According to the Associated Press, public schools in the Los Angeles area are so strapped for cash that they’ve resorted to renting out their facilities as settings to movie makers. Which could be worst, I guess. In Great Britan, after all, their cash-strapped nationalized health care system has been filling budget holes by renting out fully-stocked, fully-operational facilities (the ones British citizens often can’t get access to due to rationing) to porn movie producers.
At least here in America, when the government resorts to hawking its properties to the movie industry, they pick a higher class of film.
But I digress. What’s interesting about LA schools looking to fill budget gaps with extra income from the movie industry is the fact that the same state government that is in charge of funding and running those schools subsidizes the state’s movie industry. Heavily.
According to California’s Film Commission, the amount of state funds allocated to subsidizing Big Hollywood’s productions is $100 million annually. And that doesn’t count additional subsidies offered by county and municipal governments. Meaning that state-run schools are looking to keep their budgets in the black by targeting a state-subsidized movie industry.
I think the folks in California need to get their priorities straight.
Now, I don’t doubt that there is a lot of fat that could be cut from California’s education budgets. The idea that schools and teachers are underfunded and underpaid in American generally, and California specifically, is a myth perpetuated by teachers’ unions and education bureaucrats. But setting that argument aside for a moment, I think most of us would generally agree that education is something the government should be doing.
While subsidizing the multi-billion dollar Hollywood movie industry, on the other hand, is something I think most taxpayers would find objectionable. Or should find objectionable, anyway.
Bill Clinton once told an audience in Philadelphia, "You know one of the things that's wrong with this country? Everybody gets a chance to have their fair say." It was intended as a humorous response to a crowd of hecklers who was giving him fits as he tried to deliver a speech, but it's not hard to imagine that Democrats have taken that sentiment to heart of late.
North Dakota’s Senator Kent Conrad is the top Democrat in Congress on fiscal issues. He’s a self-styled “deficit hawk” who likes to perpetrate an illusion of being this independent voice for fiscal sanity in a national capital that has lost its mind on deficits and debt.