Mean. That’s what Democrats say about Republican efforts to cut spending. They even want to rope in the cowboy poet.

OBIT AUTRYDemocrats have decried a spending bill passed by House Republicans that would slash money for education, heating and food assistance for the poor, community health centers, public television and alternative energy sources.

Most people are familiar with federal spending in those areas.

But who knew that federal funding for the arts and humanities helped provide a spotlight for cowboy poets. 

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid complained on Tuesday that the “mean-spirited” House Republican spending bill for this year would eliminate spending for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“These programs create jobs,” Reid said. “The National Endowment for the Humanities is the reason we have in northern Nevada every January a cowboy poetry festival.”
 
Reid said the festival, held in Elko, Nevada, attracts tens of thousands of people every year.