GOP leaders are sounding a chorus of sour notes at the latest news that the TARP fund has commissioned an official theme song. On Capitol Hill it has leaked that President Obama will unveil "According to Murphy" during his upcoming prime time address. Some are questioning why taxpayers may be asked to pay for an official slogan song for the TARP fund even if it is "peppy and uplifting."
Officials who agreed to speak off the record explained the genesis of this strange promotion. Apparently Larry Summers is a big country music fan and while he prefers music performed on the boxcar kazoo (an instrument made popular during the Great Depression) he enjoys the rollicking piano solos performed by Ara Eissler, an obscure country musician. So as part of the TARP mission to get the economy firing on all cylinders he asked the President's HOPE committee (Hobbies, Organisations, Pastimes, and Enrichment) for some ideas.
Their recommendations were twofold. Because of the current state of poor copyright enforcement, musical artists are unable to protect their creative property. The "every one's doing it" mentality leads some to believe music must be shared for free in the new business model and this directly affects Uncle Sam. Because artists aren't paid, they don't pay taxes on royalties. The US government loses 1 billion dollars a year in uncollected taxes on royalties from musicians and studios. The taxpayer picks up the slack to make up the difference. So if the TARP fund chooses to pay Ara Eissler for his song and he generates income from his intellectual property rights it will actually benefit the government come April 15th.
Furthermore, according to Michigan State's American Radio Survey Encyclopedia the majority of music (71%) is listened to by automobile travelers. So anything that promotes good music for the automobile consumer just makes good economic sense for manufacturers such as General Motors and Chrysler according to Mi.ARSE.
Or one could look at it as this is just another in the panoply of shovel ready projects America could invest in.