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Obama Budget Asks For 1% Boost In Research

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the don't-spend-it-all-in-one-place dept.

Government 351

sciencehabit sends this excerpt from ScienceInsider: "One of the big three research agencies appears to be lagging behind its doubling peers in the president's 2013 budget request released this morning. The $4.9 billion budget of the Department of Energy's Office of Science would rise by 2.4%, to $5 billion. In contrast, the National Science Foundation would receive a nearly 5% boost, to $7.37 billion, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology a hike of 13%, to $860 million. These three agencies were originally singled by President George W. Bush in 2006 for a 10-year budget doubling, a promise that President Barack Obama and Congress have repeatedly endorsed despite the current tough economic times. ... Obama is asking for a 1% increase in overall federal spending on research, to $140 billion. Within that total, the White House seeks a similar 1% hike in the $30 billion devoted to basic research."

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351 comments

This is AMERICA. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39023811)

This is America.

We don't need any increase in spending for research. We don't need science.

Where's the JESUS? Why haven't they put that in the budget?

Bush did what? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39023821)

Thanks a lot, /. And just how do you propose that I cram this datum into the politically-convenient narrative of science-hating Republicans that the internet has been spoon-feeding for years?

Re:Bush did what? (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39023893)

Republicans love science as long as it's something they can monetize and doesn't conflict with their social agenda.

Re:Bush did what? (2, Insightful)

ThisIsNotMyHandel (1013943) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024107)

Social agenda? Like Solyndra.........

Re:Bush did what? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024363)

A social agenda is not bad in itself.

But they can range from the founding fathers of the American Revolution to the Nazi Party.

Sadly, the one of the conservatives slide closer to the nefarious, not that they would admit it, disguising it under more benign terms.

Like their recent calls for religious liberty. They don't want to admit it is realty about attacking Obama while controlling women. Does that mean Obama has no agenda? Of course not, but giving women the free choice to engage in sex without shame and with medical attention, well that is just and right.

You think with all their rants about communists they'd be more interested in recognizing the practices of deception, but it's far easier to keep on decieving.

Re:Bush did what? (1)

repapetilto (1219852) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024695)

giving women the free choice to engage in sex without shame and with medical attention

Can you please expand on this with reference to the actual law? I know what you are referring to but I just want to hear it explained in your own words.

Re:Bush did what? (4, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024111)

Politicians love (insert buzzword here) as long as it's something they can monetize and doesn't conflict with their social agenda.

FTFY.

Re:Bush did what? (3, Insightful)

ShavedOrangutan (1930630) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024295)

Republicans love science as long as it's something they can monetize and doesn't conflict with their social agenda.

Democrats love science as long as it's something they can socialize and control.

(Hey, it's just as much bullshit as your comment.)

Re:Bush did what? (2)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024339)

Republicans love science as long as it's something they can monetize and doesn't conflict with their social agenda.

Democrats love science as long as it's something they can socialize and control.

(Hey, it's just as much bullshit as your comment.)

Given that the hottest, fastest growing company is Facebook (a tool for socialism) it would seem like Americans by and large like things that are socialized...

(this bullshit pile isn't quite tall enough yet.)

Re:Bush did what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024585)

Republicans love science as long as it's something they can monetize and doesn't conflict with their social agenda.

Democrats love science as long as it's something they can socialize and control.

The radical right wing will find a way to put Jebus in the way of the money.

Social agendas like battling AIDS in Africa? (3, Informative)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024375)

Republicans love science as long as it's something they can monetize and doesn't conflict with their social agenda.

Social agendas like battling AIDS in Africa?

"President-elect Barack Obama doesn't often offer praise for President George W. Bush's foreign policy, but on Monday he offered the outgoing head of state accolades for battling AIDS in Africa. "I salute President Bush for his leadership in crafting a plan for AIDS relief in Africa and backing it up with funding dedicated to saving lives and preventing the spread of the disease," Obama said in taped remarks to the Saddleback Civil Forum on Global Health.""
http://articles.cnn.com/2008-12-01/us/world.aids.day_1_aids-relief-anti-retroviral-president-s-emergency-plan?_s=PM:US [cnn.com]

Re:Bush did what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024421)

Republicans love science as long as it's something they can monetize and doesn't conflict with their social agenda.

