Monika Gross wrote the New York Times to object to the attitude prevalent among many in Congress that arts workers are not real workers. Here’s her position:
Most of us are hard-working Americans, putting in long hours for low wages. Many of us are union members. If legislators really think we are such useless members of American society unworthy of scarce taxpayer dollars, then they should propose legislation exempting us from paying taxes. Until that day, stop mislabeling and misunderstanding us and acknowledge that we contribute as much and deserve the same benefits as any other American taxpayer — no more and no less.
It is irrational to hold a belief that somehow artists are not a vital part of this country’s infrastructure. Look around you. Our work and our influence are everywhere. After all, that money you say artists don’t deserve, who do you think designed and engraved it?
Money for the Arts (The New York Times)