At the SAN DIEGO U-T’s request, I wrote an op-ed, making the case against taxpayer subsidies for the arts. It’s one of those “pro and con” op-ed face-offs on an issue.
It’s in response to the city of San Diego’s decision to cut its arts budget 31% — a decision I support. For most readers here, my commentary is available online without a subscription.
Comments from arts subsidy boosters will be coming fast and furious (mostly furious) in the paper, so don’t hesitate to put in your two cents worth as a commenter below the U-T article. In addition, you can read (and comment about) the proponents’ vapid rationale for more arts funding at this link:
Here’s a barebones summary of the points I made:
- Prioritize government spending. Arts funding is NOT a priority compared to other government functions.
- The cut in San Diego city arts funding is a pittance — barely 2 percent of the arts’ revenues.
- Sports stadium subsidies are wrong. So are arts subsidies.
- Taxpayer subsidies discourage donations.
- When government subsidizes art, government controls art.
- Much art today has liberal themes. Taxpayers should not have to subsidize political propaganda.
- Government should not use force to subsidize art.
I conclude by challenging arts funding proponents to put the issue before the voters. Put an “arts tax” on the ballot, and let the voters decide. The arts boosters won’t, because — like me — they know that such a tax would NEVER pass.