You missed the phraseology: "Republicans love that science stuff..." it's essentially foreign, black box material, but can be useful for generating money when it's not contravening God's will

Re:Bush did what? (5, Informative)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39023963)

Well, for starters, he only asked to increase the budget for science in his last year in office. In previous years he had been cutting it. Also his party opposed him on the increases. Then there's the fact that he routinely cut funding for agencies that violated the Republican dogma, such as the EPA. Oh, and the fact that one of the key aspects of the Republican Party platform is the lie that all the scientists in the world are part of one big conspiracy to trick people into thinking the world is getting hotter. Not to mention the Republican Party's constant support for creationism. And their turning the world "intellectual" into a pejorative.

The Republicans are very much anti-intellectual. You can pretend otherwise if that helps you sleep at night, but you are fooling yourself.

Re:Bush did what? (-1, Troll)

operagost (62405) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024023)

You're the only fool I see here.

Re:Bush did what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024133)

Nice job replying to a well written, well thought out argument that cites specific examples with a one sentence ad hominem. Your strong reasoning has completely changed my way of thinking. Bush in 2012!

Re:Bush did what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024593)

Uh, it didn't cite specific examples. Thanks for playing though.

Re:Bush did what? (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024417)

While I despise liberals, libertarians and conservatives in about equal measure, his comments and observations are accurate.

Re:Bush did what? (3, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024257)

From TFA:

These three agencies were originally singled by President George W. Bush in 2006 for a 10-year budget doubling

From you:

The Republicans are very much anti-intellectual. You can pretend otherwise if that helps you sleep at night, but you are fooling yourself.

Just so we are clear:
If (
Republican does X)
Republicans are wrong;
Else
Republicans are wrong;
EndIf

Did I get that right?
Does it help you sleep at night knowing that whatever Republicans do, you will find fault?

Re:Bush did what? (1, Troll)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024341)

How do you sleep at night when we've seen this exact policy from the GOP for the last 4-6 years.

Clearly stated by Senate Minority Leader McConnell (KY):

"Our number one priority is to make Obama a one term President."

It really doesn't get much clearer than that.

Re:Bush did what? (1)

LehiNephi (695428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024453)

Considering that Obama has only been president for slightly more than three years (and president-elect for only 4 months more), I find it hard to believe that Mitch McConnell has been stating that objective for 4-6 years. Besides, if you look beyond that statement to the reasoning behind it, you might find that there's some logical rationale behind it.

Re:Bush did what? (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024671)

How do you sleep at night when we've seen this exact policy from the GOP for the last 4-6 years.

Clearly stated by Senate Minority Leader McConnell (KY):

"Our number one priority is to make Obama a one term President."

It really doesn't get much clearer than that.

Actually, it does get clearer than that:

“Well that is true, [making Obama a one-term President is] my single most important political goal along with every active Republican in the country. But that’s in 2012. Our biggest goal for this year is to get this country straightened out, and you can’t get this country straightened out if we don’t do something about spending, about deficit, about debt and get this economy moving again. So, our goal is to have a robust vibrant economy that will benefit all Americans, and that’s why I think this debate that we’re having right now is so important to our country’s future.”
-- Senate Minority Leader McConnell (KY)

Re:Bush did what? (1)

msheekhah (903443) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024431)

Bush != Republicans. Bush is a republican. All of Al McHogan is dead, but only some of the class of dead people are Al McHogan. Listen to people talk, and it is not an unfair generalization that they (a) don't understand science and (b) don't support science. However this can be said of democrats. The issue, is that they pursue policy that is diametric to science... which most democrats don't. The party affiliation does not equal a specific politician.

Re:Bush did what? (4, Informative)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024449)

A doubling over ten years does not mean double it now and keep it that way for a decade. It means "sometime in the future, when I'm not in office anymore, the next guy should double it". The fact is that compared to funding levels in 2000, their funding levels only received inflation adjustments through to the 2007 budget. Only in 2008 did they get a noticeable increase. This information is readily available on the organizations websites, such as here [nsf.gov] .

Now please, try to refute the parts about the Republicans supporting creationism or using "intellectual" as an insult. This should be a fun read.

Re:Bush did what? (3, Funny)

bug1 (96678) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024563)

If (
Republican does X)
Republicans are wrong;
Else
Republicans are wrong;
EndIf

Only a republican would format conditionals in such a haphazard and condesending manner ! ;)

Re:Bush did what? (-1, Troll)

ichthus (72442) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024459)

The Republicans are very much anti-intellectual.

The largest group of anti-intellectuals [dailymail.co.uk] in present-day America that I can think of would be OWS [youtube.com] . And, I'm pretty sure they're not Republican.

Re:Bush did what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024639)

You must not associate with any fundamentalist Xistians.

They still get their science from Bronze Age mythology, and they vote Republitard.

