Through the lookingglass

Hmmm. Looks like budget fantasy land is starting to deteriorate a bit. Between the new CBO deficit projections and the new, much bigger estimate for the prescription drug bill (cuz, you know, the private health care sector is all efficient and shit), G2 is sobering after his new year spending proposal jag. And the list of reconsidered items is just for authorization levels, who knows how many of these the administration will balk at when appropriations time comes around? Hell, if recent experience is any guide, he could be well into a second term by the time this budget gets used, in which case he'll be able to balk at will.

BTW, what's up with the NEA funding increase? I'm so confused. Is he trying to piss off conservatives? Drive liberals mad with the contradictions so that they'll stop being so testy? Obviously, its really nice if that happens, but I just can't understand why he's trying to gain the support of the small subgroup of American liberals that still believe in arts funding. Does he know something about newfound resonance arts funding has with swing voters? Did someone feel that Richard Florida Washington Monthly article about the economic effects of the administration's anti-elitism was pointing out a critical weakness? Maybe he feels the pain of small opera companies and thinks the classical music world is becoming too top-heavy?

More likely, they are trying to clumsily cover their bases as they realize there is a perception of the administration as being too hard and war-obsessed. I am 99.9% certain that this will be forgotten almost immediately. But you have to admit, it is somewhat amusing to think of the moral crises of downtown companies who may owe their first chance at NEA grants in years to the nemesis of culture.


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