Obama-Romney: Comparative Positions on the Arts

Yesterday, Americans for the Arts Action Fund released its newly compiled analysis of the presidential candidates’ arts policy positions. This new report is one of the many programs and publications of ArtsVote2012, the Arts Action Fund’s biennial initiative coinciding with the election cycle, that educates candidates and informs voters on issues impacting the arts and arts education. Here’s where the candidates stand:

 

 Arts Action Fund Logo
Barack Obama
Joe Biden
Democratic Nominees
Mitt Romney
Paul Ryan
Republican Nominees
Candidate would maintain or increase federal support of the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities.

Yes
Proposed increase of $9 million for National Endowment for the Arts.

-FY 13 NEA budget request,
Rpt p.2 / PDF p. 6
-FY 13 NEH budget request,
Rpt p.11/PDF p. 14

No
“Reduce subsidies for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities.”

-Romney/Ryan website
-Los Angeles Times article

Candidate would maintain or increase federal support of museums and libraries.

Yes
Proposed increase of $9 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities and level funding of $232 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

-FY 13 IMLS budget request,
Rpt/PDF p.12

Unknown
Congressman Ryan’s House-passed budget calls for eliminating the Institute of Museum and Library Services, but it is unclear what Gov. Romney’s position is.

- Ryan’s FY2013 budget,
Rpt p.88 / PDF p.96

Candidate would maintain or increase federal support for public broadcasting.

Yes
Proposed level funding of $445 million for Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

-FY 13 CPB budget request

No
“Reduce Subsidies for…the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.”

-Romney/Ryan website
-10/3/12 presidential debate transcript

Candidate would maintain or increase Title I funding, which includes eligibility for arts education.

Yes
Proposed to reauthorize current Title I program, with level funding.

-FY13 budget request,
Rpt p18 / PDF p 22

Unknown
Proposes to change Title I funding by expanding choice for eligible students to use federal funds to pay for public, charter, or private schools. It is unclear what impact this would have on arts education Title I funding.

-Romney education plan,
Rpt p.23 / PDF p. 24

Candidate would maintain support of national and community service, which includes eligibility for arts and music service.

Yes
Proposed increase of 1 percent to $1.1 billion for Corporation for National & Community Service agency budget.

-FY 13 CNCS budget request

Unknown
Congressman Ryan’s House-passed budget calls for eliminating the Corporation for National and Community Service, but it is unclear what Gov. Romney’s position is.

- Ryan’s FY2013 budget,
Rpt p.88 / PDF p.96

Candidate maintains current incentives for charitable giving to 501(c)(3) organizations, such as a local nonprofit arts institution.

No
The Obama plan maintains the ability for households to deduct charitable gifts, but he proposes reducing the value of the deduction from 35 percent to 28 percent for those households that make more than $250,000.

-FY 2010-13 budget request,
blog statement

No
Gov. Romney has suggested maintaining a deduction for charitable gifts, but he has also proposed combining those charitable deductions with other tax deductions, such as mortgage interest, all of which would be limited by an overall cap that could jeopardize incentives to donate.

- 10/16/12 presidential debate transcript

National party platform includes a positive position on the arts and arts education.

Yes
“We will continue to support public funding for the National Endowment for the Arts… and for programs providing art and music education…”

- 9/4/12 DNC platform, p.16

No
GOP platform was silent on these issues.

- 8/28/12 GOP platform

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