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John Legend: Take my tax cut. Please.

The Associated Press, Friday, February 25, 2011, 2:54am (PST)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Singer John Legend was in Washington to sing at the White House on Thursday but he had a few choice words for the politicians in town, too.

Legend told reporters before an evening concert celebrating Motown's music that too often the arts are the first thing to go when budgets need to be cut.

"People fought to give me — a millionaire — a tax cut this year," he said. "I didn't need it. And all the other millionaires didn't need it either."

The singer said he'd benefited from cultural organizations such as community choirs and arts councils in earlier years, which often suffer when budgets get trimmed.

"I hope our politicians will not think that they are expendable and they can just get rid of them and nobody will feel the pain," he said. "Because I think society will feel the pain."

He added: "I'm really frustrated with some of the discourse that's coming out of Washington."

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