Is President Donald Trump cutting arts funding?
Amid wild reports that President Donald Trump wants to “kill the [National Endowment for the Arts, and] cut loose PBS and NPR,” Hollywood actors attended their own inaugural ball Friday and declared their “right to bear arts.”
More from The Hill:
Tim Daly, who plays Henry McCord on CBS’ “Madam Secretary,” called it a “huge mistake” to strip funding from an organization that provides grants for art programs across the country…
…When pressed on whether he thought Trump was picking a war with Hollywood, Daly reminded the president that celebrities – including Trump himself – have used their platforms to seek office.
“It’s [the Republican Party] who puts celebrities in office,” Daly said.
The Washington Post details what the Trump administration might be proposing:
“The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be privatized,” the Hill’s Alexander Bolton reports, “while the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely.” In total, the administration aims to cut spending by $10.5 trillion over the next decade.
The Post also notes that arts funding is an extremely small portion of government spending but that it is easily cut because it’s discretionary spending. All told, the government spends 0.02 percent on the arts. Other non-discretionary spending amounts — such Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — cannot be adjusted, although the formulas created during the budgeting process that control how much is spent on those programs can be.
Other discretionary spending includes military and defense spending and is historically less politically easy to cut.
Fortune Magazine notes that the export of U.S. entertainment is big business, with the entertainment industry running a trade surplus of $24.1 billion in 2013, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis study.
“The announcement that this is even under consideration casts a sinister cloud over our vibrant national culture,” Suzanne Nossel, executive director of PEN America said in a statement on Thursday.
“This proposal sends shivers down the spine of all Americans who value research, scholarship, and creativity and who recognize the mortal blow that eliminating these vital agencies would strike at the heart of treasured sectors of our society,” she added.