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The other drought 

With the coming city elections, I thought it might be informative to indulge in a little trickle-down Reaganomics for the arts.

Specifically, the National Endowment for the Arts saps $117 million of our hard-earned tax money every year. $117 million that would be better lumped into the $100 billion (a modest guesstimate) that our government is going to need kick Saddam's b-hole back into Mesopotamia. Think about it, now if you divide that by 300 million Americans (including children), it's only gonna cost the average America-lover $333.33 to kick some Sunni butt!

And gosh, this year's entire military budget of $400 billion (not including the cost of the war, mind you) will only cost you and me $1,333.32. So that's $1,666.65 to know there won't be any Shiite blowing up in our back yards. Joseph McCarthy had it right when he said that public housing was a breeding ground for communists. So public arts must also be a breeding ground for terrorists. Now why would I want to give my 39 cents to the NEA?

C'mon, let's do some more tricklin' down to the state level. The average America-lover pays a brutal $1.46 in state art! That adds up to $346 million nationwide! Add that to the $117 million for the NEA and you're into the arts for $463 million. I bet you Steven Spielberg could make something Americans really want for that much money: another sequel to Jurassic Park! Just think what you could get with that $1.54: a gallon of gas, side of bacon, or three Homies in the vending machine at Safeway.

Fortunately for the tax-hating citizens of Colorado, the trickle isn't much more than a tinkle by the time it gets here. We only pay an average of 26 cents per person on the state level, and most of that is paid by those dimwits who voted for the Science and Cultural Facilities District up there in Denver. You know -- those terrorist-loving fools who voluntarily parted with that ghastly 1 percent sales tax! And that crazy new museum wing designed by Daniel Libeskind (you know -- that America-hater chosen to rebuild the World Trade Center site)! What's that gonna do? Draw millions of tourists and their money to Denver? I'm keeping my change for a refill of Sanka!

The smartest people are the ones who aren't stupid: we the people of Colorado Springs. Sure we pay an average of about 65 cents in state and federal art tax. But locally, we now pay a glorious $0 for the arts! Not a drop!

We tax-hating people are proud to know that our $1,333.32 in federal military subsidies go to directly support the places where tourists really want to go: Fort Carson, Pete Field and the Air Force Academy (They have the chapel! And they kick Sunni butt!). Sure those ladies up at the AFA had some issues with the boys, but that's all in the past, and I know I feel safe here. After all, the military is the biggest tax-subsidized employer in town, and those terrorists who hate their women and make them wear tablecloths would dare not come near us.

Besides, it makes me feel good knowing those military personnel are spending their $1,333.32 at the local car dealerships. Now that's supporting the U.S. economy! And when you're fleecing us for 65 cents in arts tax, you're fleecing us out of a third of a gallon of gas, and that's almost three miles in my SUV!

But believe it or not, there are a couple of candidates in the upcoming city elections who want you to Biggie-Size your arts spending!

Mayoral candidate Ted Eastburn has admitted that he'd be willing to cut the change out of our tourists' pockets with the Lodging and Auto-Rental Tax as a way of raising money for "cultural tourism." We all know that's just a euphemism for "cultural terrorism." And he calls himself a Republican?!

Then there's Lauren Arnest running for Council in District 3. She's married to an art critic for God's sake! She says she "supports using city money for the arts"! Now if that isn't terrorist-talk, I don't what is.

If the hoities want a symphony or a new arts center, let them cough up their third-of-a-tank of gas. But show me a painting that can kick Sunni butt back to the Ottoman Empire, and I'll show you my $1333.32 for the arts.

--nblack@csindy.com

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