Re:Bush did what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024557)

Funny, I always thought that grouping people together and slandering them all at once was anti-intellectual. At least that's my take on it.
 
Things won't make a wide swing in the right direction as long as we see people with dopey labels instead of individual intent. By putting bigotry to work you're doing your best to ensure that progress will not be made.

Re:Bush did what? (4, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024057)

Pretty easy really:

Bush: I pledge to double research spending over the next 10 years

A year later, the Republicans lose the election, putting Obama in office. Either:

A) Obama meets the pledge, in which case he's spending uncontrollably on things that don't matter
or
B) Obama doesn't meet the goal, in which case he's a anti-science short thinking idiot.

Re:Bush did what? (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024555)

Both Republicans and Democrats have been too soft on Science and Technology instead preferring to spend money elsewhere.

Technology is not a priority for either party. Republicans prefer military spending- democrats prefer social spending. There isn't really anyone who is speaking out for technology.

More energy research? (1)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#39023825)

More energy research? But how will that impact our fossil-fuel overlords?!

On a serious note, my only real hope is that either patents won't be granted, or else they'll be granted and licensed at essentially no charge to American companies for the advances, and that companies would have to compete based on their efficiency and ability.

Of course, I'm probably living in a pipe dream.

What about the Green Overlords? (0)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39023917)

More energy research? But how will that impact our fossil-fuel overlords?!

Well if they would get up and suck at the teat the way the green industry is doing they would get just as much graft, er, research money.

The government SUCKS at deciding how to invest R&D money, and as noted it generally goes not to the most brilliant work but to people who made the "right" campaign contributions.

The government should if anything focus on X-Style prizes to improve some general category of thing i.e. batteries or practical means of constructing habitats on planets.

Re:What about the Green Overlords? (5, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024191)

How do you grant an X prize for basic science research? Basic science is the area where the government is absolutely needed because no company can afford to fund it as there is no payback in the horizon that a companies shareholders will find acceptable (excepting those with a government granted monopoly like Bell Labs). Most practical research should be left to the private sector because as you say the government is not particularly effective at picking the right horse.

Re:What about the Green Overlords? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024273)

The govt should invest in anything that provides broad public benefit and requires a massive capital expenditure .. because you won't find private capital to do that.

Why do you think the founding fathers required the government to setup post offices and roads? Why didnt they put that solely in the hands of the private sector? Its because the private sector can easily monopolize it.

For example you know how the oil cartel restricts the supply to inflate the gas prices .. imagine if we ran out of oil and someone invented a workable solar cell (that is, with an energy buyback measured in days) .. if the inventors have a patent enforced monopoly on it. .. they too will pull the diamond mafia & OPEC style pricing on it. Just for inventing something a year or two ahead of some other independent inventor. How is that correct? This could happen with batteries too.
Second example .. a patent run out in 20 years .. why would anyone invest $25 billion to build a Fusion test facility for research over 15 years and then another 10 years to build a multi billion dollar demo power generation facility ? by the time they have a working facility the patents on the original ideas would have expired
Third example .. the fusion facility uses existing unpatentable theories why would the capital market pour billions to prove that a public domain idea works? It will give an advantage to competitors who didnt spend their capital.

Re:More energy research? (1)

LehiNephi (695428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024367)

Personally, I'm wondering why we should be increasing research spending at all. Unfortunately, our political environment has become such that a spending freeze is often mischaracterized as "you're cutting off funding for X" when in fact such a proposal is status quo.

How about zero? (0, Offtopic)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#39023837)

A good counter-offer is $0 for research. Balance the budget over 10 years if you want there to be money for your pet programs. The same counter-offer should go for every other item in the budget.

Re:How about zero? (4, Insightful)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39023895)

Better to cut defense spending and fix the tax laws than to cut research spending. The last thing this country needs is to fall further and further behind the rest of the world.

Re:How about zero? (1, Troll)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024021)

Cutting defense spending and fixing the tax laws can't produce enough money to balance the budget.

Re:How about zero? (4, Insightful)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024231)

But cutting a far smaller research budget will? Where's the logic in that?

And who says that a balanced budget is the right thing to do? Economists will tell you that a balance budget when you are trying to grow the economy is a bad idea. People just think blanketly that you always have to balance your budget but it just doesn't work that way on the scale and scope of a government our size.

Now that's not to say that things aren't out of whack. You just need to prioritize things.

Re:How about zero? (2, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024361)

But cutting a far smaller research budget will? Where's the logic in that?

