February 20, 2018

A former ambassador for George W. Bush wrote in an op-ed for The Hill on Tuesday that President Donald Trump should back funding for the arts amid other educational priorities, including safety.

Earle Mack served as the U.S. ambassador to Finland from 2004 to 2005 and is now chairman emeritus of the New York State Council on the Arts. In light of Trump’s plans for cutting the size of many nonessential programs, Mack offered reasons why funding the arts is beneficial to society as a whole.

“If we defend our culture, we are defending our country,” Mack and co-author Randall Boursheidt from Alliance for the Arts wrote.

Mack went on to explain that he believes funding for the arts will strengthen social cohesion in a divided and challenging time. The arts and humanities, Mack believes, can help young people find places where they can “learn how to be happy, successful members of society.”

Mack named schools, libraries, museums, theaters, concert halls, and galleries as places where young people could “learn respect for our country and respect for fellow citizens.” Mack also cites the arts as being good for morale and enhancing the study of other subjects such as literacy, mathematics, and science, which will help students in any chosen career.

Mack claimed the more than 700,000 arts and humanities organizations in the U.S. are responsible for $166.3 billion in economic activity and 4.6 million jobs. He cited the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis as saying that arts organizations are a $730 billion industry each year, representing 4.2 percent of the U.S. GDP.

Furthermore, Mack noted a McKinsey study showed that for every dollar of public money spent on the arts, $9 in tax revenue comes back to the American people in taxes, a figure that Mack says shows the funding deserves support from Trump and Congress

Earle Mack is chairman emeritus of the New York State Council on the Arts and served as U.S. ambassador to Finland from 2004 to 2005.

Read the full post about Earle I Mack on Newsmax here: https://www.newsmax.com/thewire/earle-mack-trump-back-arts/2018/02/20/id/844434/