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Sarah Palin trashes National Endowment for the Arts

March 16, 2011 |  2:58 pm

Palin JUSTIN LANE EPA Television commentator and half-term Alaska governor Sarah Palin trashed the National Endowment for the Arts recently, describing the agency as "frivolous" in a Thursday interview on a Fox News talk show.

"NPR, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, all those kind of frivolous things that government shouldn't be in the business of funding with tax dollars -- those should all be on the chopping block as we talk about the $14-trillion debt that we're going to hand to our kids and our grandkids," Palin told right-wing host Sean Hannity. "Yes, those are the type of things that for more than one reason need to be cut."

Palin did not elaborate on what the other reasons might be for chopping the NEA budget. But the government of every major civilization in world history has also prominently funded the arts.

The comment about the NEA came during a discussion of the ailing U.S. economy. Palin is certainly conversant with frivolous activity, but her grasp of the economy is weak.

Debt reduction would barely be affected by penciling out the small federal arts agency, which currently operates on a $161-million annual budget. Palin's support of a federal subsidy for the notorious "bridge to nowhere" in her state became a campaign issue when she ran for vice president on the 2008 Republican ticket. That local project carried a price tag of $223 million.

"Reality is we have 15 million Americans who are out of work," said Palin. Nationally, the nonprofit arts and culture industry supports 5.7 million jobs and generates $166.2 billion in annual economic activity, according to Americans for the Arts. The NEA is one linchpin in that sizable economy.

In the interview Palin made no statement advocating similar budget cuts to her home state as she recommended for the NEA, which is also in the cross hairs of Washington's Republican leadership. Palin's Alaska gets $1.84 in federal spending for every dollar its citizens pay in federal taxes.



Leavitt painted image 1972 Art review: 'William Leavitt: Theater Objects' at MOCA

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-- Christopher Knight


Photo: Sarah Palin. Credit: Justin Lane / EPA

Comments () | Archives (333)

I used to think it was okay if other people didn't understand the beauty of American art and dance and music. But now I realize there is a war going on. A war of positioning that really has nothing to do with the arts. It has to do with ignorance, politics and greed.

I'm afraid that if we don't wake up soon and start to defend the arts, we're going to be left with Jersey Shore and Larry the Cable Guy.

That Sarah Palin lacks knowledge, logic, and common sense, has been proven a long time ago by none other than herself. Even McCain's campaign acknowledged that. Nevertheless, the problem is not really her. It's her followers. If people did not give her much credence, news about her would not be heralded in every single newspaper. Then the question is: who are her followers? They are all republican, conservative, but especially Tea Party members. As an independent, my advice to the republicans and the Tea Party is this: no one with at least some level of intelligence is ever going to take you seriously when your leaders are the likes of Palin.

As for Palin, how can one judge something as "frivolous" without knowing what it is? It would be the same as an artist telling a physicist what to do about the safety of nuclear power plants. Know your place. Really.

Hey MO,

Conservatives are unbelievably ignorant people. Its why they can sit there and agree with Palin's bald faced hypocrisy. Its why they can screw up absolutely everything that you could possibly screw up under Bush but then blame Obama for it before he even got his foot in the White House door. It's why you can call this "propaganda" but conveniently avoid pointing out what the author lied about. Propaganda is lies, and Fox and Palin tell a whole lot of those.

Feel free to go back to your ignorant existence, but at least stop making the problems we have worse ok?

Sarah Palin has never had an original thought in her life. She's talking about cutting these relatively small programs because another talking head said it first.

Something tells me that "Joseph L Cooke" should have his Medicare, Social Security, VA benefits, Medicaid, Tri-Care, federal employee health care , federal pay of any kind, OR federal retirement CHOPPED.

Joseph L Cooke, obviously a Tea Bagger, obviously wants UNeducated neanderthals on the voting roles.

She looks like trash

Her will should donate her brain to science....oh yeah..never mind.

Palin is so dense. That "$14-trillion debt that we're going to hand to our kids and our grandkids," she seems so worried about?

Maybe someone should let her know that our heirs will be delighted to find that they own $14 trillion in US treasuries, the safest financial assets ever known. Those US bonds constitute a large portion of the real wealth that we the people own and will leave to our children, making their lives better, not worse.

Why is this a problem?

A second on why give this mud head a forum? The Nation no longer considers her a viable candidate for office.

Personality journalism may sell subscriptions, but it doesn't provide much of a public service.

We may think she knows nothing but then she opens her mouth and all doubt is erased.

PLEASE , just go away !!!

Sarah, I look forward to the day when we all say "We hardly knew you".

Enough already. It's pretty clear Palin hates anything associated with intelligence, culture or advanced civilization, and loves everything associated with ignorance, narrow-mindedness and crudeness.

Her 15 minutes is way over.

So Palin is trashing an agency charged with supporting and advancing the artistic and cultural life of the nation. And water is wet, fish swim, and the sun rises in the east. It's a foregone conclusion that Palin and her ilk would bash the NEA, just as they've opened fire on every even vaguely progressive government agency in existence, from the EPA to the Veterans Administration. (If you can call protecting the environment and supporting veterans "progressive.") She and her kind will not rest until we're all living off the grid, armed to the teeth, letting our national infrastructure fall apart, and procreating until our offspring starve. These aren't conservatives. They're anarchists, and must be stopped.

You can't have it both ways. Major corporations sponsor the bulk of finding for the arts. Orchestras both major and local get matching dollars or more form big business. Then you liberals slam big business for not paying their fair share. So go ahead and tax big business to death and see where your arts go.

Arts?! Whut's that fer? I decorate my home with moose heads - now THAT's art!

Yeah - never mind that the US is the most culturally bankrupt country on the planet. We don't need our children being raised around any of that Lib-leaning poppycock.

Wisdom and goodness to the vile seem vile.

"But the government of every major civilization in world history has also prominently funded the arts."

Not really. Most funding has traditionally come from private sources. And even when governments have funded the arts, they have done so by actually buying art. Governments have not traditionally paid artists to create works that continue to belong to the artist and that have no popular appeal. Governments commissioned and bought art that the public loved.

"Palin's Alaska gets $1.84 in federal spending for every dollar its citizens pay in federal taxes."
This is misleading. Alaska is very profitable for the federal government overall because of all the natural resources income that it generates. If Alaska became its own country, it would be rich.

Good for her! The proper and limited use of government is to invoke a common
justice and keep the peace - and that’s all.

This woman is an ignorant walking-meltdown.
She should shut up forever...

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