Rand Paul Finds $25K In ‘Wasteful Liberal Arts Spending’…In $3.9 Trillion Budget

Headlines like these are the reason people just can’t take the Republican party seriously. Rand Paul’s flailing campaign is losing steam, so to add some fuel to the fire of ignorance, he’s decided to toss some keyword coal in the burner.

Those keywords are “liberal, “art,” “Hollywood,” and “museum.” The National Endowment for the Arts, a federal program that is but a drop in the bucket of our budget and an extremely important source of funding for our nation’s continuing culture, has awarded the Academy of Motion Pictures Films and Sciences a $25,000 grant to aid in the planning of exhibits for a privately funded $300 million museum in Los Angeles.

Rand Paul is livid. He has exposed this injustice and declared it a wasteful giveaway to the Hollywood elite . In an “investigative” article on his worthless little website, Paul suggests that programs like this, that support wealthy organizations like the Academy, are contributing to the downfall of the American economy.

His investigation doesn’t list the reason for the grant, it instead gives a numbered source link that leads back to the article you’re already reading. Giving actual information about the grant may not have played so well in Paul’s little smear campaign.

Rand Paul has determined, all by himself, that the Academy makes far too much money to receive a federal grant. He points out how much money the Oscars pulls in, talks about how much the artifacts that will live in the museum will cost and points out that Hollywood is a town built on glamour.

All of that is true. What is also true is that the NEA gives grants to initial planning for projects like these all the time, because initial planning is typically done by students and interns, not movie stars. According to the LA Times, this is the first grant the Academy has ever received. The NEA website lists the reason for the grant as follows:

Academy Foundation (aka Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) $25,000 Beverly Hills, CA FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Museum To support the planning phase of the museum’s historical exhibition. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will solidify content and interpretive strategies to build on a series of design charrettes held with filmmakers, artists, scholars, and experts in a range of disciplines that helped to define the exhibition’s interpretive approaches. Goals for the planning phase include refinement of the exhibition’s conceptual themes, selection of related artist projects and creation of a film/film clip listing, artifact checklist, and preliminary interpretive plans. The exhibition will focus on the multiplicity of artistic disciplines at the core of filmmaking and emphasize the intersections of art and science in storytelling.

Rand Paul would have his followers believe that the government is writing checks to models and movie stars when the reality is a very small grant to aid in the planning of a museum that will contribute to our national heritage was awarded to those who are planning it.

Paul goes on a little tangent, calling the $25,000 the “equivalent of the tax burdens of four Americans.”

This is the same guy who voted against raising the minimum wage, opposed pay for women, co-sponsored the Keystone XL bill and repeatedly votes to deny infrastructure spending.

He may not want us to earn more or for women to earn the same, he may not want to spend a dime on infrastructure that can be spent handing millionaires gifts by way of a “flat tax” and he may want to hand big oil billions of dollars with a Keystone contract, but he cares about Americans. At last four of them.

Nowhere in his investigation does Rand Paul indicate what he would use the money for, but if his voting record is any clue, he would rip it from the museum planners and divide it equally among the nearest fracking sites, buy a barrel of oil to dump into the ocean and give an energy company the balance to clean it up.

This is just another cop-out by a failing clown car campaign attempting to shift public attention from what really ails us to miniscule spending programs, social safety nets and cultural advancement.

Who needs all of that when we can have economic and ecological destruction instead?

Rand Paul has tried repeatedly to be the Republican who appeals to liberals and failed. As time goes on and the conservative base abandons him, he will move further to the right, in the end melding right back into the pack of corporate shills he belongs with.

Featured image via screen capture