Corzine Cuts Fundung to the Arts

Nobody was exempt from Corzine’s hatchet. As reported on NJ.com:

“We would have preferred not to have to cut funding for the arts and humanities, but we chose, in this financial emergency, not to close hospitals or eliminate senior prescription drug assistance,” Corzine said.

Ann Marie Miller, executive director of the ArtPride/New Jersey, the statewide arts advocacy organization, took exception with Corzine’s suggestion that he had to chose between funding the arts and closing down hospitals.

“We are an economic stimulus engine, and the state is going to rely more and more on local communities to dig out of this mess and that includes the arts and the businesses they support,” she said. “We can take cuts, but comparing apples to oranges only fuels an argument that is wrong. … It’s not an either or.”

And Miller is correct. For every dollar invested in the arts, the state sees an $80 return. Jobs are created, tourism benefits, the state sees sales tax revenue, the list goes on…

Corzine is purposely creating an antagonistic comparison. he is trying to rile up the public into thinking “those stupid starving artists want to take away our ability for affordable health care” when in fact, and he knows this damned well, the funding for the arts is an economic stimulus.

I have no doubt that he would have pulled a McGreevey and pulled all funding for the arts except for the fact that the hotel/motel tax is tied to funding. If funding drops below $16 million, the state loses the hotel tax.

The hotel tax alone is projected to bring in $85 million this year. Are people using these hotels to hear Corzine’s speeches? I think not. The hotels in large part are supporting the state’s tourism industry, which under Corzine’s watchful eye fell from 2nd place to 3rd place. And now he is dong his best to drop it another notch.

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