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artistic campaign strategy suggestions

Post #190 • January 14, 2004, 4:41 PM

I did a little math today. According to Stephen Kinzer in the NYT last week, the arts budget cuts in California (-$18M), Florida (-$23M), and Michigan (-$11M) represent two-thirds of the total national cuts. That would put the total cuts at roughly $78 million dollars. How much is $78 million dollars? $78 million dollars is about 5% of the 1.5 billion dollars that George W. Bush plans to spend on his pro-marriage initiative. This air-fluffed, election-year idea to provide marital counseling in poor neighborhoods could pay for the state arts budgets cuts twenty times over.

The Times characterized the idea thusly: "The proposal is the type of relatively inexpensive but politically potent initiative that appeals to White House officials at a time when they are squeezed by growing federal budget deficits." Five percent of relatively inexpensive is what, practically pocket money? For a pittance, the Feds could infuse cash into the state arts budgets, reverse the cuts two or three times over, make Shrub look culturally sophisticated (as the Times put it, relatively), win support from some of the most creative and expressive people in the nation, and still have over a billion dollars for further pandering. The arts: small investment, big return.

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