $440 million into the collective maw of their clients. Nearly half, $210 million, went to recipients in only 10 states—a predictable lineup of progressive coastal outfits, mostly clustered in California and New York.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a public charity commanding assets worth nearly $4 billion. The museum’s annual gala is a star-studded event, what one publicist called an “ATM for the Met.” The Met raised some $300 million last year, yet it has received more than $1 million from the NEH since 2009. Why?
Because elitist moonbats run both the Met and the federal bureaucracy is why.
Here’s what you get when bureauweenies dispense your money to finance art:
In the inane category, consider a $10,000 grant in 2016 to Borderlands Theater in Tucson, Ariz. The money went to a series of “site-responsive performances celebrating the saguaro cactus.” Yep, you read that right. Attendees stand or sit with a saguaro cactus for an hour in the middle of the desert to discover what the cactus can teach them. Then they share their experiences on social media.
It would be nice to think that a saguaro taught a moonbat not to hug things that bristle with long needles.
A better-known example of NEA waste is the New York Shakespeare Festival, which staged a production of Julius Caesar infamously featuring the assassination of our current president:
Over the past several years the festival has received some $30 million in taxpayer grants, including more than $600,000 from the NEA.
Elections come and go. Through it all, federal tax revenues continue to rise, right along with the national debt, and inflation continues to tax every penny in your pocket. Republicans are in charge, yet the 2017 omnibus bill increases spending for both the NEA and NEH.
Why? I suspect it is largely because the spouse of every congressman sits on the board of various nonprofit arts organizations. Some local feminist pottery collective gets $10,000 from the NEA: “You can’t cut that, honey!”
Other reasons are diffused costs and concentrated benefits. That feminist pottery collective will fight like harpies for their free money. Everyone else will shrug it off. What’s another 10 grand when we are $20 trillion in debt?
That’s why we need to stick to the Constitution.
On a tip from Varla. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.
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