The budget can't be balanced until people learn to give up things. That means everyone. If you want to say "my pet program is exempt", then so will everyone else. Then no one gives up anything, and the problems just get worse.

And who says that a balanced budget is the right thing to do? Economists will tell you that a balance budget when you are trying to grow the economy is a bad idea.

When do we not want to grow the economy? Apparently, the answer is "in the future, when the bill for the spending comes due". Ask Greece how well borrowing and spending works to permanently sustain economic growth.

You just need to prioritize things.

Says the guy who wants money spent on his pet programs.

Re:How about zero? (2)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024645)

Why do you keep calling it my pet program? Do I look like a politician to you? And what makes you think that science and research is a pet program? You wouldn't be debating on this website with me if it wasn't for government spending on science and research.

Yes you usually want to grow the economy but you definitely don't want to shrink it now.

Re:How about zero? (3, Informative)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024267)

Sure they can, just allowing the Bush era tax cuts to expire gets rid of basically all of the growth in the deficit (as a percentage of GDP, which is what matters) for the next twenty years or so. Science research is a self funding line item in that it increases GDP pretty much as fast as you fund it (within reason, mythical man month applies to science just as well as programming).

Re:How about zero? (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024381)

Sure they can, just allowing the Bush era tax cuts to expire gets rid of basically all of the growth in the deficit (as a percentage of GDP, which is what matters) for the next twenty years or so.

False.

Re:How about zero? (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024651)

Cutting defence spending would actually make things worse, not better. The government, no matter the programme, is a giant mechanism to pay its own citizens money from other citizens. If you cut defence spending by 500 billion dollars that 500 billion dollars worth of people who now collect unemployment, income supplements etc. And there's no other jobs eagerly awaiting those people unfortunately, oh and all of the stuff they were working on no longer exists to try and sell to other people.

It seems odd, but governments should more or less do the exact opposite of the economy. When the economy is doing well they can trim spending and cut employment, since the private sector absorbs all of those people. And when the economy is doing badly they hire more people to do things to make up for lost jobs and because they're paying unemployment insurance anyway, you may as well pay people to actually do something.

The US deficit is only about 1 trillion USD. (Not debt, deficit), which is about 6%, but the economy is growing by about 3%, so the net is a 3% of GDP increase in relative debt. Even with debt 100% of GDP lots of countries have sustained themselves quite well for a long time with much higher debt than that, and the US deficit is a two fold product of unnecessary tax cuts and the economic downturn moving people from paying into the government to taking from in in the form of unemployment and various reduced income benefits they now qualify for. Raising taxes by 200 billion a year, and having 200 billion dollars worth of benefits no longer necessary due to those people working again suddenly puts your debt back to relatively shrinking. And even a few years of 3-4% economic growth shrinks the US debt as a percent of GDP a lot.

It's not spectacular, but overall the US debt situation really isn't that bad. The vast majority of debt is owed in your own currency, to your own people, and with a growing population and economy it doesn't take very long for things to get sorted out pretty well.

My raise taxes by 200 billion and cut spending by 200 billion is arbitrary, but not far off from raising taxes by 150 billion a year (i.e. clean up the tax code, considering you collect almost 3 trillion in taxes), cutting defence on foreign wars by their current 150 billion, cut medicare and medicaid expenses by everyone having health insurance, slightly reduce US regular defence spending and in not too long the situation is pretty good.

If you want to actually have any economic growth or job creation in the US you need publicly funded research. Those are the people who create industries that create jobs and who train the people who can lead those industries.

Re:How about zero? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024433)

The last thing this country needs is to fall further and further behind the rest of the world.

Obama has accelerated the fall of the US in his years in office, although it was already happening before he was in power. Another Obama term in office and the US will be hardly sustainable as a country. The man is a walking disaster.

Re:How about zero? (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024669)

How do you figure that? Did he create the deadlock in the Congress? You really need to look up what presidents can and cannot do before you spew such nonsense.

Good debt vs bad debt. (2)

zerofoo (262795) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024561)

Current politics has pushed out all rational discussion of good debt vs. bad debt. Nationally and individually we would all suffer with lower quality of life if not for good debt.

Good debt produces a return on that debt greater than the interest paid on that debt. Who here paid cash for their house, or for their education? Both are considered good debt (generally speaking) since wise purchasing using that debt results in accrued equity (the house) or increased income (education). Assuming you don't buy a McMansion at the height of the market or pay $100k for a university of phoenix degree, both debts produce value over the long run.

