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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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U.S. to help fund immigrant care [Hospitals who treat illegal immigrants will get $1B]
41 posted on 01/28/2004 8:48:48 PM PST by yonif ("If I Forget Thee, O Jerusalem, Let My Right Hand Wither" - Psalms 137:5)
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To: F16Fighter

42 posted on 01/28/2004 8:49:08 PM PST by ambrose
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To: yonif
I remember once, long, long time ago, when the Republicans actually talked about getting rid of the NEA. Course, that was a long itme ago ... and it's not like we have anything better to do with the money.
43 posted on 01/28/2004 8:50:15 PM PST by templar
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To: ambrose
Yeah, I know. Some people have REAL short memories.
44 posted on 01/28/2004 8:50:43 PM PST by F16Fighter
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To: yonif
for later
45 posted on 01/28/2004 8:51:31 PM PST by luckydevi
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To: yonif
Remember when the Republicans used to be the party of small government and there was talk about eliminating the NEA?
46 posted on 01/28/2004 8:51:37 PM PST by Ol' Sparky
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To: Cicero
If I remember correctly and I just may be wrong about this, some of the money the NEA gets, goes into music appreciation and art classes in public schools. While a goodly part of the monies spent by the NEA, is spent on utter garbage, this part isn't. It's used to take kids to see operas,on field trips to museums, and to bring fine classical musicians to schools, where most of the children would never be exposed, at all, to this stuff.
47 posted on 01/28/2004 8:51:42 PM PST by nopardons
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To: yonif
for later
48 posted on 01/28/2004 8:53:04 PM PST by luckydevi
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To: nopardons
Education isn't the Federal government's job. Try again.
49 posted on 01/28/2004 8:53:12 PM PST by KantianBurke (2+2 does NOT equal 5)
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To: DoughtyOne
Bush thinks triangulating and moving the left is going to be successful strategy. It isn't for a Republicans. Democrats have to do that. All doing this does for a Republican is alienate the base and cost the Republicans votes.

Bush is just like his daddy. He is clueless. Without a motivated base, he might just find a way to lose.

50 posted on 01/28/2004 8:54:18 PM PST by Ol' Sparky
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To: ambrose
How long do you think it will take for this to fund something that will piss off Freepers?

My guess is five nanoseconds.
51 posted on 01/28/2004 8:54:41 PM PST by TheAngryClam (Don't blame me, I voted for McClintock.)
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To: KantianBurke
It is now and has been for a century, at the least; live with it.
52 posted on 01/28/2004 8:54:58 PM PST by nopardons
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To: HHFi
You're comparing federal tax money with state tax money. State tax dollars often are guided by referendums, voted on by the people.
53 posted on 01/28/2004 8:55:13 PM PST by secret garden (Go Predators! Go Spurs!)
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To: yonif
"There's nothing in the world that helps economic development more than arts programs," Ms. Slaughter said

How about freedom and low taxes? This article makes me sick.

President Bush, for as much as I want to like him, has been a real let down. From day one in the office, when he broke his word on the 10th Amendment States Rights and Medical Marijuana issue, he has done several things that just made me sick...
54 posted on 01/28/2004 8:56:08 PM PST by Bronco_Buster_FweetHyagh
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To: Ol' Sparky
Bush is turning into a retard
55 posted on 01/28/2004 8:56:10 PM PST by inchworm
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To: Ol' Sparky
His " base " is motivated; the UNAPPEASABLES on FR, has NEVER been his " base"!
56 posted on 01/28/2004 8:56:41 PM PST by nopardons
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To: yonif
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.

When a President is doing his job properly, he will upset members of all political parties.

This is why people like Howard Dean have proved that they are not be qualified for the job of President. They are not willing, or simply unable, to represent all of the citizens in our great country.

57 posted on 01/28/2004 8:56:47 PM PST by Hunble
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To: Torie
"Oh the horror. 5 million 'wasted.' That amount is spent by the feds every five minutes, maybe less. But we love getting off on irrelevant symbolic issues don't we?

The next time you flush the john after a Taco Bell "meal," pretend you are watching a $5m piece of NEA "art" swirling down the tubes and think of this thread.

58 posted on 01/28/2004 8:57:17 PM PST by F16Fighter
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To: inchworm
"Bush's Medicare Drug entitlemennts, Campaign finance reform, migrant worker garbage plan, Increasing funds to N.E.A, and any other liberal crap Bush does WILL ALL ADD UP TO HIS FATHERS TAX CUTS."

The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree, does it? Wasn't it his father who squandered a 90% approval rating, after promising "read my lips; no new taxes", to give the Dummycrats a huge tax increase to "make nice" with the lib-weinies? They're still laughing!

And now Dubya is trying to dump more lard on a pile of fat called the NEA, an anti-American, pro-homosexual, nasty media that has nothing but contempt for him?????

Dammit! When will this end???????
59 posted on 01/28/2004 8:58:39 PM PST by laweeks (I)
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To: yonif
60 posted on 01/28/2004 8:59:22 PM PST by Quix (Choose this day whom U will serve: Shrillery & demonic goons or The King of Kings and Lord of Lords)
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