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Bush Is Said to Seek More Money for Arts [$15 million to $20 million for NEA]
New York Times ^ | January 29, 2004 | ROBERT PEAR

Posted on 01/28/2004 8:29:35 PM PST by yonif

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 — President Bush will seek a big increase in the budget of the National Endowment for the Arts, the largest single source of support for the arts in the United States, administration officials said on Wednesday.

The proposal is part of a turnaround for the agency, which was once fighting for its life, attacked by some Republicans as a threat to the nation's moral standards.

Laura Bush plans to announce the request on Thursday, in remarks intended to show the administration's commitment to the arts, aides said.

Administration officials, including White House budget experts, said that Mr. Bush would propose an increase of $15 million to $20 million for the coming fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. That would be the largest rise in two decades and far more than the most recent increases, about $500,000 for 2003 and $5 million for this year.

The agency has a budget of $121 million this year, 31 percent lower than its peak of $176 million in 1992. After Republicans gained control of Congress in 1995, they cut the agency's budget to slightly less than $100 million, and the budget was essentially flat for five years.

In an e-mail message inviting arts advocates to a news briefing with Mrs. Bush, Dana Gioia, the poet who is chairman of the endowment, says, "You will be present for an important day in N.E.A. history."

Mr. Gioia (pronounced JOY-uh) has tried to move beyond the culture wars that swirled around the agency for years. He has nurtured support among influential members of Congress, including conservative Republicans like Representatives Charles H. Taylor and Sue Myrick of North Carolina. He has held workshops around the country to explain how local arts organizations can apply for assistance.

Public support for the arts was hotly debated in the 1990's. Conservatives complained that the agency was financing obscene or sacrilegious works by artists like Robert Mapplethorpe and Andres Serrano. Former Senator Jesse Helms, Republican of North Carolina, repeatedly tried to eliminate the agency.

Some new money sought by Mr. Bush would expand initiatives with broad bipartisan support, like performances of Shakespeare's plays and "Jazz Masters" concert tours.

Mrs. Bush also plans to introduce a new initiative, "American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius." This would combine art presentations — from painting and literature to music and dance — with education programs. The program would give large numbers of students around the country a chance to see exhibitions and performances.

New York receives a large share of the endowment's grants. But under federal law, the agency also gives priority to projects that cater to "underserved populations," including members of minority groups in urban neighborhoods with high poverty rates.

The president's proposal faces an uncertain future at a time of large budget deficits.

Melissa Schwartz, a spokeswoman for the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, an advocacy group, said, "We'll be fighting tooth and nail for the increase."

Some conservatives, like Representative Tom Tancredo, Republican of Colorado, vowed to oppose the increase. Even without support from the government, he said, "art would thrive in America."

Representative Louise M. Slaughter, a New York Democrat who is co-chairwoman of the Congressional Arts Caucus, said she was delighted to learn of Mr. Bush's proposal.

"There's nothing in the world that helps economic development more than arts programs," Ms. Slaughter said. "It was foolish for Congress to choke them and starve them. We should cherish the people who can tell us who we are, where we came from and where we hope to go."

Mr. Tancredo expressed dismay. "We are looking at record deficit and potential cuts in all kinds of programs," he said. "How can I tell constituents that I'll take money away from them to pay for somebody else's idea of good art? I have no more right to do that than to finance somebody else's ideas about religion."

The agency has long had support from some Republicans, like Representatives Christopher Shays of Connecticut and Jim Leach of Iowa.

"Government involvement is designed to take the arts from the grand citadel of the privileged and bring them to the public at large," Mr. Leach said. "This democratization of the arts ennobles the American experience."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: biggovernment; laurabush; nea; notconservatism; presidentbush; spending
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To: for-q-clinton
THAT would be something that would give the moderates hearts beating.

Not giving more money to the NEA.
101 posted on 01/28/2004 9:26:11 PM PST by rwfromkansas ("Men stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up as if nothing had happened." Churchill)
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To: Joe Hadenuf
Joe I can't believe you actually "said" that. LOL.
102 posted on 01/28/2004 9:26:35 PM PST by Torie
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To: yonif
Can George W. Bush, the man who was unafraid to take on Saddam and the Taliban, be kowtowing before the arts lobby?

Clearly the man does not lack political courage. Therefore, the only possible conclusion is that he likes this sort of spending.

103 posted on 01/28/2004 9:26:38 PM PST by Charlotte Corday
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To: Diddle E. Squat
I don't know if you've noticed - but Bush still gets beat up every day on the education issue. This after playing kissy-face with Ted Kennedy and signing a $$$ whopper of an education bill. So now we have a Democrat budget on education and guess what - the Dems still have the education issue to bludgeon Bush with. Now they can add big deficits to the list too. In addition, moves like this do nothing but dishearten at least a portion of his base. There is no political or electoral gain from this NEA giveaway, just like there isn't with CFR, immigration, etc. Bush apparently just likes to spend our money.
104 posted on 01/28/2004 9:26:49 PM PST by over3Owithabrain (All good citizens unite - W in 2004 - consider the alternative!)
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To: KantianBurke
the agency also gives priority to projects that cater to "underserved populations," including members of minority groups in urban neighborhoods with high poverty rates.

OK, we are a white, middle-class family that cannot afford to go to plays, musicals, concerts, kiddie shows, or sporting events. We just don't have the extra because we live off of one salary so that I can be home with the kids.

I thought we were the kind of people Bush wants to support. Apparently not. We have to struggle not to envy the poor AND the rich!

105 posted on 01/28/2004 9:26:52 PM PST by Yaelle
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To: for-q-clinton
You don't understand politics nor government at all, to say such things.

Forget about how the GOP Congress forced Slick's hand, re welfare reform.THAT TOOK YEARS AND WAS PASSED ON THE THIRD TRY. Think about what the almost majority of Dems, in the Senate is doing to Bush's Judicial nominees.Think about all of the really HORRID things, that Clinton did, skirting Congress. Remember, remember, REMEMBER what those 8 years were REALLY like; not just a few selective things, like the welfare reform and balanced budget.

106 posted on 01/28/2004 9:27:30 PM PST by nopardons
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To: yonif
I am glad you put the numbers in the title for context.

Out of the 2.2 trillion dollar budget, he adds $5 million to it the NEA.

While I also think that the Federal Government shouldn't be in the business of funding the arts, but this sure sounds like the smallest token increase imaginable,

0.00023%!!! of the budget. The entire funding of the NEA with the increase will be 0.0009%, i.e. less than one 1/1000th of a percent of the budget.
107 posted on 01/28/2004 9:29:24 PM PST by FairOpinion
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To: yonif
why not just make it a google dollars? arty t*rds will be larger this year
108 posted on 01/28/2004 9:30:36 PM PST by InvisibleChurch (Proud to be a Freeper-American)
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To: FairOpinion
While I also think that the Federal Government shouldn't be in the business of funding the arts, but this sure sounds like the smallest token increase imaginable,

Still doesn't matter. If a Democrat was proposing this, we would be sickened.

109 posted on 01/28/2004 9:30:43 PM PST by yonif ("If I Forget Thee, O Jerusalem, Let My Right Hand Wither" - Psalms 137:5)
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To: Torie
Of course the dirty little secret, is that red meat types only get REALLY upset about government spending on stuff that they cannot relate too. I haven't read anyone getting upset about below market rate lease rates to ranchers who rent land from the feds for cattle grazing. I really haven't read much about government spending on the big ticket items either, ie medicare, medical subsidies, and social security, that made any sense. I haven't read any rants about spending on ethanol, and agricultural subsidies in general. I haven't read much about the maintenance of wasteful domestic military bases.

What makes you think we like that stuff instead? Haven't you heard??? Conservatives are mad at Bush over OVERALL OVER-spending. You want us to cherry-pick so we don't look "uncultured"?

This isn't about spending. It is about folks' splenetic over-reaction to a culture war they want to fight, with targets that prove so ever elusive, that they really can't get satisfaction from the fight. So they seek enemies anywhere that they can possibly be found, and then go ballistic.

Garbage. Why the HELL is a Republican President coming out now and increasing the budget for this particular boondoggle? You don't think there's political calculation behind it, however bone-headed? And yet you want to begrudge conservatives the right to react politically to this Clintonesque, Dick Morris inspired "mini-intiative" designed to appeal to the cultural and political left---you think it's going to appeal to conservatives or that it's meant to???

