SLIPKNOT, KORN And NICKELBACK Namechecked In RAND PAUL's Report On Wasteful Government Spending

December 23, 2023

SLIPKNOT, KORN, SMASHING PUMPKINS and NICKELBACK are among the artists who were mentioned in Kentucky senator Rand Paul's annual "Festivus Report" of wasteful government spending.

The 2023 listing found $900 billion in federal waste this year, including some of the more than $200 million that was doled out to "dozens of famous music artists and their touring companies" under the Small Business Administration's Shuttered Venue Operators Grant. The program, Paul said, "was supposed to provide a lifeline to small entertainment businesses nationwide." Instead, the report found, "so-called 'small business owners,' such as Post Malone, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown and SMASHING PUMPKINS, received up to $10 million each," Paul said. "Even NICKELBACK received $2 million."

Other artists and groups to partake in such grants were Usher ($3.1 million),Leann Rimes ($2 million),Melissa Etheridge ($3.9 million),KORN ($5.3 million) and SLIPKNOT ($9.7 million),with the latter band's Knotfest music festival receiving a $1.05 million grant.

"While some may claim these funds were used to keep supporting staff," Paul wrote, "artists were not required to do so, and we have no way of determining how these blank checks were used."

The Small Business Administration's Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program provided over $16 billion to closed venues.

Eligible businesses includes live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, performing arts organizations, talent representatives and movie theaters. The SBA also prioritized businesses that saw the greatest losses during the pandemic.

Applicants were eligible to receive 45% of their 2019 gross revenue up to $10 million per grant. To qualify for the grant, businesses had to have been open on February 29, 2020. Any federal Paycheck Protection Program loans the companies had forgiven would have had to be subtracted from the total grants.

The $16 billion Small Business Administration's Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program was originally passed in a COVID relief package during the Trump administration. It was amended by the Biden administration's American Rescue Plan.

Celebrated annually on December 23, Festivus is an anti-holiday popularized in a 1997 "Seinfeld" episode. Billed as "Festivus for the rest of us," it is celebrated as an all-inclusive, secular alternative to Christmas consumerism.

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