August 16, 2012

Presidential candidate tells Fortune he'll eliminate programs; names PBS, NEA and NEH

Governor Mitt Romney, candidate for President of the United States, indicated to Fortune Magazine today that he would cut public funding for the arts, humanities or public broadcasting.

"[T]here are programs I would eliminate. Obamacare being one of them but also various subsidy programs -- the Amtrak subsidy, the PBS subsidy, the subsidy for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities. Some of these things, like those endowment efforts and PBS I very much appreciate and like what they do in many cases, but I just think they have to stand on their own rather than receiving money borrowed from other countries, as our government does on their behalf."

While we haven't been able to locate the actual interview with Fortune Magazine, several popular news outlets have published the quote. One source is a Washington Post blog.

Also, Americans for the Arts President and CEO Bob Lynch responded to the statement in Variety:
"Likewise, Americans for the Arts, which advocates for federal arts funding, is planning forums at the Republican and Democratic conventions, with former Arkansas Mike Huckabee hosting their event in Tampa and former Secretary of Education Richard Riley hosting in Charlotte. Robert Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, said Romney has a 'misunderstanding' of how NEA funding works, in that the funding helps stimulate state and local arts councils as well as seed the growth of small businesses. 'We know from 45 years of history that the great benefit of the American system, which is a very conservative system of support, is not the subsidy but the leverage power,' he said."

Will whether or not a candidate supports public funding for the arts, humanities or public television impact how you vote this November?

Oklahoma receives about $700,000 annually from the National Endowment for the Arts and about $727,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

OETA, Oklahoma's public television source and PBS affiliate, receives between $1.5 to 2 million in federal grants.

Photo Courtesy James B. Currie on Flickr | CCL Applies