POLITICS
03/22/2017 04:11 pm ET Updated Mar 24, 2017

Neil deGrasse Tyson Crunches The Numbers On Donald Trump's Plan To Defund The Arts

Federal funding for cultural programs is equivalent to what Americans spend annually on lip balm.

WASHINGTON — Neil deGrasse Tyson is a numbers and data kind of guy. And the data he presented Wednesday speaks to the absurdity of the Trump administration’s plan to cut costs by eliminating funding for a pair of cultural agencies.

In fiscal year 2016, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities received roughly $300 million in combined federal funding — less than 0.01 percent of the U.S. budget. Yet, in an effort to reel in government spending, President Donald Trump has proposed eliminating all funding for both agencies.

Tyson pointed out in a series of tweets that the agencies’ combined budgets are roughly equivalent to what Americans spend annually on lip balm, and would fund fewer than five hours of military spending. 

The famed astrophysicist also hinted at the small-mindedness of such a proposal. 

But he made sure to note that he was simply delivering the facts — not pushing his own political views.

CORRECTION: This article previously misstated how much of the federal budget is allocated to the NEA and NEH. The figure is approximately 0.01 percent, not 0.0001 percent.

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