At the national level, research and infrastructure - even when funded by low-interest debt - produce returns far greater than the intrest paid on those loans. Infrastructure makes our economy attractive to business, and basic research gives us a technological edge in every field.

These are two areas of spending that SHOULD be funded via low interest debt, and our creditors don't seem to think that the US is in danger of default any time soon based on recent US Treasury auctions.

Re:Good debt vs bad debt. (2)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024663)

Above a certain amount, all debt is bad. Especially when you have no strategy to ever pay it back or even borrow less.

...our creditors don't seem to think that the US is in danger of default any time soon based on recent US Treasury auctions.

And this will continue to be true. Until it's not. Then what?

Re:How about zero? (5, Insightful)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 2 years ago | (#39023915)

Research is food for the economy. We won't be able to balance the budget if there's no revenue, and there won't be revenue without businesses providing jobs, and there won't be jobs without innovative new technologies and products.

Your proposal for the economy is like balancing a household's budget by eliminating all spending on food. Sure, if you can do that over 10 years you'll go a long way towards balancing your budget, but more than likely by that point your household's members are either all dead or spending all their time subsistence begging while living under a bridge (with a household budget of $0).

And if research is food, education is water. Sorry this is a food analogy instead of a car analogy.

Re:How about zero? (0)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024113)

So balance the budget over 10 years including an (accurate, historically-supported, conservatively-calculated) increase in revenue as a result of research.

Research doesn't balance the budget. Stop pretending it does. It might (or might not) help a little bit. What about the rest?

Re:How about zero? (3, Insightful)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024655)

Research doesn't balance the budget.

That's like saying college tuition doesn't pay for your salary after you graduate.

That whole internet economy? Government funded research built it (insert stale Al Gore joke if you must).

Interstate highway system, infrastructure 'investment' without which this country simply wouldn't be a shadow of itself today. And you know how they built it? Using research paid for by the government.

There isn't enough money to balance the budget through cuts. The only way to balance the budget is through growth. And research investment is a tried and proven way to increase growth.

Re:How about zero? (1)

crutchy (1949900) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024115)

Ah the old "you have to spend money to make money" business adage. Too bad big business is the only beneficiary of government R&D spending; everyone else pays twice over... first as a taxpayer and then as a consumer.

A more financially responsible move would be to "INVEST" in R&D (with selection possibly based on a tender process), so at least the taxpayer can get some dividends.

Re:How about zero? (1, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024483)

A more financially responsible move would be to "INVEST" in R&D (with selection possibly based on a tender process)

Like Solyndra?

Re:How about zero? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39023959)

With a car analogy, that would be like removing the engine to reduce the weight.

Re:How about zero? (-1, Flamebait)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024239)

Without a car analogy, it's a suggestion for you to grow up and stop contributing to the problem.

Re:How about zero? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024255)

With a car analogy, that would be like removing the engine to reduce the weight.

And you'd get better gas mileage to boot!

Double win!

Re:How about zero? (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024043)

Never happen. Anything less than the expected increase (always above inflation, of course) counts as a "cut" by the politician's opponents, and of course you can't "cut" welfare or defense, which means you have to increase the spending on those programs well beyond inflation. Since those are the biggest spenders in the budget, the result is an ever-growing budget with absolutely no chance of being balanced anytime soon.

You are absolutely right, what is needed is someone to say "everything gets a cut (a genuine, less-money-spent-than-last-year cut), no exceptions, period." The trouble is, no one has those kinds of balls, except maybe Ron Paul, and his election is doubtful.

Wrong! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024221)

Balancing the budget does nothing. It's the carrot in front of the horse. We had a balanced budget a decade plus back. In less than 3 years after that, it was squashed to the level what it was a decade before. Why is it so much harder to balance the budget than to spend ourselves into oblivion? You need only look at historical economic cycles, and spending events to see that periods of debt actually move things along. Slowly, but they do.

As far as funding, sorry but research is how the US maintains anything resembling advantage over foreign companies rapidly catching up to our technology R&D envelope. There's a reason most of the industrial espionage happing to US companies is coming from the China. Easier than funding it themselves. Also, China unquestionably has rapid technology production capabilities that the US has never had, and never will.

You really want to kill the US? Halt publically funded R&D. You push it to private, which unless there is something profitable in the end, it won't be researched. Yes, general research doesn't have to be directly profitable, as it expands human knowledge of all things, leading to a wider variety of interpretation of ideas that can be made profitable in the future.

Balancing a budget? Sure. Then what, since we're 5 years behind what China, India, and Europe are doing as they leap frog us on R&D.

