Cash for the ‘Arts’ In Obama’s Stinkulus Bill: A Caviar Feast on a Cheeseburger Budget

-By Warner Todd Huston

Obama has called the economic worries facing Americans a “continuing disaster” and an “economic crisis,” one verging on a “catastrophe.” It will all “turn crisis into a catastrophe and guarantee a longer recession,” he says, unless we pass the stimulus bill now. There is no time to wait. It’s an emergency. We’re doomed and need only these most important federal handouts to get us past this disaster.

So, why is there uncounted millions of dollars for “the arts” in this pork laden mess?

I don’t know about you, but when my finances take a down turn and I am at emergency, subsistence levels in my income — a situation I have, indeed, faced in my life — the first thing I do is determine what expenditures are vital and necessary and cut out, or at least cut back, the rest.

In the normal course of household expenditures, I would place rent (or mortgage), food, heat, electric, and water, gasoline and phone bills as most important necessities. I-Tunes, movies, DVDs, books, cable — in short, entertainment — are of far lesser value in such an emergency situation, wouldn’t you say?

Yet, the Boston Globe reports that the National Endowment for the Arts is the fortunate recipient of a $50 million handout hidden deep in this Obama generational debt bill. This stinkulus bill is larding the pockets of Big Entertainment above the more important goal of creating jobs.

Is this not an “emergency,” a “crisis,” a “continuing disaster”? If so, why are we wasting vital, life giving funds on painting pretty pictures and to theater groups to put on a nice show?

I am no anti-intellectual, I must point out. I find the arts to be very important to a society, Literature, theater and art is an important aspect of a healthy and vital society. But, if we are truly in the midst of economic disaster as Obama wants to claim, then why are we spending so-called stimulus money on things that do not put food on the table and help the average guy pay his mortgage/rent?

Is money to the Boston Philharmonic, or the theater community in Chicago, the art world in New York, or the filmmakers of Hollywood through the NEA something that should be as important as helping to keep Joe Six-Pack in his job at the filling station?

It is not, to say the least.

Let’s be clear on this, however. This is not a stimulus bill. This is pork and payoffs to those organizations that backed Obama and little else. One can only conclude by reviewing the many billions going to things that have nothing at all to do with stimulating the economy that Team Obama do not think we are really in any emergency. One cannot miss the fact that all the hyperventilation about this “crisis” is but rhetorical window dressing to grease the skids of Congress so that Obama can payoff all his closest campaign friends. Like those in the “arts” that voted for him so overwhelmingly.

Obama’s voters shouted hallelujahs imagining that Barack was going give them all jobs and pay their mortgages when he was elected in November. So far, all Obama is proposing is payoffs to Big Labor and a myriad of the extreme leftist NGOs that supported him. He hasn’t done a thing — nor proposed a thing — for the average American.

But he is attempting to saddle Americans and their great, grandkids with a debt that they will toil to payoff for generations.

How’s that for “change”?

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as, Human Events Magazine,, New Media Journal, Men’s News Daily and the New Media Alliance among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book “Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture” which can be purchased on He is also the owner and operator of Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston

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