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Senate Bill Raises Possibility of Withdrawl From ITER As Science Cuts Loom

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the brought-to-you-by-duke-energy dept.

The Almighty Buck 180

ananyo writes "Are the knives coming out for ITER? A Senate Department of Energy spending bill, yet to be voted on, would cut domestic research for fusion and directs the DOE to explore the impact of withdrawing from ITER. The proposed cuts for domestic fusion research are in line with those proposed in the Obama administration's budget request but come after the House ... voted to boost ITER funding and to support the domestic program at almost 2012 levels on 6 June. U.S. fusion researchers do not want a withdrawal from ITER yet but if the 2014 budget looks at all like the 2013 one, that could change. 'They're not trying to kill ITER just yet,' says Stephen Dean, president of advocacy group Fusion Power Associates. 'If this happens again in 2014, I'm not so sure.' The problems for fusion could be small beans though. The 'sequester', a pre-programmed budget cut scheduled to take effect on 2 January, could cut 7.8% or more off science and other federal budgets unless Congress can enact last-minute legislation to reduce the deficit without starving U.S. science-funding agencies."

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180 comments

Gotta love politicans (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40763443)

Instead of cutting where its needed (gross government pay and military), they cut everything else instead.

And before hell is raised, yes the military budget CAN be cut. However, the way they have gone about it recently has been messy. 2 wars we're footing the bill for haven't helped either.

Re:Gotta love politicans (5, Interesting)

ZenDragon (1205104) | about 2 years ago | (#40763533)

Agreed. 2012 total military spending: $1.030–$1.415 trillion! Just a small fraction of that reallocated to research for something that would benefit all of humanity would make a HUGE difference. Hell while they're at it they should toss a couple billion towards this countries waning educational system.

Re:Gotta love politicans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40763885)

The US's education system is the most highly funded system in the world by a large margin already. The reason for its waning is not due to a lack of funding.

Re:Gotta love politicans (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#40764185)

I hear the words "teacher pay" starting to echo.

Well, here's on the Slashdot doesn't like to touch: administrator pay. Administrator pay is a problem in education, healthcare, the corporate sector, government agencies... it's across the board. And when it comes to education it's almost a taboo subject.

Re:Gotta love politicans (3)

DesScorp (410532) | about 2 years ago | (#40764627)

I hear the words "teacher pay" starting to echo.

Well, here's on the Slashdot doesn't like to touch: administrator pay. Administrator pay is a problem in education, healthcare, the corporate sector, government agencies... it's across the board. And when it comes to education it's almost a taboo subject.

It's not just administrator pay, it's also the sheer size of administration. And pork projects (yes, schools have those too) as well. The education budget for the most part is bloated, with little to show for it.

Re:Gotta love politicans (2)

darthdavid (835069) | about 2 years ago | (#40765153)

And pork projects (yes, schools have those too) as well.

Oh boy do they ever. The local school district is cutting everything they can and still in danger of going under for lack of funds. Part of that is because no one wants to raise property taxes but largely it's because every year or three for as long as I can remember they've basically been digging ditches just to fill them back in again. Repave a parking lot then almost immediately tear it up to build a new extension, destroy and remake 3 or 4 perfectly good tennis courts in less than a decade (despite not even having a tennis team), refurbishing the auditorium then tearing it down again. The fools couldn't waste more money if they were trying and then they wonder why no one wants to vote for a tax hike to pay for everything!

Of course, the ones to suffer are the kids. This district used to have all sorts of vocational training, an amazing arts department and one of the best music programs in the state. That's all getting cut, the combined district is merging with another and if the combined district manages to stay afloat for more than a few years it'll be a miracle...

Re:Gotta love politicans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40765775)

In states like MI, as well as many others, the bulk of the school funding goes into paying people not to work via pension plans [bridgemi.com] .

Until states (and the feds) get this under control you're never going to see an end to the lack of `funding' for our schools.

I'm ok with raising taxes if that would solve these funding issues, however I see zero evidence that is the case. I'd like to see the money spent on schools, no longer diverted away from actual teaching / educating for the purpose of pension payments and healthcare for retired teachers.

Re:Gotta love politicans (3)

Rei (128717) | about 2 years ago | (#40764487)

[blockquote]The US's education system is the most highly funded system in the world by a large margin already.[/blockquote]

You'd hardly know it from the results.

(Yes, you've got a lot of the best universities, blah blah blah... A) a large chunk of those students are international, and B) your high standard deviation on educational acheivement doesn't change the fact that your average sucks.)

