Should D.C.'s museums start charging fees?

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Courtesy jurvetson/Flickr
Apollo Command Module, at the National Air & Space Museum

One federal budget proposal is to end free admission to the Smithsonian museums. If this happened, museums in Washington, D.C., such as the National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of Natural History, might charge $7.50 an adult.

The bipartisan panel tasked by President Obama to pinpoint policies to fix our national financies would like to add fees for entry to favorite institutions. (See the full proposal. It opens as a PDF; you can download free Adobe software here).

A fee of about $7.50 an adult could earn the federal government about $225 million a year, says the commission.

To be clear, neither the Democratic nor the Republican party has officially endorsed adding fees to D.C.'s national museums. This idea is merely something being discussed among options.

What do you think? Should Smithsonian museums charge an admission fee of about $7.50 an adult? Or should admission to the National Zoo and National Gallery remain free?

What do you think? Should Smithsonian museums charge an admission fee of about $7.50 an adult?

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