Re:How about zero? (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024243)

No research means no advances means buying more from other countries means lower GDP means less taxes means decrease in currency value means increase in debt.

Re:How about zero? (1)

Creepy (93888) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024419)

My guess is ARPA continues to use the money on stuff like better batteries, but I agree, this should be $0 until the budget is balanced - in fact, I would take it one step further - is at a surplus to pay back debt and start funding social security and medicare for the future. I personally wish they'd do research on the types of Gen IV reactors that burn nuclear waste instead and turn a storage problem into an energy solution. That said, there are a lot worse things for the federal government to waste money on.

And speaking of balancing the budget, why not close some of the loopholes that people use not to pay taxes? Let's make Senators fly coach instead of first class, stay in hotel rooms not suites, not get lifetime pay for doing a job even after they stop working, etc - I'm sick of footing their bills for luxury living - they can foot their own bump to first class. And even though the wealthiest people pay 70% of taxes, 50% of them don't pay - figure that out. We could use a bit of austerity here, starting with cutting perks to the rich who don't need those perks in the first place and are abusing power to have them. And I completely disagree with taxing the rich more - fix the tax code and collect taxes already. I realize that isn't an overnight process, since the damn thing is a wall of tomes (over 70k pages), but start with some big ones and work your way down.

Invest in the future for US %~P (1, Funny)

OldHawk777 (19923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39023871)

Well should it happen? The religious conservative of US will say no, but will claim "no way" with the budget deficit.

I mean we should all know by now, Ronald Reagan the last fiscal conservative died. All the political conservatives today are un-American religious-oppression right-wing-nuts.

Re:Invest in the future for US %~P (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024687)

Political conservatives today are no Eisenhowers, that's for sure

2.4% is not an increase (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#39023883)

And a 1% increase is actually a decrease. You have to talk in inflation-adjusted numbers for it to mean anything. That said, just maintaining the status quo is somewhat generous; we do need to back off govt. spending as the economy improves.

Re:2.4% is not an increase (0)

operagost (62405) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024071)

It's not enough for progressives to call a smaller increase from year to year a "cut". Now, they're calling increases that fall short of inflation a "cut". I'm sure you were calling for the budget to be cut in 2010 after we had less than 1% inflation in 2009, right?

Re:2.4% is not an increase (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024135)

Yes. If your increase doesn't beat inflation that is a cut. You are spending less real money on it this year than you did last year.

Re:2.4% is not an increase (2)

the gnat (153162) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024179)

It's not enough for progressives to call a smaller increase from year to year a "cut"

It's not just progressives who do this. When Obama proposed raising the defense budget by a smaller amount than previously proposed, he was immediately attacked for "cutting" defense spending.

Re:2.4% is not an increase (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024485)

That is very valid thinking and another thought would be to consider any cuts that don't address the interest payments from unsound fiscal policy should not be considered cuts.

Re:2.4% is not an increase (2)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024097)

we do need to back off govt. spending as the economy improves.

Many economists would disagree with you.

Re:2.4% is not an increase (0)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024297)

Many economists would disagree with you.

Now, as a logical fallacy is that an 'appeal to authority' or a 'reducto ad absurdum'?

Re:2.4% is not an increase (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024599)

It's a fallacy to point out that people who have studied a matter disagree with you? Now ideally you would point to where they have supported their argument, but the original statement (we do need to back off govt. spending as the economy improves.) was not backed up by any evidence either.

It's not a fallacy to point out the the relevant experts do not agree on a subject

inflation is not constant (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024101)

You can't assume that inflation is constant; in fact, in the past few years the cost of everything has pretty much stayed the same or decreased, so we very well may have had close to 0 inflation.

Re:inflation is not constant (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024173)

False.

Re:inflation is not constant (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024371)

You can't assume that inflation is constant; in fact, in the past few years the cost of everything has pretty much stayed the same or decreased, so we very well may have had close to 0 inflation.

You are either 1) Still in your basement and you mom keeps leaving food at the door or 2) you're in jail.

Re:inflation is not constant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024641)

Bernanke has been running his press into overdrive the last few years, the M3 numbers verify it. That is inflation - expansion of the money supply. When we have inflation, the price of commodities go up, and they have quite a bit relative to previous years. That the Federal Reserve is keeping interest rates so low until at least end of 2014 means the economy is shit, don't believe Obama's lies.