Re:Gotta love politicans (5, Insightful)

DesScorp (410532) | about 2 years ago | (#40764677)

[blockquote]The US's education system is the most highly funded system in the world by a large margin already.[/blockquote]

You'd hardly know it from the results.

(Yes, you've got a lot of the best universities, blah blah blah... A) a large chunk of those students are international, and B) your high standard deviation on educational acheivement doesn't change the fact that your average sucks.)

First, you're right, in K-12, we have the highest spending in the world, and you're correct: you'd hardly know it from the results.

Second, our university system is at the edge of a precipice. Our colleges have been living off of their reputations for years, and other institutions across the world are catching up, or have caught up with us. Harvard and Yale... like Oxford and Cambridge... will always have a brand to sell, but our higher education bubble is going to burst soon, and it's going to make the housing bubble look small by comparison. We have too many colleges with too many students that shouldn't be their learning too much fluff and paying too much for it. If something can't last forever, it wont.

Re:Gotta love politicans (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | about 2 years ago | (#40766145)

[blockquote]The US's education system is the most highly funded system in the world by a large margin already.[/blockquote]

You'd hardly know it from the results.

    Why, it's almost as if throwing money at the problem doesn't solve it!

Re:Gotta love politicans (0)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#40763925)

The funny thing is, even if the US cut 100% of that spending overnight, it still wouldn't make up the deficit. Military spending, while it certainly doesn't help, is not the biggest problem with US spending. Not even close.

Re:Gotta love politicans (3)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 2 years ago | (#40764511)

It is when you haven't paid for it.

Re:Gotta love politicans (1)

Rei (128717) | about 2 years ago | (#40764671)

The funny thing is, even if the US cut 100% of that spending overnight, it still wouldn't make up the deficit.

It's approximately the same ($1171/$1253B) [cbo.gov] (depending on whether you use the baseline or proposed budget), and only that bad because of the economy. Projections for the future are $612B/$977B in 2013 down to $175B/$510B in 2018.

Re:Gotta love politicans (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#40764779)

Or social spending for that matter.

"We cut $50 million, or 0.0025% of the social spending budget, to fund this."

"My opponent made draconian cuts that will deeply impact the most vulnerable among us -- seniors and the disabled."

Re:Gotta love politicans (5, Insightful)

akeeneye (1788292) | about 2 years ago | (#40763595)

Yes, military spending should be cut back drastically. Endless pork for the military, endless, war, and demands for domestic spending cuts "because the government's broke" and "because we can't afford these programs" don't add up. And now this, cutting fusion research funding, something that could end oil dependence, while giving oil companies billions of dollars in subsidies every year. Which politicians are in the pockets of defense contractors and oil companies? Pretty much all of them.

Re:Gotta love politicans (5, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#40764537)

Take a guess as to who said this in 1960:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

You might think it's some liberal peace activist type speaking to a bunch of hippie protesters. But you'd be wrong: it's Dwight D Eisenhower.

Re:Gotta love politicans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40765637)

You might think it's some liberal peace activist type speaking to a bunch of hippie protesters. But you'd be wrong: it's Dwight D Eisenhower.

If he was alive today the right would be calling him a liberal, just like conservative supreme court justices.

Re:Gotta love politicans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40765769)

Take a guess as to who said this in 1960:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

You might think it's some liberal peace activist type speaking to a bunch of hippie protesters. But you'd be wrong: it's Dwight D Eisenhower.

Let me just quote the defiant last words of Indiana Jones: "I like Ike!"

Re:Gotta love politicans (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#40763745)

(I hate .mil spending diatribe removed)

Lets not make it too complicated here. There's an easy enough solution. Fund ITER out of the navy black ops budget.
Just like happened historically with fission reactors, I guarantee some admiral is going to be waterski-ing behind a reactor powered aircraft carrier, decades before my kitchen oven is powered by reactor generated electricity. Now with fusion instead of fission. Whatever.

I don't think the US Navy wants to be left behind as the only world power navy who doesn't have fusion reactors in the engine room of each ship.
There's a small talent pool of people who can safely run a reactor, not to mention having to keep platoons of marine guards on board, so that's why only carriers and subs get fission reactors, but a "safe" fusion reactor would probably get dropped in anything bigger than a rowboat.

Re:Gotta love politicans (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#40763817)

The military typically only funds research of something that could be built within the next 20 years, usually much less. Fusion is nowhere near that close. The military, despite what you may think of it, is interested in stuff that can produce practical results in the foreseeable future, not theoretical research (and never have been). Fusion research is currently very much theoretical. If you wanted DoD funding for fusion research, you'd have to go to DARPA or something, and they aren't likely to be interested either, again because unless they can work on actually building something (even if it isn't practical), they won't really fund it.

