Ronald Reagan tried to do it and failed, even in the height of the Reagan Revolution.
Newt Gingrich gave it a shot when he seized control of the House of Representatives, but fell short even with momentum from the Contract With America on his side.
Now, President Donald Trump may be about to succeed where those two other GOP titans once failed.
Trump’s proposed budget completely eliminates the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), an unapologetically left-wing agency that uses your taxes dollars to shock and offend.
It spends $148 million per year, cleverly making sure a little cash hits every single congressional district in the nation — which guarantees that any lawmaker brave enough to oppose the agency will get hit with angry phone calls.
But here are FOUR big reasons why the NEA should go away:
1) Piss Christ: The name alone is offensive, yet the U.S. government had no problem spending $15,000 on it, once again proving that the only group you’re allowed to offend these days are Christians.
The NEA paid the money in the 1980s to “artist” Andres Serrano for photographing a crucifix submerged in a glass of his own urine.
This is what passes for “art” in Washington!
2) Robert Mapplethorpe: In 1989, the NEA had agreed to pay out $30,000 for the Corcoran Gallery of Art to show off a collection of what The New York Times called “explicit homoerotic and violent images.”
The public was rightfully outraged when they found out what their hard-earned tax dollars were funding.
Under intense pressure, the NEA pulled its funding, but the show went on anyway in a different location when a private organization financed it — proving they never needed your tax dollars anyway.
3) Propaganda machine: If there were any doubts over which team the NEA is playing for, just look at what happened in 2009.
Shortly after President Barack Obama took office, the agency held a conference call urging artists to produce work that supports his agenda.
One of the artists on the call, Patrick Courrielche, told Fox News that the ubiquitous pro-Obama “HOPE” posters from the 2008 election and a pro-Obama song from pop star will.i.am were even named as examples of the kind of work they want to see.
The government paying artists to promote a personality cult for its leader and his agenda is the kind of thing you’d expect from North Korea… but it happened in Washington.
4) Not helping artists: But perhaps the biggest knock on the NEA is that it doesn’t even help struggling-but-talented American artists working hard to succeed at their craft.
In many cases, the money goes to the darlings of the art world…. people who don’t need your tax dollars (but gladly take it anyway).
When the Mapplethorpe project was killed, he wasn’t an unknown hoping for recognition.
He was already a superstar in the elitist left-wing world of the arts. More importantly, he was already dead — so he never saw a penny!
Of course, the arts industry is singing its song of gloom and doom, as if eliminating $148 million in government handouts will somehow close theaters and museums.
Poets even held a vigil outside Trump Tower, proving that the left will hold a vigil for just about anything.
But the end of the NEA isn’t the end of arts.
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As George Will pointed out in his column last week, “arts/culture/humanities” institutions collected $17 billion in 2015 from Americans.
That means the NEA’s share is just 0.85 percent of that total.
Somehow, it doesn’t seem like a big shortfall to makeup. If lefties want these projects, they can certainly pay for them… but from now on, the money can come out of their own pockets.
— The Horn editorial team