Big government Manhattan progressives adored it. Left-leaning record store owners and booksellers piled up the CD and tomes. The glitterati showered it with eleven “Tony” awards. It grossed more than $650 million from people who voluntarily shelled out their cash, and now, this cheesy glorification of one of the most corrupt and disreputable Founding Era men just received what might be the most fitting award of all.
The “Hamilton” production team reportedly has received $30 million in COVID Bailout money.
Hope you liked the show.
The New York Times’ Michael Paulson writes that, despite the musical playing to packed houses since it debuted in 2015, despite being seen by 2.6 million people, the Broadway production and two of its four touring shows just got news that they’ll get your hard-earned cash, and there soon could be more handed to them:
As of this week, “Hamilton” has been approved for $10 million each for the Broadway production and two touring productions; it has not yet heard about the other two tours.
That’s $30 million so far, thanks to the bureaucratic and unconstitutional federal “Small Business Administration” (SBA), which in April laid out details of how it will magically turn your cash into theatrical pork. Notes Paulson:
The rollout of the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant initiative, a $16 billion federal aid program designed to help get cultural organizations back on their feet after the pandemic forced many to close, has been plagued by delays and confusion. But the Small Business Administration, which is administering the program, has begun announcing grant recipients, and there are indications that Broadway and its affiliated businesses could fare well.
Indeed. As mentioned, the $30 million for “Hamilton” is not necessarily the end. The SBA might offer a curtain call of $20 million more… because, of course, your choices about what to do with your money aren’t as important as the Washington, DC, politicians’ choices.
What if you didn’t want to give “Hamilton” your money, or even employ bureaucrats at the SBA to keep cooking at this giant pork-fest?
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Which seems perfectly fitting, since Alexander Hamilton himself was the originator of American pork handouts to benefit his pals. He was a central proponent of the slimy practice of finding “implied powers” in the strict wording of their Constitution. It was Hamilton who convinced George Washington to engage in one of the most egregiously pernicious actions of his life: the unconstitutional use of a military bigger than the Army of the Potomac to march on western Pennsylvania whiskey makers in order to collect excise taxes – a "collection" process never spelled out by the Constitution and which Hamilton and his cronies holding Revolutionary War bonds wanted so that they could profit mightily on the bonds they bought for pennies prior to the adoption of the Constitution.
As economist and economic historian Thomas DiLorenzo observed in 2008:
When Hamilton engineered the nationalization of the states’ debt as treasury secretary — something that was totally unnecessary since many states like Virginia had nearly paid off their war debts — the plan was to cash out much of the old debt at face value. This immediately became public knowledge in New York City, but the news spread ever so slowly to the rest of the country. Consequently, Hamilton’s friends and supporters from New York City and New England went on a mad scramble down the eastern seaboard, purchasing bonds from hapless war veterans (who had been paid in bonds) for as little as two percent of par value. Huge fortunes were made by these slick New York speculators. Robert Morris pocketed a nifty $18 million. John Quincy Adams wrote to his father that the wealthiest Federalist lawyer in Massachusetts made a huge fortune with this caper. Hamilton participated in this parade of plunder himself, but claimed that the profits he made were for his brother-in-law.
And, as DiLorenzo notes for the Mises Institute:
Hamiltonian mercantilism is essentially the economic and political system that Americans have lived under for several generations now: a king-like president who rules through "executive orders" and disregards any and all constitutional constraints on his powers; state governments that are mere puppets of the central government; corporate welfare run amok…
All of which brings us back to the contemporary US super-state, the diseased scion Hamilton helped create, the machine of perpetual predation that now is handing $30 million to the makers of a musical glorification of the man who started US pork in what he called “internal improvements.”
And “Hamilton” isn’t alone in getting the unconstitutional graft.
Writes the NYT’s Paulson:
As of Monday, the administration said that among the entities getting $10 million, which is the maximum available for a single grant, were two Broadway landlords, the Nederlander Organization, which controls nine Broadway theaters (one of which houses “Hamilton”), and Jujamcyn Theaters, which controls five, as well as the Roundabout Theater Company, a nonprofit that runs three Broadway houses. David Byrne’s Broadway show, “American Utopia,” was also among those getting $10 million.
Incredible, and insulting. But par for the course – the unconstitutional course laid out by Hamilton, himself, over 200 years ago.