Re:Gotta love politicans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40763969)

The military, despite what you may think of it, is interested in stuff that can produce practical results in the foreseeable future, not theoretical research (and never have been).

This is wrong.

There are three levels of DoD scientific funding. 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 [rand.org]

6.1 is Basic Research. Systematic study directed toward greater knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and/or observable facts without specific applications toward processes or products in mind.

6.2 is Applied Research. Systematic study to gain knowledge or understanding necessary to determine the means by which a recognized and specific need may be met.

6.3 is Advanced Tech. Dev. Includes all efforts that have moved into the development and integration of hardware for field experiments and tests.

Re:Gotta love politicans (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 2 years ago | (#40764121)

So greater knowledge and understanding are not practical results? Huh.

Karma Burn (1, Troll)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#40764259)

So greater knowledge and understanding are not practical results? Huh.

Ask a member of the Tea Party and see what they say.

Re:Gotta love politicans (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about 2 years ago | (#40764247)

What's the status with DOD polywell [wikipedia.org] funding ?

Honestly, DOD/DARPA are the only segment of American society, other than erstwhile Bond villians [wikipedia.org] , investing in any sort of long-term research.

Re:Gotta love politicans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40764565)

There is no Polywell funding. This has always been some internet myth. Polywell will never produce a viable power source because you will always need to put more energy into it than you will get out.

Re:Gotta love politicans (2)

DesScorp (410532) | about 2 years ago | (#40764599)

Instead of cutting where its needed (gross government pay and military), they cut everything else instead.

And before hell is raised, yes the military budget CAN be cut. However, the way they have gone about it recently has been messy. 2 wars we're footing the bill for haven't helped either.

While I heartily agree that both the military budget and government employee pay is too high, you're intentionally ignoring the elephant in the room: entitlements. We could completely abolish the military, and entitlements are still going to bankrupt us.

Re:Gotta love politicans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40765331)

The military cannot be cut because they'll need the military to put down the insurrection in the States when martial law is declared. Frankly, I don't think it will do them any good. There are so many gun toting civilians and many will step up their game to more powerful methods once the martial law police start coming for their families to cull the population. It's gonna be messy.

Re:Gotta love politicans (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 2 years ago | (#40765533)

Instead of cutting where its needed (*entitlements*), they cut everything else instead.

FTFY - and I'm soon to be eligible for Social Security. The standard practice for all political administrations since forever has been to always propose to cut whatever is most desirable, popular and necessary, rather than what is least important, most expensive and biggest boondoggle. This assures an outcry about "Don't cut X", setting the debate about the wrong topic and leaving the politicians in charge of ever more money. It has worked since the first democracy (read about Pericles, who invented 'bread and circuses' to stay elected - and in effect bankrupted Athens). And I got an 'A' for a paper about this in college! :D

The way things are going, I will be able to enjoy a fairly nice lifestyle for 30 to 40 years on my Social Security and free medical care (my family tends to live long time), and die just in time to leave all you young, poor suckers to pay off the debt. While this works well for me, it's a bad idea for the nation. Sorry! :D

Japan (1, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 2 years ago | (#40763451)

Why do I get the feeling this wouldn't be on the cards if Japan had got ITER, as the US essentially demanded in the first place... Once France got it, US interest took a massive nose dive, with multiple calls for investment in a home grown alternative instead.

Re:Japan (4, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#40763671)

Why do I get the feeling this wouldn't be on the cards if Japan had got ITER, as the US essentially demanded in the first place... Once France got it, US interest took a massive nose dive, with multiple calls for investment in a home grown alternative instead.

I think you're rewriting history a bit as the USA bailed completely out of the project in the 90s until the canadians pouted and quit in the 00s because they didn't get the construction site and we joined sorta in their place, kinda, at about the same time Japan agreed to stop arguing about where to build it if they got extra job slot quotas. So if anything interest picked up when Japan stopped fighting, not reduced. I suppose "interest decreased" in a sort of prime time reality TV drama sense in that it got less dramatic and more boring once Canada stopped pouting and got evicted from the island or whatever mixed metaphor and Japan stopped picking fights with everyone. On the other hand, after the prime time TV drama ended, they actually started working on stuff and there's dirt being dug up and things being built right now...

It won't be the first time we've bailed, it'll probably happen again.

