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September 5th, 2012
11:03 AM ET

Creative Coalition's Tim Daly: Defunding arts programs in America is 'bad business'

Creative Coalition president and Actor Tim Daly is in Charlotte, NC for the Democratic National Convention, one week after attending the Republican National Convention. He's working to improve the dialogue around funding arts programs in America, and he tells John Berman on "Early Start" that it's one of the most important investments the country could make.

"Entertainment is the second largest export of the United States of America," Daly says. "It's a huge driver of our economy. And I would like it to be spoken about by politicians on both sides for the same amount of gravitas and respect that we speak about the automobile industry or the pharmaceutical industry or the insurance industry. It's a huge part of who we are. And, you know, I would especially like the Democrats and someone like Kal Penn who owes everything he has to the arts to talk about the vibrancy and the importance of the arts in this country. You know, the Creative Coalition are big defenders of the national endowment for the arts."

Daly notes that some studies have shown that students who get a full education including a focus on the arts are more likely to graduate from high school. He also addresses GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney's claim that he would cut funding for the National Endowment for the Arts if he were elected president.

"That is bad business, because every dollar spent by the federal government on the national endowment for the arts reaps them seven tax dollars in return. Now, those are odds you take to Vegas or Wall Street any day of the week. And if Mitt Romney knows anything about business, he would know that that is a good investment," he says.

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