The GOP’s long-time goal of completely defunding our nation’s arts programs has failed once again—at least, for now. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) will all maintain their funding, and the latter two programs will actually see a small increase.
Back in March, the Trump administration’s proposed budget cuts caused many raised eyebrows (and blood pressures) when it sought to totally or partially defund many programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Amid the general outcry, it was noted that only a minuscule percent of the federal budget actually goes toward the NEA, NEH and CPB anyway, as opposed to the $579 billion we spend on the military. In other words, the GOP is just a dick when it comes to arts spending. Luckily, the plan to strip the arts and humanities, like so many of Trump’s plans, has failed.
Early Monday morning, Congress reached an agreement on a $1 trillion spending bill that will fund the government through the end of September. According to Politico, some of the bill is what we expected—an increase in military spending and a $15 billion increase toward border security. However, none of the budget will be allocated to fund Trump’s asinine Southern border wall, much to his dismay.
On top of that, the NEA and NEH will actually see a $2 million increase in funding for a total of $150 million each. The CPB’s funding will remain the same at $445 million. Needless to say, a lot of people (including us at Paste) breathe a little easier at this news. Thank goodness our president is not good at his job.
If you need reminding on why arts programs matter, we’d like to direct you over to Jason Rhode’s “The Definition of Good: Why Art Funding Works.”