(ALBERTO TOLOT / HBO / November 28, 2006)

If I ran the NEA? I'd abolish it. I'd be the Gorbachev of federal arts endowing and destroy my own job as the head of it. Artists are so self-important -- art is basic to human nature, it will always be produced and does not need the government's help. The NEA is a perfect example of Mission Creep: The government's job is to protect you, from external enemies and internal criminals, and to maintain roads, schools, and a social safety net. Art is far afield, and in no danger of going away without government money or guidance.