Kazakhstan wants to join (yeah, Kazakhstan, no kidding) ... I suppose as a point of national pride they are a rising country instead of a declining one like the US. They even have a superior medical system. Its embarrassing that replacing us with them will, overall, be an upgrade to the ITER project.

To some extent this is just a larger scale version of what happens every time a school district budget is squeezed. Don't lower mahogany row salaries from $250K to "only" $200K per year because then we wouldn't attract the "leadership" of the best and brightest who are currently running us into the ground, nahh, just threaten to cut something cool and popular like drivers ed or high school football until the taxpayers are beaten into submission and meekly accept higher tax rates.

Re:Japan (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 2 years ago | (#40763767)

I'm not rewriting history at all, I remember the massive pressure from the US to give it to Japan and the scramble to find "compensation" so both the US and Japan would back down. I also remember an implicit threat that the US would back out if it didn't go to Japan.

Re:Japan (2)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#40764459)

Yeah well sorry maybe that was a little harsh phrase selection. I checked wikipedia and the order is as I recall, the opposite of the order of events you recall. We bailed out, came back momentarily, were not exactly negotiating from a position of strength. If we were planning on taking one for the team and ally with Japan, we wouldn't have bailed out to begin with. I'm confused why the US and japan were supposedly allied as you'd think we'd have pushed harder for the Canadians who bailed out, maybe its more Japan allied with us because they would be against the Chinese and Korea (as usual). So japan was at best our 2nd choice but we would probably be their 1st choice in allies. This is all the view from an interested outsider not insider. I would imagine the insiders are not officially talking, a ask /. interview with an anonymous insider would be pretty good reading.

On the other hand as kind of a generational trend, only the europeans do "big science" anymore, so I don't know why there's even a window dressing that anyone other than the french would ever realistically get this project. The swiss are not getting another big physics project this generation (they got cern) and india/korea/china cannot seriously claim to build it, japan is not in the eurozone and only euros do big science, and germany was busy reunifying, so its gotta be built in france, more or less. A political drama played out where everyone knows the inevitable conclusion anyway. Much like US presidential elections where the single "rich guys" party always wins although one of the competitive PR departments lose.

As for implicit threats of backing out of the project, again from memory I think everyone but the french and russians made threats at least once, so I don't know if it means much. In the early stages the russians even stayed in during/around the USSR breakup, they have always been remarkably loyal to the project.

Re:Japan (1)

jklappenbach (824031) | about 2 years ago | (#40765301)

Kazakhstan *does* have superior potassium.

If this is all because of "The Dark Knight Rises" (1)

mblase (200735) | about 2 years ago | (#40763459)

...then I might have to run for office myself.

Next article up, shortage of scientists (4, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#40763509)

Next article up, some manager whining about how there's a shortage of scientists because he wants to pay almost nothing and the domestic eggheads think they're worth more than $7.25/hr so we'll have to crank open the H1B floodgates until Physicists can only dare to daydream of having the career opportunities of a mcdonalds fry cook. I'm glad I didn't go into science. Would have loved to, but hate grinding poverty even more and don't want to spend my middle age as a taxi driver like happened to all the rocket scientists I know after Apollo.

Next article after that will be some washed up town patting themselves on the back for rolling out a new STEM program for grade school kids, to handle the massive future shortage of STEM employees. You know, the kind of town where 2000 STEM employees just got the axe because one of the STEM educational initiative corporations just moved their HQ from that heartland town to China, and another 200 person foundry just went bankrupt and a 200 person cement factory just closed (this is my home town... I'm not directly affected but it still sucks)

As long as the rich get richer I guess we're on the right path...

Re:Next article up, shortage of scientists (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40763823)

You know, the kind of town where 2000 STEM employees just got the axe because one of the STEM educational initiative corporations just moved their HQ from that heartland town to China

China is rapidly becoming the center of the STEM world, so it only makes sense to relocate there. It's where the production is, where the largest market for many things already is (cars, cell phones, etc), and increasingly where the design work is being done as well. It seems foolish to put your corporate HQ somewhere far away from your biggest market.

It's not about the "rich getting richer", it's about the changing nature of the world. China is the up and coming powerhouse, and everyone knows it. That's naturally going to effect a transfer of money and work from the previous powerhouse (USA) to the next one (China). There's nothing wrong about that - Chinese ppls deserve jobs just as much as USA ppls did. There has been an unethical mismatch for too long, with rich USA ppl living in houses and buying TVs and cars while Chinese ppls starved. The balance HAS to tilt back, and it's starting to do that. Anything else is unethical.

