Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I think I'll apply for a little stimulus myself

There's an online petition going around. Here's the text:

One Percent for the Arts Campaign

Congress will soon pass a stimulus package aimed at creating jobs and stimulating the economy. We ask that 1% of the stimulus support the arts. In the 1930s the Work Progress Administration created by Roosevelt created 3 million jobs. They built roads, streets, highways, bridges, parks, and public buildings. They also worked in the arts.

Our generation deserves no less.

The WPA employed 40,000 artists, writers, musicians, theater workers, and performers. Public support made it possible for people of modest means to dedicate themselves to their work. The WPA supported Jackson Pollock, Arshile Gorky, Saul Bellow, Zora Neal Hurston, John Steinbeck, Sterling Brown, Orson Welles, John Houseman, Burt Lancaster, and many other great talents, known and unknown. The WPA arts projects reached wide audiences and made the theater, music, and the arts accessible to low-income people.

An arts stimulus package could increase fellowship and scholarship money, create workplace arts and reading programs, foster cultural exchange programs, support artist-in-residency programs in schools and libraries, and more.

We are also calling for a cabinet level position for a Secretary of the Arts.

At first I thought this was ridiculous. But then I thought - hey - why not some film financing - it fits the profile - an expensive, short-term project that will benefit relatively few people. Besides, I've always wanted to adapt a real Horatio Alger story and this just seems like the perfect opportunity.

The Vig

Via Reason

The only problem is, it's the rest of us who are going to wind up with the broken legs if this isn't paid off.

Honorable Paul Ryan
Ranking Member
Committee on the Budget
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Congressman:

As you requested, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated the costs
of additional debt service that would result from enacting H.R. 1, the
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Such costs are not
included in CBO’s cost estimates for individual pieces of legislation and
are not counted for Congressional scorekeeping purposes for such

Under CBO’s current economic assumptions and assuming that none of the
direct budgetary effects of H.R. 1 are offset by future legislation, CBO
estimates that the government’s interest costs would increase by
$0.7 billion in fiscal year 2009 and by a total of $347 billion over the 2009-
2019 period (see enclosed table).

If you would like any additional information, we would be happy to
provide it. The CBO staff contact is Eric Schatten, who can be reached at

Douglas W. Elmendorf