As ColoradoPols pointed out, Colorado Congressman Doug Lamborn tried this week to whack all funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, a move that his colleagues overwhelmingly rejected.
The idea, to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts, was raised more than a year ago by Lamborn’s onetime nemesis Jeff Crank, who narrowly lost to the former state senator in last year’s primary. In Washington, Lamborn has made it a point to position himself as a porkchopper. Two weeks ago, Lamborn spent nearly three minutes on the House floor reading a letter about earmarks to his colleagues that was posted on the Porkbusters blog site.
Porkbusters, which advertises itself as “blogging the waste out of government,” was grateful indeed, posting the C-SPAN video of Lamborn as he read their letter out loud to a national audience. Keep reading for his statement on his rationale for wanting to kill the NEA
“In light of our current budget shortfall, we must exercise financial restraint. The federal government must demonstrate a willingness to cut costs and economize just as any American family or business would do.
My opposition to the NEA cannot be perceived as opposition to the arts. True art can and should survive without federal funding. Despite the fact that the NEA was not established until 1965, many talented artists managed to bless us with their artistic contributions. At a time when government spending is at record levels, we must find ways to reduce spending.
Artists are free to express themselves as they choose, but the American taxpayer does not need to pay for it. Freedom of speech does not guarantee government funding. Private endowment not only provides artists with more creative freedom, but it also ensures that taxpayers are not forced to fund projects that they may find objectionable. Those who support the arts should do so with their own money, rather than with the money of the American taxpayer.”
Cara DeGette is a senior fellow at Colorado Confidential, and a columnist and contributing editor at the Colorado Springs Independent. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org