3 things for Thursday, Chicago: Colbert's Super PAC / NEA doubts / Taste the green

Thursday, June 30, 2011
1. COLBERT'S BREAKTHROUGH. The Federal Election Commission says Stephen Colbert can form a Super PAC, with power to spend unlimited money in the 2012 elections. The PAC's motto: "Making a better tomorrow ... tomorrow." (The Web site uses a comma, but the ellipsis is clearly funnier.)

2. 'MAYBE THE NEA HAS OUTLIVED ITS USEFULNESS.' Beachwood Reporter proprietor Steve Rhodes says a big chunk of $2.2 million in federal National Endowment for the Arts grants to Illinois benefits "elite institutions patronized mostly by elites." (Fourth item.)

3. BUT WOULDN'T CHICAGO BE A BETTER PLACE IF WE DID? Even though grease from Taste of Chicago will be recycled into fuel for park district vehicles, a spokeswoman says, "You probably won’t be smelling crab Rangoon or French fries out of a park district vehicle."

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I understand Steve's point on the NEA funding, and even though I'm as liberal as they get, I get the whole "let's look at all spending" need. But when we have so much government / taxpayer money going to defense and entitlements, arts funding is a drop in the bucket. I worry about a government that would treat arts as something expendable. And once it's cut, it will never come back. In terms of percentage of spend, there are many, many other items that deserve such scrutiny much more.

Perhaps if detailed line items were provided of much larger budget segments we could find many other things to lash out against that would save us much more money and didn't make a sacrificial lamb of something that actually does have value not to just those who enjoy the arts, but to the climate of society they inspire.

What if we looked at the government budget the same way we look at that of our homes? Yes. Education is expensive, and quality education is more so. But it is an investment that saves us costs down the line (who wants to budget for supporting an unemployable kid well into his 40s?) So little governing is being done with actual hopes of making America better. Rather, it is done with a hope of an election year soundbite.