110 posted on 01/28/2004 9:30:52 PM PST by Map Kernow ("I hold that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing" ---Thomas Jefferson)
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To: rwfromkansas
Here's the points Bush has given for Liberal Govt:
1. CFR, and limitations on the 2nd Ammendment
2. Passing Medicare drug coverage.
3. Engorging the Education Bill
4. Even the mere though of encouraging more illegal aliens
5. Increasing the NEA funding
6. Going to Mars. This really isn't a Liberal thing but it sure is stupid so I put it here.

Here's the points Bush has given for Liberal Govt:
1. The war
2. An antiabortion Bill
3. The Tax cut (Forgot about this one just added it).
111 posted on 01/28/2004 9:32:21 PM PST by inchworm
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To: over3Owithabrain
Bush apparently just likes to spend our money

No Bush really cares about ghetto kids being warehoused in educational dumpsters. On this issue, Bush is right, and the usual and unusual suspects are all wrong. Bush should go after them all, again and again, starting with the Pubbie perps in the Virginia House of Delegates. But he should do it gently, since they are Pubbies, and just being bitch slapped by the whinning teachers in their districts, who can't take the heat. There should probably be a government subsidy for early teacher retirement. The stables need to be cleansed. They stink.

112 posted on 01/28/2004 9:33:11 PM PST by Torie
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To: yonif
As I said, I disagree as well.

But the way to look at it, is that Bush took one bullet out of the gun of the Democrats, which is aimed at him.

113 posted on 01/28/2004 9:33:27 PM PST by FairOpinion
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To: rwfromkansas
You don't know Philly suburban moderate females well, do ya? Its almost never about one single issue, but a series that leads to a 'sense' about someone. He's trying to develop a trust with swing moderates, those who don't necessarily think like you. This does matter, it may be just a ripple, but it adds up.

The same reason why its a good idea to occasionally bring your gal flowers, a box of chocolates, send a surprise happy e-mail, put a sweet note under her windshield wiper, etc. Those little things add up, make a difference, and go a long way towards defining that 'sense', breaking down her natural cautiousness, developing trust, wooing, etc. This NEA thing is about softening the edges, breaking down the 'threat' that the Dems always try to portray the GOP as being.

I can assure you that Bush is far from 'dumb as a box of rocks'...
114 posted on 01/28/2004 9:33:31 PM PST by Diddle E. Squat (www.firethebcs.com, www.weneedaplayoff.com, www.firemackbrown.com)
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To: Diddle E. Squat
Some stated goals of Bush from 2000 included stopping CFR and shrinking the size of government too.
115 posted on 01/28/2004 9:33:43 PM PST by TheAngryClam (Don't blame me, I voted for McClintock.)
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To: nopardons
I understand politics all to well. I'm not saying Clinton was great...he was horrible and rotten. Hell just read my screen name--when you figure it out you'll no that I'm not fond of him at all.

By my saying that, I'm expressing how strongly I'm opposed to this spending increase.

But I will give this to Bush he's a master politician. I was worried the first 2 years, but I said I'd reserve judgement until the mid term election. If we won both houses I'd be happy (thinking he'd turn conservative with the proper backing). But he turned more liberal. So I tell myself that's just to get elected after the election he'll turn conservative.

You know the saying...fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me. Bush does not need to increase their funding. Unless he knows it won't pass congress (meaning he has it in writing on not just assumes it like he did with CFR and the courts) he should not be talking about spending more money. He needs to be talking about cutting $$$.
116 posted on 01/28/2004 9:33:59 PM PST by for-q-clinton (If at first you don't succeed keep on sucking until you do succeed)
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To: yonif
We are in a Sci-fi book and an evil sorceror has taken over the mind of the President????? Some trusted advisor, must have the goal of losing the next election.
117 posted on 01/28/2004 9:34:28 PM PST by rock58seg (If Bush really were a tyrant, the liberals would love him.)
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To: dr_who_2
Well, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. I think Laura is the bomb, and perhaps this is an area she feels she can affect some good. It's not like she is trying to inflict us with some multi-trillion dollar govy health care system...

