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My Way


You gotta have art – but I don't have to pay for it



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June 06, 2012 - After all these years, I still remember the popular 1980s television commercial for the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), which contained the catchy song, "You've Gotta Have Art!"

As a little kid, I found it extremely entertaining and even looked forward to it whenever it aired in between reruns of MASH and Happy Days.

But my nostalgia only goes so far.

It's not going to motivate me to vote 'yes' on the proposed 10-year, 0.2-mill tax to help support the DIA. When I go to the polls on Aug. 7, I will be voting an emphatic NO and I encourage everyone reading this to join me.

It's not that I have anything against art. I can appreciate and enjoy good art when I see it. I'm no cretin.

I do, however, have something against funding art as a taxpayer. That's simply not my role. That job belongs to private donors and museum patrons.

As a taxpayer, I'll pay – albeit begrudgingly – for roads, police, fire, schools, water and sewage systems, etc. – the nuts and bolts of government.

But I'll be damned if I'll pay a tax to support some museum I've never even been to in a city that my family fled because it's a disastrous wasteland run by crooks, thugs and race-baiting poverty pimps who strive to keep the struggling population down in order to maintain their own power, influence and riches.

I'm already paying a property tax to support the Detroit Zoo, which I've visited twice in my life. What's next if the DIA tax slips by voters? The Detroit Science Center? The Detroit Symphony? The Detroit Opera House?

How much more will you and I be asked – and possibly forced – to support? Where does it end?

Unfortunately, it never ends when it comes to government and its insatiable lust for our hard-earned money.

Officials and elitists will keep pushing and pushing until they get what they want and we're paying for everything they desire. Well, I say, "The line must be drawn here! This far, no farther!"

If the DIA is so valuable and such a worthwhile cause, then let its ardent supporters find other ways to finance it without picking taxpayers' pockets.

Enough is enough.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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