Arts funding may seem expendable when human needs are on the line. Being forced to decide between the two, however, offers a false choice.

Our society should provide a sufficient safety net for all those who fall from economic security, but what are we saving them for if there is no quality of life once they’re safe?

One obvious place to look for money in the upcoming federal budget deliberations is among those who have a lot of it: tremendously rich individuals and wildly profitable multinational corporations.

The wealth, income and influence of both groups have grown in inverse proportion to the national taxes they pay, which not coincidentally have declined to the lowest level in 60 years.

So before we start pitting museum subsidies against Medicaid funding in a scramble for diminishing resources, let’s take fair and reasonable steps to expand those resources.

One good place to start is with federal income tax cuts set to expire at the end of this year.

If we extend the cuts — in recognition of our still fragile recovery — for the 98 percent of American households with annual incomes below $250,000; but allow them to expire for the fortunate 2 percent with annual earnings above a quarter-million dollars, national revenues would increase by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade.

I hope Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe will display their bipartisan spirit and work toward a deficit reduction deal that includes greater revenues, thus saving us from harsh — and false — budget choices.

Susan S. Davis


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