...like you-know-who...
118 posted on 01/28/2004 9:34:36 PM PST by Keith (IT'S ABOUT THE JUDGES)
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To: Map Kernow
It appeals to me, because I think I got it right. It is not meant to persuade those that are not subject to persuasion. It is meant as commentary. I appreciate you don't like it. Fair enough.
119 posted on 01/28/2004 9:35:23 PM PST by Torie
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To: JoJo Gunn
I'm starting to believe Maddy Albright.

Maybe we do have Osama stashed until October.

Nothing else explains the brazeness and cockiness of this action. Giving the finger to conservatives when your @54% seems otherwise foolish.
120 posted on 01/28/2004 9:35:59 PM PST by Finalapproach29er ("Don't shoot Mongo, you'll only make him mad.")
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To: Azzurri
Is this guy trying to lose the election??? I hate to say this but I am almost to the point where I don't think it would be any worse if a Dem was in there. As longs as we Keep the majority in Congress.

Bush is nothing more than a Liberal it appears.

This is the final straw,,,out of no where this craps seems to come~!!!
121 posted on 01/28/2004 9:36:17 PM PST by The PeteMan (Go to H*ll Dan Rather!)
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To: FairOpinion
But the way to look at it, is that Bush took one bullet out of the gun of the Democrats, which is aimed at him.

So your saying he should do everything the Democrats want him to do so he can empty that gun?

122 posted on 01/28/2004 9:36:18 PM PST by yonif ("If I Forget Thee, O Jerusalem, Let My Right Hand Wither" - Psalms 137:5)
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To: Torie
Pat Buchanan where are you? Bush wants to pistol whip you.

LOL

123 posted on 01/28/2004 9:36:20 PM PST by Diddle E. Squat (www.firethebcs.com, www.weneedaplayoff.com, www.firemackbrown.com)
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To: Charlotte Corday
Clearly the man does not lack political courage. Therefore, the only possible conclusion is that he likes this sort of spending.

Well yes, that could be ONE interpretation, or it could also be a political calculation of what he has to give up to win enough swing votes in close states to assure reelection. Not really any different than Tom Delay making a decision of what he has to give in to and give up in order to get enough support to push through his really important legislation.

124 posted on 01/28/2004 9:38:54 PM PST by Diddle E. Squat (www.firethebcs.com, www.weneedaplayoff.com, www.firemackbrown.com)
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To: rock58seg
Bush is skull/bones; Kerry is skull/bones. Perhaps the fix is in...

God only knows what kind of blood oaths they take in that clan.
125 posted on 01/28/2004 9:39:30 PM PST by over3Owithabrain (Just wild speculation folks!)
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To: yonif
Mr. Tancredo expressed dismay. "We are looking at record deficit and potential cuts in all kinds of programs," he said. "How can I tell constituents that I'll take money away from them to pay for somebody else's idea of good art? I have no more right to do that than to finance somebody else's ideas about religion."

In case anyone has forgotten, what Mr. Tancredo is expressing is what is referred to as a "conservative" point of view.

126 posted on 01/28/2004 9:39:48 PM PST by spodefly (This is my tagline. There are many like it, but this one is mine.)
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To: yonif
No, but I would rather have 0.00023% of the Federal Budget on this ridiculous thing, than have Kerry or Dean as president.

This is election year -- Bush is throwing a very small crumb out, to disarm the Dems on this issue.

Politics is not idealism, it's the "art of the possible".

I trust that Bush and his advisers know what they are doing.
127 posted on 01/28/2004 9:40:04 PM PST by FairOpinion
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To: over3Owithabrain
Well of course he gets beat up, that goes with the territory. What matters is if he can, in the process, swing enough votes his way to get reelected. You are saying he can't, I am saying that he most definitely is.

Guess we'll see on election day.
128 posted on 01/28/2004 9:40:12 PM PST by Diddle E. Squat (www.firethebcs.com, www.weneedaplayoff.com, www.firemackbrown.com)
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To: Azzurri
The amount is miniscule. It's a token, that's all.
129 posted on 01/28/2004 9:40:25 PM PST by Hildy
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To: FairOpinion
No, but I would rather have 0.00023% of the Federal Budget on this ridiculous thing, than have Kerry or Dean as president.