Re:2.4% is not an increase (2, Insightful)

pz (113803) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024147)

As pointed out, a 1% increase is not keeping pace with inflation, and is therefore a decrease in real dollars. The baked-in numbers for a typical grant allow approximately 3% year-to-year inflation, so 1% more money means every funded grant will see a reduction of 2% in buying power, on average (how would you feel about taking a 2% pay cut next year?). Also, since government agencies have already encumbered budgets for the most part (that is, most of their budget goes toward funding existing grants) a decrease in real dollars means it will become even HARDER to get a new grant in the future. It's already hit insane levels of difficulty to get an award: a given project can go from being evaluated near the top of the heap to don't-even-bother-us levels from one year to the next through the random, capricious nature of the review process (and I speak from hard experience on this). When only a few percent of grant applications are being funded, each selection is no longer purely a meritocratic decision. That is neither good for the US, nor for Science.

Re:2.4% is not an increase (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024203)

Snake eating it's tail. When you have to borrow 1 billion dollars, you have to sell bonds to the federal reserve. The federal reserve then *prints money* to pay you for the promise note. Borrowing money (from yourself) is THE reason for inflation (see printing). Fed it now buying 91% of US Treasury bonds...
Printing money to "keep up with inflation" only makes the problem worse. I also take issue with the economy improving. Google "federal tax reciepts". It appears that even with the "2 million new jobs", individual tax revenue is actually on a fairly scary down trend (Collecting a lot less personal income tax that we have in several years).
Also look at labor participation rate (how many people actually work) and you'll see that it's actually quote the opposite of +2 million. Debt has never been higher, deficit never been higher. Laborforce participation is at multi-decade low. Other than that, we're rolling..

Re:2.4% is not an increase (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024397)

Also look at labor participation rate (how many people actually work) and you'll see that it's actually quote the opposite of +2 million. Debt has never been higher, deficit never been higher. Laborforce participation is at multi-decade low. Other than that, we're rolling..

The Laborforce participation metrics are being skewed by legions of boomers deciding to stop slogging it out and calling it a career, going for retirement with what they may have scraped together already.

Re:2.4% is not an increase (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024305)

If you think the economy is improving you've been drinking Obama's koolaid. Obama is spending money we do NOT have, even as our debt has skyrocketed higher and much faster than GDP. Time tune out the White House propaganda machine, it's a lot worse out here than in the ivory towers in D.C.

Re:2.4% is not an increase (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024319)

This is not as affected by inflation as everything else. One of the biggest costs in any government project is government labor, and that has been frozen for a couple of years and representatives are discussing freezing it for 2+ more years.

Re:2.4% is not an increase (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024461)

That said, just maintaining the status quo is somewhat generous

When talking about investing in research, I don't know. I'd hate to get cancer in 20 years and there be no cure because we cut research spending, rather than social security, defense spending, or medicare. I mean, I realize that's a tough one politically, but maybe talk about it at least?

Private Companies Making Money At Taxpayer Expense (0)

ThisIsNotMyHandel (1013943) | more than 2 years ago | (#39023965)

So the federal government will subsidize the research costs of private organizations who will reap all of the profit (of commercially viable technology) while taking all of the risk while on the other side, the taxpayer will continue to subsidize politicians pet projects (Solyndra) of technology that has no commercial value. Great deal for corporations, bad deal for the consumer.

If the govt didnt support science (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39023989)

The Wright brothers couldn't have built their airplane because the Smithsonian institute wouldn't even have existed to send them the literature they needed.-
nd i wont even mention the moon shot.

Bribes always were effective (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024015)

So, he's buying off the academics so they continue to support him despite his horrible record on civil liberties and fetish for drone warfare? A winning strategy.

President Lawnchair, at it again (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024017)

Since he knew his fellow conservatives would want to cut the research budgets, he offered up a less-than-inflationary offer for an increase. He'll likely cave on either no increase whatsoever, or a small cut.

Thanks a lot, President Lawnchair. Maybe some time in my lifetime we'll get an actual liberal in the white house (though I can't think of when that would be)?

Re:President Lawnchair, at it again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024121)

yeah, liberal with money we don't have. asshole.

Re:President Lawnchair, at it again (2, Informative)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024365)

yeah, liberal with money we don't have. asshole.

You are erroneously assuming that liberals would only spend what isn't there. A liberal could cut the military budget and have enough to bring research spending up to where it should be and reform health care without increasing the national debt.

Instead we get one [wikipedia.org] conservative [wikipedia.org] after [wikipedia.org] another [wikipedia.org] conservative [wikipedia.org] after [wikipedia.org] another [wikipedia.org] conservative [wikipedia.org] . We don't seem capable of breaking this chain. We've had nothing but conservative presidents for around half a century now and no matter what happens we'll get another 4 years of a conservative president after the 2012 election.

