Government has no business funding art. When politicians decide which ideas deserve a boost, art is debased. When they use your money to shape the culture, they shape it in ways that make culture friendlier to government.It's true, as Mr Stossel points out, that publicly subsidized art is rent-seeking for affluent, lefty aesthetes. But that doesn't really matter.
The grant-making establishment is proudly leftist. A Trump administration won't change that. During the Bush II years, lefty causes got funding, but I can't find any project with a conservative agenda.Change the makeup of the funding panels, change the requests for applications, it's still using public money to pick winners and losers. Put simply: censorship. Mr Stossel: "Let people pay for the art they really want instead of the art for which the government decides to make them pay."
It's not just the politics that are wrong. Government arts funding doesn't even go to the needy. Arts grants tend to go to people who got prior arts grants.
Some have friends on grant-making committees. Some went to the same schools as the people who pick what to subsidize. They know the right things to say on applications so they look "serious" enough to underwrite. They're good at writing applications. They're not necessarily good at art.
Defenders of public funding say their subsidies bring things like classical music to the poor. But the truth is that poor and middle-class people rarely go to hear classical music, even when subsidies make it cheap.
Subsidies pay for art rich people like. Like so many other programs, government arts funding is a way for the well-connected to reap benefits while pretending to help the common man.
Nick Gillespie expands.
Donald Trump is widely and probably accurately described as a brute with no interest in art and culture. This is a guy who relaxes by watching Fox News, not listening to Philip Glass or probably even watching HBO. But however vulgar Trump may be, he doesn't come close to the primitivism embodied in the idea that a country can only be great when it forces taxpayers to pay for shit they don't want. That's not artistic, it's despotic. And it betrays no understanding of how the creative world works anyway.George Will makes the same point, if more delicately.
Compelling taxpayers to finance government-subsidized broadcasting is discordant with today’s a la carte impulse and raises a point: If it has a loyal constituency, those viewers and listeners, who are disproportionately financially upscale, can afford voluntary contributions to replace the government money. And advertisers would pay handsomely to address this constituency.Unfortunately, he notes, the usual Congressional wrangling is getting in the way of a set of proper appropriation bills, and all the good-to-be-rid-of entries in the bloated budget are likely to survive in a continuing resolution.