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POLL: Should Taxpayer Dollars Fund the Arts?

S.C. Arts Commission is closed after Gov. Nikki Haley’s vetoes cut $1.9 million in state-level funding and $500,000 in funding earmarked for grants.

In an unprecedented move last week, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's budget vetoes put more than 38 jobs in jeopardy and shut down two agencies.

The S.C. Arts Commission is closed after the first-term governor's cuts eliminated $1.9 million in state-level funding and $500,000 in funding earmarked for grants.

, which also eliminated the budget for the Sea Grant Consortium and cut teacher raises.

Haley slashed these same two agencies last year, but the Legislature overrode those vetoes.

The Legislature will reassemble on July 17 to consider overriding other budget vetoes for the next fiscal year. What do you think the Legislature should do? Should the Legislature override the governor's veto? Should taxpayer dollars be used to fund local arts initiatives?

Vote in our poll and then sound off in the comments section below.

Dr. John July 12, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Stanley, To sum up your point then.. All money is governments first via the tax code and what you are allowed to keep, in part or whole, is considered "government funding" . So non profit groups like churches, the Salvation Army, Red Cross, Feeding America are all receiving govt funding through the tax code? Does that mean that the 48% of citizens who pay no federal income tax are funded through the tax code as well. What I make is mine first, and I will pay the absolute legal minimum in taxes for essential functions I am unable to perform that benefit the general welfare of all citizens (the establishment of an army, border patrol and protection, regulation of commerce and enforcement of the law and other constitutional duties). I do not think that supporting the arts is the job of the tax payer (private citizens should perform that function) or to pay for projects like these http://www.investinganswers.com/personal-finance/tax-center/6-projects-you-wont-believe-government-funding-3620 I believe that having Americans pay for these benevolent programs is special interest politics at best and income redistribution at it's worst
ReadIt July 12, 2012 at 04:11 AM
Dr. John - In your "gun mandate" example, you are requiring people to purchase a product in order to bring about a "good idea" (less crime). But with the arts, no one is asking or requiring you to buy a painting, take a class or see a show in an effort to bring about a "good idea" (economic development). The economic benefit exists whether you pick up a paint brush or not. There is no mandate for people to experience the arts, but studies show that gov't support of the arts is a root catalyst for community enhancement and economic development, therefore making it a wise investment of tax payer dollars. And in terms of education - the SC Arts Commission supports arts education throughout the state. When schools cut their arts classes (which is ridiculous given a survey of CEOs showed 60% see "creativity" as the leading quality over the next five years and when GM's Vice Chair, Robert Lutz says that GM was not in the car business...but in the art business), many local arts organizations pick up the slack by offering after school/summer programs in the arts (visual, dance, theater, music) or programs in the classroom itself. Also many grants go to help keep programs at a low cost or free (helping the underprivileged). And the arts are used in nursing homes and hospitals for rehabilitation and mental health improvements.
stanley seigler July 12, 2012 at 05:11 AM
@Dr. John: '...All money is governments first via the tax code and what you are allowed to keep, in part or whole, is considered "government funding" ' not exactly...it's your (usa citizens') money first a percentage which you are required to pay (per IRS tax code) to your gov...citizens pay other taxes, such as sales tax, property tax, etc...all of which you know but insist on making some kind of issue of the tax system. the 48% whatever pay no income tax per the tax code...do pay sales tax and payroll tax and probably other fees...BTW bet any of the 48% would gladly swap incomes with you or gates...do you want to swap... re: So non profit groups like churches...receive govt funding through the tax code? yes they do. the same as those who take advantage of loopholes...call it what you want (funding, loopholes, etc)...their disposal income is increased... oh/and do you want to cut funding to clemson's, usc's, etc, athletic programs...how far do you think you'd get... [CLIP] '...perhaps now is the point at which leaders should give college athletics a long, hard look. Why? Two reasons: (1) They cost a gawdawful lot of money, and (2) they have nothing to do with the purpose of a university.' http://reason.com/archives/2011/10/14/stop-funding-college-sports
Dr. John July 13, 2012 at 02:44 AM
Stanley, You know my point but try to misdirect. I realize that everyone pays a consumption or sales tax on things they buy, all of this goes to the state with the exception of gas tax and SS and medicare taxes. So why don't these 48% pay federal taxes for things like the military, customs and border agencies, the DOE, the DOJ, the EPA, the federal reserve, the treasury department, the IRS, the CIA, the Secret Service, the US marshall service, the US MInt, the offices of the white house, congress, senate, the SBO, the national weather service, the national park service the FDA, the USDA, the fish and wildlife office, the national guard, the supreme court, the office of verteran affairs, the library of congress, the job corps, the corps of engineers, the international trade office, HUD, the FTC, federal prisons, the federal court system and many other agencies. Is this the part that government funds for them. Also, your arguement about trading wealth is childish from the start. Why don't we all just trade wealth with those in Uganda or the Congo then? To propose trading wealth is an attempt to pull the heart strings of those who think that anything other than equal outcomes is unfair. There is no use in wishing for this Eutopia and to whine about it is childish. I am not wealthy (per Obama's definition anyway) but I started at the bottom with a $3.25/hour job and worked hard and at times fell on my face hard. I do think that state funding of college sports is wrong.
stanley seigler July 13, 2012 at 04:39 AM
@Dr. John: "You know my point but try to misdirect..." think you are confused as to who misdirects...anyhow... re: 'So why don't these 48% pay federal taxes for things like...etc' as you refuse to accept because the tax laws fairly do not require them to pay a tax...it's the same tax law which allowed the mitt to pay only 15% while buffett's secretary, etal, pays 20% plus...as mentioned bet any of those 48% would gladly swap places with a 1% re: 'argument about trading wealth is childish' no argument just a question which requires a simple yes/no answer. the question again: would any 48% gladly change places with a 1% and pay taxes...OTOH would a 1% change places with a 48% so as to pay no fed tax re: 'I started at the bottom with a $3.25/hour job' what does this have to do with fed/state tax structure and 'Should Taxpayer Dollars Fund the Arts'...but as long as you bring it up...i started out at less than $1/hr working from 7am to 10pm. re: 'I do think that state funding of college sports is wrong'... i dont and neither is state/fed funding of the arts...they all make for a well rounded education...my point in bringing up funding of college sports is to question those who oppose funding the arts but not college sports...

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