Even more frustrating people will wonder why nothing changes... Quoth Lewis Black:

The American Democracy is a bucket of shit looking at itself in the mirror

Re:President Lawnchair, at it again (5, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024123)

Thanks a lot, President Lawnchair. Maybe some time in my lifetime we'll get an actual liberal in the white house (though I can't think of when that would be)?

I too would like to get a real liberal in the White House. Till that date comes, all I can do is to try my best keep the wacko Republicans from getting the Presidency, pack the courts, and hand over what little remains to the Mulitnational Corporations and the banksters. That means voting Obama.

Re:President Lawnchair, at it again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024577)

Does that mean you're personally offering to fund a larger increase? I'm thankful he's as lazy as I thought he would be, otherwise we would have dumb ideas like the Christmas tree tax on a daily basis. Who would an actual liberal be? John Kerry? Nancy Pelosi? If they were regular 2nd class citizens like us, they would be in jail for all their fraud.

Re:President Lawnchair, at it again (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024637)

A book I'm going to need to read soon has an awesome title:

The Obama Syndrome: Surrender at Home, War Abroad

Humble Request (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024045)

More efficient spending, not more (or less) spending, please.

For the love of all that's holy - Stop this maddening, never-ending cycle of coming up with new ways to increase expenditures faster than new ways to increase revenue.

Eliminate the waste. It's the only way to move in the right direction. Give my generation hope.
This is not a problem caused by liberals or conservatives. It's a problem caused by politicians. All of them.

Re:Humble Request (1)

khr (708262) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024351)

More efficient spending, not more (or less) spending, please.

This is what I'd like to see... Spend on whatever gives us more bang for the buck... Somehow, I don't think war is giving it to us, it's spending a lot of money with little return, when there's a million other things the same money can be spent on that'll help people and help boost the economy. All that we're spending on war is just like burning bucks for bangs, with very little return back into the system.

more money for Club Fed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024087)

when pigs fly

And the National Institutes of Health Gets ... (5, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024131)

...Nothing.

The National Institutes of Health would also see its budget remain flat, at $30.7 billion

Thanks a lot. And for those of you who think you don't care, it's worth pointing out that NIH is the first funding agency to require publications coming from its work to be put in open-access or publicly-accessible journals. The other agencies are still allowing their work to go into paywalled journals at the time. So even if you don't agree with their mission of health research, you might want to at least take notice that they are trying to ensure that the work the taxpayer pays for is in a place where the taxpayer doesn't have to pay again to see the results.

And being as NIH grant success rate is at an all-time low [sciencemag.org] (same source), the odds of more great original research coming from their effectively-reduced budget is miniscule.

Re:And the National Institutes of Health Gets ... (2)

the gnat (153162) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024225)

NIH is the first funding agency to require publications coming from its work to be put in open-access or publicly-accessible journals.

I'm pretty sure this is not true - NIH-funded researches still publish in Nature or Elsevier journals all the time, without paying extra to make their work open-access. (I know this because I get c**kblocked by the paywall every time I'm browsing the literature on a weekend.) The requirement is actually that they deposit the manuscript in PubMed Central within either 6 months or a year (I forget which) after publication, regardless of what other arrangement may have been made with the journal. So everything funded by the NIH should, in theory, become open-access eventually, just not immediately. It's an imperfect solution, but still a huge improvement on what we had before.

Re:And the National Institutes of Health Gets ... (1)

Bowling Moses (591924) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024697)

I have a hard time believing it's as good as your link says. Thinking about the funding opportunities I applied for in the last three years I'd say the funding success rate in my experience is much closer to 8% than 18%. I can think of two grants I wrote (one NIH, one USDA) where the success rate ended up less than 5%. If we went back to the 30% success rate of 2003 I'd be dancing buck-naked on top of the lab benches...so I guess there's an upside to the abysmal funding since nobody wants to see that.

And about that 1% (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39024141)

98% of that 1% will likely go to gov't contractors that do the work of the researchers.

In other news (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024187)

In other news China's technological espionage department has just petitioned Beijing to allow them another 1% more funding to help steal the extra technology discovered from America's 1% tech research spending increase.

1% is pathetic. (2)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 2 years ago | (#39024465)

A 5% increase, devoted mostly to energy research would make sense. Diverting all money from the Mars/Moon budget would certainly help. Near Earth orbit is research. Until we have a money-positive, energy positive use for the moon or Mars, they're hubris and nothing more.

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