Introduction U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent budget cut proposal has pushed the arts to the front of the line to be removed. Which begs the question, should we provide funding for the arts? Supporters argue that artistic funding takes away necessary money from the economy. Detractors argue that cutting the arts damages our culture and enrichment.
Constructive Debater 1 Henry The arts have often been a source of unnecessary public money. In the past, artists often had to find patrons: rich people who funded their art. In today’s society, while there are patrons, there is also a consistent payment into artistic funding by the government. While the arts are good for civilization, there is no need for the government to pay for it. In Korea, there are 112 policies on the support of the arts. The government’s taxes should go into infrastructure, public transportation, healthcare, and education. The arts are just taking away from what is necessary.
Constructive Debater 2 Ashley This year, the budget for the arts in the United States was $593 million. In comparison, $614 billion is being proposed for military spending. Out of a budget of nearly $4 trillion, less than a percentage is spent on the arts. In comparison, the U.S government plans on spending more on its military than the next nine high-spending governments in the world. Wouldn’t it make more sense to double the arts budget to $1 billion a year, and remove the spending of a handful of F-22 fighter jets, which costs $137 million per jet?
Rebuttal Debater 1 Henry In Korea, artists have found their talents through private-education programs like hagwons and instructors. This system has been very beneficial, with classical musicians like Cho Seong-jin reaching international fame thanks to this system. In fact, Korea’s “soft power” and cultural wave came without any real government help. The Korean artistic movement of “Tansaekhwa” came during a time of military rule in the 1960s. There was no funding from the government, only the inspiration of a few poor artists. These artists could find their way with inspiration and curiosity, and other artists can as well.
Rebuttal Debater 2 Ashley Statistically, the nonprofit arts industry in America can generate as much as $22.3 billion in tax revenue annually. When combined with the current arts budget and the portions from the education budget, the $4 billion required is pennies in comparison. Many celebrities owe their success to an arts program in their formative public school years. People like Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga, and Maya Angelou all owe their careers to teachers and arts programs. Bill Gates even credits his creation of Microsoft to a drama teacher who made him the star of the school play.
Judge’s Comments Although the arts are not needed in society, they are important nonetheless. While Henry made strong arguments about art funding itself, Ashley’s points covered revenue, impact, and wisdom of allocation. The arts make up less than a percentage of the budgets of most countries, and yet can do so much. As a result, Ashley wins the debate.
Jay Oh Copy Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
1. What is the debate about?
2. What do supporters say?
3. What do detractors say?
1. Where should the government taxes go to, according to Henry?
2. How does America spend its budget? What would make more sense, according to Ashley?
3. Do you like arts? Should the government give more money for the arts? Why? Why not?