Notebook: Book thoughts in the age of shutdo…

How does the current budget impasse affect the life of the book? President Trump’s first budget proposal, presented the February following his inauguration in 2017, called for the permanent elimination of the National Endowment of the Arts, the National Endowment of the Humanities (approximately $145 million each), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) ($231 million), which provides nearly all federal library funding, and last February’s budget proposal repeated this call. These three programs represent 0.01% of the $4.4 trillion dollar budget, or a tenth of the $5 billion President Trump is requiring for this year’s installment of a border wall, prompting the current shutdown. Most proponents of eliminating the three agencies acknowledge that it would not realize a significant savings; they simply do not believe that government has a role in supporting the arts and ideas.

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