Just how many votes do you expect Bush to get with this move? And also, if it is miniscule, are you under the opinion that it will be a very, very close election?

130 posted on 01/28/2004 9:41:26 PM PST by yonif ("If I Forget Thee, O Jerusalem, Let My Right Hand Wither" - Psalms 137:5)
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To: yonif
...Representative Louise M. Slaughter, a New York Democrat who is co-chairwoman of the Congressional Arts Caucus, said she was delighted to learn of Mr. Bush's proposal...

If there's one thing this president's good at, it's delighting liberals. Yoni, if Bush is bribing PC Dems at this point on the calendar, can you imagine what he's going to be doing by November?

131 posted on 01/28/2004 9:41:52 PM PST by Byron_the_Aussie (http://www.theinterviewwithgod.com/popup2.html)
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To: over3Owithabrain
Ya, I am sure that is the grand unified theory that explains it all. The Bones men have to reveal their sex lives to other Bones men. That has to be at once both a psychological scarring and annealing experience, which binds them all to screwing America as a sublimative exercise every chance they get. Whatever.
132 posted on 01/28/2004 9:43:00 PM PST by Torie
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To: Azzurri
Sorry with all the bland corporate wankers running about this country, we need a bit more art.
133 posted on 01/28/2004 9:43:08 PM PST by droberts
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To: yonif
The more Bush goes Liberal the more closer the election will get. That's for sure.
134 posted on 01/28/2004 9:43:13 PM PST by inchworm
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To: for-q-clinton
I've been a bush supporter for a long time. In fact, I'm even on board with his amnesty plan (but let's not change the topic). This one has me ready to call it quits and not vote this year!

-----------------------

How many more insults must you receive to go through with it?

135 posted on 01/28/2004 9:43:22 PM PST by RLK
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To: Diddle E. Squat
How come Bush's poll #'s have dipped considerably since post-2002 elections, when he has incrementally gotten more liberal in domestic spending and policy? You don't think for every Volvo-mom with tickets to the Peoria Symphony there isn't a conservative bible-toting mom who thinks publc financed "art" is a waste of her tax $$$?
136 posted on 01/28/2004 9:43:29 PM PST by over3Owithabrain (Just wild speculation folks!)
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To: Torie
"This isn't about spending. It is about folks' splenetic over-reaction to a culture war they want to fight, with targets that prove so ever elusive, that they really can't get satisfaction from the fight."

Are Freepers "over-reacting"?? Or are you under-reacting?

It appears Freepers overwhelmingly deem rewarding the perverted NEA a disturbingly horrible idea. Symbolically, this is a political neutron bomb.

137 posted on 01/28/2004 9:44:30 PM PST by F16Fighter
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To: Byron_the_Aussie
Yoni, if Bush is bribing PC Dems at this point on the calendar, can you imagine what he's going to be doing by November?

One can only imagine. I also believe that most if not all of this pandering will not be overturned or waged war against if Bush is reelected, because then there will be the thought of hurting the 2008 GOP candidate, and so on....

Gov. will continue to grow no matter who is in power.

138 posted on 01/28/2004 9:44:42 PM PST by yonif ("If I Forget Thee, O Jerusalem, Let My Right Hand Wither" - Psalms 137:5)
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To: yonif
Is he purposely trying to PO his Conservative Base?
139 posted on 01/28/2004 9:45:42 PM PST by SAMWolf (I am McMahon of Borg. You may already be assimilated.)
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To: Torie
It appeals to me, because I think I got it right. It is not meant to persuade those that are not subject to persuasion.

Oh? Try me. What about it "appeals" to you? You think spending on the National Endowment is money well spent? Stick just to that issue, please---don't drag in extraneous, irrelevant, and "splenetic" references to ethanol, ranchers, military bases, etc.

140 posted on 01/28/2004 9:45:54 PM PST by Map Kernow ("I hold that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing" ---Thomas Jefferson)
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To: FairOpinion
Where in the Consitution is the authority granted?

This isn't about the money.

"Having the government finacially support that which you oppose is the worst form of tyranny". (paraphrase)
- Thomas Jefferson


141 posted on 01/28/2004 9:46:26 PM PST by Finalapproach29er ("Don't shoot Mongo, you'll only make him mad.")
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To: yonif
"are you under the opinion that it will be a very, very close election?"

