This type of argument is silly. Compare the following two resumes:
A. Joined the military after High school. served two years. Then went to college on the GI bill. Got a job working for a non profit and became director. Ran for Congress. Served there for a decade and then became Attorney General. Has authored several well written books on public policy.
B. Graduated High school. Went to work at McDonalds. Has been there for twenty years. Is a manager.
and to be really technical about it, book royatlies are not "paychecks" in the classic sense. Nevertheless, he did work for a lawfirm. Larger point: It's irrelevant. Republicans use this type of argumetn all the time. "Gubbamint jobs ain't work", but they would never say to this someone who spent his adult lifetime in the military, which isn't a for profit organization.
I haven't read about massive numbers of artists or makers or art supplies being laid off though. The point is we need to deliver as much bang for the buck and ASAP. I support funding for the arts, but it isn't urgent. Insufficient infrastructure spending can result in death, as we saw in Minnesota. Insufficient art spending results in "Starving artists",which is often the case no matter no good the economy is.
There is in fact NEA money in there. There should not be. We should really be focusing on a large, public works/R&D oriented bill that will get as many people working again in as short a time possible. Saving money in the long term, as family planning will do is a good thing but it won't help the economy at this stage.
Yes we won. And as winners, we have to act responsibly for the good of the entire nation. Jamming the stimulus bill with unrelated matters like this jeopardizes its chances and endagers all we have fought so hard to win.
The goal of a "stimulus bill" should be just that: stimulating the economy. Again, no one is denying that educational programs for the poor are a good idea. But this bill is direly needed to prevent total collapse of the economy, and quickly. Education should be taken up in another bill.
This is why we should avoid adding too many extraneous items. It happens all the time. Opponents seize on something that doesnt' fit, call it "pork" and then have a justification to oppose it, and the media goes right along with it.