You might assume that a place that's so important to our national identity and so popular with the people would be well taken care of. You'd be wrong. The president and the Congress, Democrats as well as Republicans, have failed us as caretakers. They have squandered hundreds of billions of our tax dollars on wars, weaponry, corporate subsidies and boondoggles while turning a blind eye to the rising need of basic maintenance on America's attic.
As any homeowner knows, the failure to spend on repairs inevitably results in things like collapsing roofs, endangered collections and closed buildings. The Smithsonian is now $2.5 billion behind on necessary upkeep.
Yet our so-called leaders are still turning their backs on this remarkable institution. Democrat Dianne Feinstein told Smithsonian officials at a recent Senate hearing that they're on their own: "I see no way that that two-and-a-half-billion-dollar shortfall is ever going to be picked up by the public sector," she said.
Excuse me? The Smithsonian is the public sector, it belongs to the people, and it's a public responsibility. Instead of forcing it to charge entrance fees, hustle corporate sponsorships or hold bake sales, cut a few corporate subsidies, Senator, then do your duty to care for America's attic.