Don't see this badly, it is the natural way of things. Yes, it means you will lose your status in the world, but your status came at the expense of other ppls by exploiting their labor and their resources, so it was never morally justified.

Re:Next article up, shortage of scientists (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#40764091)

The problem is that China actually cares about how many immigrants it admits and is selective.

Doesn't sound like a country we all know well and most slashdotters live in.

Re:Next article up, shortage of scientists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40765145)

Why is that a problem? It's up to China how to handle immigration for their own country.

Re:Next article up, shortage of scientists (1)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | about 2 years ago | (#40765733)

Why is that a problem? It's up to China how to handle immigration for their own country.
Ah, the old it's only racist if white people do it. Didn't you get the memo? Everybody has a god given right to move and occupy whatever land/country they want to move to.

Re:Next article up, shortage of scientists (1)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | about 2 years ago | (#40764187)

Interestingly, this is already old thinking. Chinese manufacturing will form a dwindling part of their economy and service their own market more and more. Now of course they will keep doing manufacturing, but automation will increase the relative costs of transport, and Chinese workers cost (or will cost within 5 years) as much as Eastern Europeans.

So, although those manufacturing jobs are not coming back (they have evaporated due to robotics), the engineering jobs attendant to local (automated) plants are in fact coming. Also less people want to immigrate when their countries are doing good. So yes, there is a shortage of STEM people, and will grow, yes there will be jobs for them. But a lot of managers will just have to accept that you need to pay decent salaries to your employees, especially if you depend on them to think well on your behalf.

I suspect a lot of companies will in fact go under because of the need to keep paying management way more than they are worth and the pressure to try and underpay the engineers. This will be a slow process, but I guess that within 10-15 years it might be complete: those companies that value creativity and loyalty (through good benefits) will overtake the others. This is because as I said above, the opportunity for gains purely through arbitrage is gone. Women are now as much in the work force as men, developing countries have nearly caught up -- and the crisis helped -- and there are little to no free-trade agreements to sign any more.

The next years will be innovate or die. And innovation requires well-paid engineers and more horizontal hierarchies.

Re:Next article up, shortage of scientists (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#40764693)

And innovation requires well-paid engineers

Why? You sound all optimistic and kool aid drinky which is fine in a mass media group think way, but... why?

I've eaten great food from innovative and creative and hardworking chefs who aren't paid squat.

I've admired innovative and creative artwork from artists who live in comparative poverty. Ditto music. Music and fine art clowns sometimes Demand that poverty is a mandatory ingredient in good product.

Same story with architecture and landscaping/formal gardens.

I can design and implement a microwave RF amplifier transistor bias circuit and I/O matching network that in its own technical way is beautiful and innovative, but in a world where 1/2 the university graduating class is un/under employed, 25% of the population has no job, almost no one's hiring, 1000 applicants per job, there's no reason "why" shaking the "tech" saltshaker over this one example of a innovative job results in just this field being rewarded by being "well-paid".

A tool and die maker used to be the king of the "tech" employment hill in my area. Now instead of calling him the "rich guy" who can get a job at any shop he walks into, you call him the "unemployed guy", except for the small fraction of a percent who still have their job in the field. No particular reason why this generations definition of "tech" or "STEM" is somehow guaranteed a great career based on past results.

Re:Next article up, shortage of scientists (1)

SomeKDEUser (1243392) | about 2 years ago | (#40765033)

Of course, great many things are done for the love of it. But as a company, if you rely on your employees to work for the sake of love, you are in for a big surprise.

Good engineers are hard to come by. Good mathematicians, physicists are rare. Because not so many students get masters in technical and scientific fields. And indeed the unemployment figures are this... So there is in reality almost no unemployment for people with higher education degrees. [bls.gov]

The salaries are however low because of the pressure of outsourcing, competition with developing countries, and the general feeling of insecurity due to the high general unemployment rate. As the pressures of outsourcing and developing countries abate, benefits will have to go up. And in some companies, they will, and in some, they won't. To keep the same profitability, the money will have to come from somewhere, and the only preserved class is the CEO/higher management class.

Now they will never lower their salaries. But their companies will go bankrupt, and these will be replaced by more equal ones. Just because it works better. Now, this is not for today or next year. I expect the crisis to last another 4-5 years. And then changes in culture take a generation. But within 15 years we will see some change, and within 25, it is likely that the current balance will have been thoroughly changed.

