President Trump made good on a long-time Conservative goal in his first proposed Budget Thursday morning, targeting the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), National Public Radio (NPR), and the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, for Complete Elimination (NEA).
Trump’s Budget would zero out the $445 million Budget for the PBS, a substantial source of funding for programming and broadcast operations on Public TV Stations and NPR Radio Stations nationwide.
The Budget would also eliminate the Budget for both National Endowments, which stood at $148 million each in 2016, as well as $230 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which supports Libraries and Museums. Additional cuts would affect two Tourist mainstays in Washington, D.C., the Smithsonian Institution, and the National Gallery of Art.
Combined, the four Arts organizations account for less than 0.02% of the U.S. Government’s $4.6 Trillion Budget.
In 2016, the NEH allocated $47 million to 50 States and five Jurisdictions, funding that helped to leverage $368 million from State Governments to support Arts organizations via more than 24,000 Grants, according to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. In 2015, funding for the NEA was almost one-third what the U.S. Budget allocated for Military Bands.
Republicans have long put the NEA and the PBS in their Budget crosshairs. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan attempted to shut down the NEA, but backed down from the plans after a task force including actor and Reagan friend Charlton Heston advised against it. Reagan did, however, make major cuts to the NEA’s Budget.
The NEA and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), which supports Museums, Archives, Libraries, and Universities, were created in 1965 by Lyndon B. Johnson. “An advanced civilization must not limit its efforts to science and technology alone, but must give full value and support to the other great branches of scholarly and cultural activity in order to achieve a better understanding of the past, a better analysis of the present, and a better view of the future,” according to the Congressional act.
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