Norman Lebrecht notes in today's Slipped Disc blog that the city of Berlin provides just under a billion Euros in arts subsidies, surprising (due to recent cuts) the entire British government.
One billion Euros...not chump change. At today's rates, that $1.3 billion and change USD. In comparison, it's important (or maybe just disheartening) to note the following:
U.S. government subsidy to the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities: $146 million.
There are three major areas I have focused on for reduction in spending. These are in many cases reductions which become larger and larger over time. So first there are programs I would eliminate. Obamacare being one of them but also various subsidy programs -- the Amtrak subsidy, the PBS subsidy, the subsidy for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities. Some of these things, like those endowment efforts and PBS I very much appreciate and like what they do in many cases, but I just think they have to strand on their own rather than receiving money borrowed from other countries, as our government does on their behalf.
2012 Presidential candidate Mitt Romney
U.S. government spending on defense: (2013): $682 billion, which does not include emergency and supplemental spending to support U.S. war efforts overseas. As of June 2011, the costs of U.S. incursions into Iraq and Afghanistan totaled approximately $3.7 trillion!
German defense spending: 45.8 billion USD. For the record, the United States outspends the entire European Union, China and Russia combined for a total of $2141 per capita.
One can only imagine a fraction of those totals being placed toward "peaceful" endeavors: education, arts, humanities, all with the goal of saving humanity.