I am optimistic about the long term. Of course, if all science funding goes and people give up on long term research, we might well be fucked for a couple generations. But hey, we must hope or despair.

Re:Next article up, shortage of scientists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40765457)

35,000 new STEM PhDs will be granted this year. There aren't jobs for half of them, and that includes the pittance-paying postdoctoral positions that most of them will be mired in for 5-10 years.

BLS cooks the books: every PhD who has a job is counted as employed. That includes all of us stocking shelves at the grocery store part time in addition to those who still work in the field (for now).

Re:Next article up, shortage of scientists (3, Interesting)

cyfer2000 (548592) | about 2 years ago | (#40764675)

In a piece of related news the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST, internal designation HT-7U), or the test bed of ITER in China, has reached 400s of stable plasma.

unlikely place to find savings (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 years ago | (#40763517)

Considering the size of the U.S. federal budget, it always seems to be smallish programs that are symbolically put on the chopping block when these political debates come up. This one isn't as ridiculous as, say, spending lots of time arguing over NPR's paltry budget, but it's still a pretty small budget, and comes with quid-pro-quos that make the net cost even less. The U.S. contributes 1/11th of the ITER construction costs, and in return American companies get 1/11th of the construction contracts, and U.S. scientists make up 1/11th of the staffing. That's about $2 billion over 10 years, i.e. $200m/yr is the US share. Withdrawal would save that, but result in both the contracts and the scientific participation going to remaining consortium members.

Cycling money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40763665)

If they're printing 9% extra money a year for government spending, and inflation is 1.7% (I guess that's manipulated, more like 4%), then it means that the non-government sector is in deflation at 5%.

It's really not about savings at this point, they need the money to stay in the US, printing money, then spending it abroad will just make it worse.

So it's quite possible they withdrawn from ITER then go ahead and make their own ITER in the USA. Even if it costs more, what does that matter if your printing money to try to stimulate the economy? It would be 100% of the staffing, and 100% of the construction contracts!

Re:Cycling money (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#40763879)

The U.S. contributes 1/11th of the ITER construction costs, and in return American companies get 1/11th of the construction contracts, and U.S. scientists make up 1/11th of the staffing.

So it's quite possible they withdrawn from ITER then go ahead and make their own ITER in the USA.

For an AC that's actually a pretty good idea, you should proudly sign your name to that. Seriously.

The problem with the ITER is there are 535 congress members and "most" of the ITER money as currently budgeted is probably going to come from a small minority of members districts... for example probably more scientists will be hired out of Caltech and MIT than, for example, Wyoming (does WY even have a research university as opposed to a teaching U?). Bringing it in-house like NASA means it'll cost more, but I guarantee all 535 members will end up with some pork to brag about. Perhaps my house rep can get me a pork contract to be a linux sysadmin or something for the domestic effort... That's not going to happen with the ITER plan as is...

Re:Cycling money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40765277)

All ITER funding right now is going to buying Stainless Steel and Copper. The major US contribution right now is we agreed to pay for the roughing pumps. There is very little going toward jobs at the moment.

science funding is not a significant % of budget (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40763545)

The entire US science funding - for EVERYTHING - is a drop in the bucket.

You want to make a difference in the budget? Here's what you have to do:

(1) Trim entitlement spending
(2) Trim military spending.

Shit, there's enough graft, corruption, and incompetence in both that you could probably cut their budgets in half and end up with the same effectiveness at the end.

Nothing else besides entitlements and military spending matters to any significant degree, and eating your seed corn is always a bad idea.

Re:science funding is not a significant % of budge (2)

BVis (267028) | about 2 years ago | (#40763829)

(1) Trim entitlement spending

Yes, let's cut 'entitlement' spending. I'm sure all the (wildly overexaggerated) problems with those programs will simply disappear overnight if we take money away from them.

Or, you know, the ACTUAL result will be that benefits will be cut to people who have paid into the system for decades. Yeah, that's fair.

I'm all for improving efficiency in government. But you don't cure cancer by shooting yourself in the head.

Re:science funding is not a significant % of budge (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40763893)

And for every person like you, there's another shrieking, "Don't cut military spending!", and the result is that neither is cut, we're spending 1.4 TRILLION dollars more every year than we take in, and the country is going to go bankrupt to the detriment of the entire world.

I'm sorry, but entitlements are one of the two massive bloated parts of the federal budget, and it's the one growing the fastest. The other is the military. We CANNOT afford them. We must cut both by at least 25%, if not more.

Re:science funding is not a significant % of budge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40764807)

Yes, let's cut 'entitlement' spending.

