We try to stay within the limits of this blog’s title, but sometimes we can’t resist wandering a little. In efforts to reduce federal spending, the president has suggested, among other things, reducing or eliminating federal support of the National Endowment of the Arts. (NEA)
This has brought forth an avalanche of hysteria from the supporters thereof. The usual combination of spenders ("Our dollar is vital to the future of the nation!") versus the taxpayers. We would offer an alternative that would pit spenders against spenders and offset the "loss" of federal dollars - all to the advantage of the taxpayers.
(Here we get back to our own subject matter.)
We don’t know how much financial support for the arts locally is tax funded. But we do know where quite a few really needed (?) art dollars could be located without harming the taxpayer wallet.
The members of the City-County Council should publicly debate, for instance, the merits of funding the arts versus subsidy of greedy billionaire sports franchises. An absolute minimum of $16 million annually could be made available to a desperate arts community by the stroke of a pen!
Just imagine what this kind of thinking would mean if the same approach was adopted nationally - at local, state and national levels. A taxpayer paradise!
We realize that, for Indianapolis, the insurmountable problem would be having to decide which expenditure is more important. And then actually having to make a budget change - not a cut - just a change of direction of cash outflow. But we face the decades-long precedent of complete blindness when the subject is review of any spending previously approved.
It is difficult to understand how city government can properly function at all when, apparently, all computer keyboards are missing the letters e-l-i-m-n-a-t!