==

As a matter of fact I am concerned that it will be a very close election. The Dems will pull out all the stops -- every dead person, illegal alien, felon will be voting for the Democrat not once, but twice.

Wishful thinking is one thing, I hope Bush wins by a landslide, but you can't underestimate the viciousness, underhandedness, and determination of the Democrats.

That is why conservatives better think real hard about their votes -- they may be the once giving the election to the Dems, as they have given it to Clinton -- history repeating itself, making GW Bush a one term president.

The consequences will be too terrible to contemplate --- it will revive Al Qaeda -- but people will wake up too late.
142 posted on 01/28/2004 9:47:08 PM PST by FairOpinion
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To: Finalapproach29er
"This isn't about the money. "

==

No, it isn't. It's about an election.
143 posted on 01/28/2004 9:47:45 PM PST by FairOpinion
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To: DoughtyOne
Why not increase the NPR funding at the same time? Yikes.

Don't give him any more ideas.

144 posted on 01/28/2004 9:47:47 PM PST by SAMWolf (I am McMahon of Borg. You may already be assimilated.)
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To: RLK
How many more insults must you receive to go through with it?

It depends on how much I hate the RAT nominee. If I think he'll be ineffective and that our congress will keep him in check, then I'll be staying at home. Voting isn't easy as it requires me to drive somewhere and wait in line. I hate waiting in line and I hate leaving my house to go wait in line. So unless something motivates me to vote I will be sitting my arse on the sofa watching the election on TV.

145 posted on 01/28/2004 9:48:32 PM PST by for-q-clinton (If at first you don't succeed keep on sucking until you do succeed)
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To: Torie
..but we love getting off on irrelevant symbolic issues don't we? On to Mars...

Brutal, Torie, but you nailed it. The Mars mission is this president's Sudanese aspirin plant.

146 posted on 01/28/2004 9:48:36 PM PST by Byron_the_Aussie (http://www.theinterviewwithgod.com/popup2.html)
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To: Torie
Bush is flicking his middle digit square at moral conservatives with this move. You personally like that and find it refreshing - fine. But why do you think this will attract more people than it repels? What straw will be the last? I'm not talking about myself, but even people whom you might find loopy on the right supply much-needed votes. You're dreaming if you think the NPR crowd is going to leave Lake Wobegon for Bush because he threw a few taxpayer dollars their way.
147 posted on 01/28/2004 9:49:06 PM PST by over3Owithabrain (Just wild speculation folks!)
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To: F16Fighter
Freepers will get over it, except those that were on a final exit strategy anyway. Freepers that get fixated on this puppie are simply not in the game, politically. They are just ventilating, and probably most of those don't have much interest in "art" anyway. Art is for girlie men. OK, the issue is whether the government should subsidize it on the surface. But do you think that is really the source of the emotion over the spending of pennies? Of course not.
148 posted on 01/28/2004 9:49:06 PM PST by Torie
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To: Hunble
"Once elected, a person becomes the President of the United States.

The President does not represent only Republicans or Democrats, but must move into a much more important job.

His one and only job, and that is to represent ALL citizens of the United States of America"

Nice try, but this is the actual oath - you know, the one where he put his hand on the bible and swore to:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

And I see not one damn thing about giving more money to artists who can't support themselves in the constitution.
149 posted on 01/28/2004 9:49:21 PM PST by flashbunny (A corrupt society has many laws.)
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To: Diddle E. Squat
This is all about Laura, She gave a speech to a group of people concerning the 'Arts' and children, she said that the "Arts" have been defunded over the years and that it's an important part of our culture and should be preserved. It's kinda hard to deny 15 to 20 Million to the "Arts" when we increased the Defense bill by Approx. 100 Billion in the past three years.

Not that I think we should fund the "Arts", but this is hardly deserves all the hand wringing and the standard "This is it, Bush has lost my vote" Where were all these people yesterday when the proposal to cut spending by over 100 million to the FAA?

150 posted on 01/28/2004 9:49:27 PM PST by MJY1288 (WITHOUT DOUBLE STANDARDS, LIBERALS WOULDN'T HAVE ANY !)
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