We must. Entitlements are the elephant in the room [wikipedia.org] . They are going to bankrupt us, even if you eliminated 100% of the military budget.

Re:science funding is not a significant % of budge (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#40764133)

before we talk about entitlements I think we need to create a proper bar graph where one bar is entitlements and the other is military. Then we can talk entitlement cut.

It's not that there is nothing there to cut, it's just that the entitlement discussion is entirely out of proportion.

Re:science funding is not a significant % of budge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40764331)

Like this? [wikipedia.org] Entitlements and military spending are "roughly" on par with each other. Exactly how it balances depends on what you include in each bucket. Entitlement spending is projected to grow much faster than military [wikipedia.org] . But point is that they are both HUGE and are bankrupting the nation. They must be limited or the entire world will suffer the result. Partisan politics ("Don't cut entitlements" / "Don't cut military!") ARE the problem - it's why nothing is ever done. We must cut them both, and do so before it is too late.

Re:science funding is not a significant % of budge (4, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 2 years ago | (#40765103)

before we talk about entitlements I think we need to create a proper bar graph where one bar is entitlements and the other is military. Then we can talk entitlement cut.

From the 2012 budget...

MIlitary budget, including overseas contingency operations: $716.3 Billion.

Note that the above doesn't count the VA, which can adds in another $129.6 Billion.

If you assume that the VA is part of "military spending", that makes the total $845.9 Billion.

If you assume VA is NOT part of "military spending", then it probably should be added to "entitlement spending"....

Entitlement spending...

Social Security: $778.6 Billion.

Medicare: $484.4 Billion

"Income Security": $579.5 Billion.

Total: $1842.5 Billion

Not sure if that's all the entitlements, but looks reasonable. Note that Medicaid may or may not be included in "Income Security". If it's not, then add a hundred billion or so more onto the entitlement pile.

Note that payment on the National Debt amounted to $225 Billion. So about 6% of our federal spending vanishes to pay for overspending in previous years....

So, "entitlements" amount to rather more than twice "military spending" if you count VA as "military spending", and 2.75x "military spending" if you count the VA as "entitlement spending"....

Note, by the by, that those two chunks of money ("entitlements" and "military spending" amount to considerably more than we take in in tax revenue. So we could ZERO the rest of the government, and still have a large deficit with those untouched.

Re:science funding is not a significant % of budge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40765341)

It's not that there is nothing there to cut, it's just that the entitlement discussion is entirely out of proportion

According to the CBO, entitlement spending is about 2.5X military spending.

We're staggering under the weight of current entitlement spending, and it's projected to grow rapidly over the next decades. This is not sustainable. Eliminate the entire military budget and we will STILL be crushed by the weight of entitlement spending. It's the big elephant, and the one that will destroy the nation unless we cut it back to something reasonable.

Re:science funding is not a significant % of budge (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 2 years ago | (#40765391)

I may be assuming incorrectly that you feel that the bar for entitlements would be substantially smaller than that for the military. If so you will be quite put out. Some individual entitlements may not be as large as the military budget but taken as a whole entitlements are far larger portion of the budget than the military. A quick search produced this course grained pie chart [wikipedia.org] . If you would like a finer grained breakdown of the budget there is the obligitory XKCD reference [xkcd.com] . Then there is this (Obama's proposed 2012 budget) chart from the NY Times [nytimes.com] although there are other ones as well from the NY Times that I have previously found [google.com] . If you just like spinning numbers there is always national debt clock [usdebtclock.org] which lists the 6 largest budget items of which military spending is listed as well as some of the entitlements.

Re:science funding is not a significant % of budge (2)

Rei (128717) | about 2 years ago | (#40764707)

To sum up your post: Deficit (more being spent than taken in) is too high, so the only possible solution is to cut spending (in two categories you list). Do you notice the gap in this logic? Here, I'll highlight it: Deficit (more being spent than taken in)

The current US deficit crisis isn't due to a spike in spending but a collapse in income.

Re:science funding is not a significant % of budge (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40765115)

You can't get blood from a turnip. People are already suffering under the tax burden they already have. Heck, half the workers in the country pay no income tax because they can't *afford* to. They need every penny they can get for basic needs like shelter and food.

Alright, a few rich aren't, but you could take every single penny "the rich" make, and it still won't fix the problem, not to mention it'd be immoral to do so.

