He promised he would do it, and now, President Trump’s first proposed budget proves that he intends to follow through on removing the burden of paying $445 million to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities from taxpayers’ shoulders.
On Thursday morning, the White House revealed a proposed budget that would also eliminate funding to both national endowments, reported The Wrap.
Each entity cost taxpayers $148 million in 2016, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which supports libraries and museums, including the Smithsonian Institution and the National Gallery of Art, was another $230 million.
Lyndon B. Johnson was responsible for the creation of the arts programs through a congressional act in 1965, which read, “An advanced civilization must not limit its efforts to science and technology alone, but must give full value and support to the other great branches of scholarly and cultural activity in order to achieve a better understanding of the past, a better analysis of the present, and a better view of the future.”
All four arts organizations “account for less than 0.02 percent of the U.S. government’s $4.6 trillion budget,” according to the report. However, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies showed that taxpayers across the country forked out $368 million from their state budgets to support arts organizations through more than 24,000 grants in 2016.
“In 2015, funding for the NEA was almost one-third what the U.S. budget allocated for military bands.”
“There is no viable substitute for federal funding that ensures Americans have universal access to public media’s educational and informational programming and services,” the CPB said in a statement.
It continued, “The elimination of federal funding to CPB would initially devastate and ultimately destroy public media’s role in early childhood education, public safety, connecting citizens to our history, and promoting civil discussions — all for Americans in both rural and urban communities.”
The cuts mean that Big Bird, Ernie, and all of Sesame Street are on the chopping block, threatened by the loss of federal funds that sustain public broadcasting stations.
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