The government should not be in the art business. Have you ever talked to a representative? You might as well put them in charge of our finest restaurants or producing our video games. These are people who, by definition, like parades.

But if we're really doing this Keynesian thing, the government should be the arts buyer of last resort. That means the NEA has to step up its policy of making things no one wants to see. Yes, it's cool that just two months into this year it's already given $25,000 so the Cleveland TOPS Swingband can force local high schools to endure big band music, and $10,000 to the Keshet Chaim Dancers so Sherman Oaks elementary school students will be submitted to Israeli folk dance. And I'm sure there are great projects coming up for mimes, Noh theater, disco, minstrelsy, Punch and Judy shows and sea shanties.

But that's not nearly enough. The NEA needs to provide studio time for Busta Rhymes, script deals for Jim Carrey, sitcoms for the CW, subscriptions to TV Guide, the budget for "Indiana Jones V," and an NHL team for a city in the South. It's for the good of the economy.

The Keshet Chaim Dancers will understand.

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