The White House is considering nine items that President Trump plans to cut in a supposed attempt to lower domestic spending, and the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting are both on the list.
New York Times reports that while the list could still change, that the White House still has both programs on the chopping block, along with Legal Services Corporation, AmeriCorps and the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy.
National Endowment for the Arts touts itself as an “independent federal agency that funds, promotes, and strengthens the creative capacity of our communities by providing all Americans with diverse opportunities for arts participation.” Corporation for Public Broadcasting is a private corporation funded by the federal government, and funds PBS (which produces the show Sesame Street) while supporting NPR.
“The public wants to see agencies like the N.E.A. continue,” Robert L. Lynch, head of the nonprofit Americans for the Arts, told the New York Times. “There is always a debate, but there has been agreement among Republicans and Democrats that funding for the arts is a good thing, and it has been kept in place.”
The cuts are supposedly aimed at cutting the United States’ domestic budget, but most of the programs cost under $500 million annually – a small amount when the government is projected to spend $4 trillion this year. IndieWire points out that by contrast, Trump has spent $10 million in three consecutive weekend visits to Mar-a-Lago, and that First Lady Melania Trump’s decision to live in Trump Tower instead of the White House will cost twice the annual budget of the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities.