NEH in the News
The President Donald J. Trump administration’s appetite for unprecedented domestic budget cuts has Waco-area governments and nonprofit agencies bracing for what could be millions of dollars in lost revenue.
The elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would affect local museums and arts agencies. Among those that have benefited from federal arts and humanities funding are Waco Cultural Arts Fest, Mayborn Museum, Historic Waco Foundation, Waco Symphony and the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum.
Wyoming and other rural states would most feel the cuts because they’re less likely to receive funding elsewhere, according to state arts advocates. They say the cuts would undermine the state’s economy and its arts and education sectors as well as the fabric of communities.
Congress will decide the final budget over the next several months, and many are hopeful legislators will reject the the suggested cuts. This is the first time, however, that a president has proposed eliminating the NEA and NEH since they were created in 1967 and 1965, respectively.
Wyoming Humanities Council executive director Shannon Smith said the proposed cuts must be taken seriously.
“I think what’s most important is that us small states are the ones that are going to get just hammered by this,” Smith said. “New York can make up for its funding through donors, but Wyoming and the other small states, we just don’t have the population to replace that kind of funding.”
New Mexicans embrace our art and culture and public news station. We need Congressman Pearce to oppose zeroing out funds for the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and National Public Radio.
The world thrives on diplomacy with educational and cultural exchange not bombs and wars, we need Congressman Pearce to oppose the draconian cuts to the State Department.
We need Congressman Pearce to promise to invest our tax payer dollars in programs that help people and communities, not war and walls.
The White House also wants to eliminate 19 agencies, including the Legal Services Corp., the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Appalachian Regional Commission. Spending for all of the agencies blueprinted for extinction amounts to approximately $3 billion.
Republicans, who have control of the White House, Congress and the Senate, failed to unite the party last week on an Obamacare overhaul and observers expect there also will be a struggle to finalize a spending package before the rapidly approaching deadline.
Several top House appropriators have already indicated that they are prepared to reject Trump’s call to gut programs they deem important, and they argue that the White House weighed in too late in the process to affect the outcome.
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2017/04/trump-confronts-new-reality-with-looming-budget-deadline/#Gez7L6pIzxLtR36p.99
Thanks to the Constitution and the system of checks and balances, the president controls only one branch of government. The president can only make proposals — or suggestions. A president can create a budget to give himself or herself something to talk about at press conferences to appeal to her or his base supporters, but the real work of making a budget comes from negotiating to pass something through Congress. That is indeed the beauty of our Constitutional system.
Nationwide, editorial writers and advocates are saying that the level of funding that goes to the endowment agencies hardly seems worthy of being lobbed off regardless of how sharp the federal budget ax needs to be. The agencies each receive about $148 million a year — a cost of about 46 cents per taxpayer — and account for less than one-tenth of 1 percent of annual federal spending, according to various sources.
That’s not much money to spend considering what the arts and humanities do for the well-being of communities and their people. They help us grasp the larger picture of life, promote understanding and empathy and further cultural awareness. They build creative thinking skills and foster cooperation. They revitalize communities and contribute to their quality of life.
Donald Trump's presidency makes clear that the elements of totalitarianism are still with us in the 21st century and have crystalized into new forms.
Trump has called for the elimination of The National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the Institute of Museum and Library Service — making clear that his contempt for education, science, and the arts is part of an aggressive project to eliminate those institutions and public spheres that extend the capacity of people to be imaginative, think critically and be well-informed.
Democrats are jubilant now that “Trumpcare” has bit the dust. But they should be careful because Russia-gate, the pseudo-scandal that they’ve latched onto in hopes of driving Donald Trump out of office, is also flashing red. The more they ignore the warning signs, the greater the odds that they’ll go down in flames as well.
Democrats certainly have much to criticize. They could go after Trump for sabotaging the fight against global warming, for cutting everything from the National Endowment for the Humanities to the National Institute of Health to add more money to the Pentagon’s budget, for unleashing violence on immigrants, or for escalating U.S. military intervention in the Middle East.
University of Connecticut researchers and scholars could lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grants if President Donald J. Trump’s proposal to defund the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities is enacted.
UConn faculty members received $285,083 from the National Endowment for the Humanities and an additional $10,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts in the 2016 fiscal year.
“The National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation represent UConn’s largest sources of federal grant funds,” UConn spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz said. “But grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities have also been critical to helping our scholars conduct research and publish their findings in many important fields.”
“UConn plans to watch the budget proceedings closely and remain in touch with our congressional delegation, which recognizes that federal grants are critical to our work in the arts and humanities, along with medicine, science and many other fields,” Reitz added.
Last week New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof joined Robert Redford, Mike Huckabee, and Norman Ornstein in conflating the humanities with federal subsidies for the humanities. Kristof assumes that those of us who think we could muddle through without the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) must not understand the importance of books. He therefore sets out to educate us.
Kristof implies what Ornstein said explicitly: "For millenia, a key measure of a nation's greatness has been appreciation for culture—music, art, dance, theater. Ax NEA, NEH,we lose that." In other words, if you're against the NEA, you're against the arts, and if you want to eliminate the NEH, you want to eliminate the humanities. Never mind that grants from those agencies represent a drop in the bucket of total funding for the arts and humanities.
By the same logic, you oppose education if you oppose the Department of Education, and you oppose shelter if you oppose the Department of Housing and Urban Development. For Ornstein and Kristof, there is no difference between valuing something and insisting that the federal government force other people to pay for it—an attitude that is far more fiscally consequential than the programs they happen to be defending right now.