You can't fix this by taxing people more. We have to get our spending down to sane levels. It's not sane at all right now.

why will we need fusion power? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40763555)

The coming culling and relocation of the populations of the world will mean that some other things like hydro electric generation will suffice for industry. as for homes. We don't need no sticking nuclear energy, whether it's fission or fusion. Just live in your mud hut with your daily solar cell recharged 3 LED camp light and you'll be able to count yourselves lucky that you're living at all.

Go cull yourself (2)

tp1024 (2409684) | about 2 years ago | (#40763763)

Go cull yourself first.

damn america... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40763561)

Hey trigger happy america, how about cutting your damn military for once eh ?
Invest less in death and more in advancing civilization.
What a cesspool of a country it has become, or was it always like this and nobody noticed ?

I have this CRAZY idea on how to cut the deficit.. (5, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | about 2 years ago | (#40763589)

How about...

1. We pull back all of our military forces except at a few major naval bases, end the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and tell Europe, Japan and Korea to pick up 100% of their defense budget from now on. Then cut the defense budget by 25%-30%.
2. We reduce unemployment benefits to six months instead of two years. Sorry, if you haven't worked in your field for about two years you don't have a career in it anymore. Unemployment benefits I believe are right now about $500B-$600B of the current federal budget.
3. We means test the hell out of Social Security and Medicare.
4. Release all non-violent drug offenders (including dealers) from prison, end the War on Drugs and send the enforcement personnel DEA and ATF to work for another federal law enforcement agency.
5. Privatize TSA, repeal 90% of the legislation behind Homeland Security and just admit that the only sensible reform we really needed post 9/11 was letting the FBI and CIA coordinate on terrorism cases.

But nope, we can't stop bombing foreign backwaters where some jihadi is rattling his sabre and AK47 impotently at the Great Satan(tm) or tell someone they need to back away from the federal trough.

Re:I have this CRAZY idea on how to cut the defici (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40763731)

because naval power happens without construction, maintenance and repair? Because naval power will prevent an air raid? What prevents war is the credible threat of unacceptable violence. Everything else is bullshit.

Now, look at the military budget and figure out how much of that is actually welfare programs by another name. Veterans benefits would be unders social security and medicare instead and cost more (though be less likely to kill people. All of those defense contractors employ, you know, real people who have jobs create real products instead of sticking their thumbs up their asses collecting welfare checks directly. A large fraction of the nations science and R&D budget comes out of the "defense budget". Maybe if we had a little bit of truth in propaganda, you'd see that.

Re:I have this CRAZY idea on how to cut the defici (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 2 years ago | (#40763787)

Interesting that you left Israel out of your first bullet point...

Re:I have this CRAZY idea on how to cut the defici (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40764039)

3. We means test the hell out of Social Security and Medicare

It turns out that means testing beurocracies are less efficient. Think about it. You can pay agents to do some simple checks at their desk. Those are easily faked. Now you have the same fraud + the cost of the agents. You can pay the agents to do some serious legwork. Now you have reduced fraud + really expensive agents. A few years on, the fraudsters figure out how to get around the expensive agents. Now you're back to square one, but with really expensive agents.

Otherwise, you make a lot of sense.

Re:I have this CRAZY idea on how to cut the defici (5, Informative)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 2 years ago | (#40764047)

Unemployment benefits I believe are right now about $500B-$600B of the current federal budget.

Combined state and federal unemployment benefits peaked in 2010 at $160 billion, 2010 was about $120 billion.

Re:I have this CRAZY idea on how to cut the defici (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 2 years ago | (#40764053)

Typo, 2011 was about $120 billion.

Re:I have this CRAZY idea on how to cut the defici (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40764153)

I'm as anti-liberal as they come and I only disagree with #3. SS and Medicare has been promised as an "insurance policy" not an entitlement. You suggest turning it into a means tested entitlement which can easily get public support to remove. You also have the consequence of people nearing the limit of means testing and deciding not to work because an additional $10k will mean $30k less in Medicare and SS. You can argue that won't happen but I already turn down work because I think paying the federal government nearly 50% (33% rate + 15% SS/Fica) of my income is ridiculous and hence they lose out on tax money they might get, plus any additional business I create by taking that work.

It would basically be punishing those who are successful and rewarding those who are failures. I disagree with any policy that works that way.

Re:I have this CRAZY idea on how to cut the defici (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 2 years ago | (#40764725)

We do all those things, and we'll reduce our deficit to maybe three quarters of a trillion per year.

Which will make it the fifth highest in history....

Re:I have this CRAZY idea on how to cut the defici (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about 2 years ago | (#40765021)

reduce unemployment benefits to six months instead of two years. Sorry, if you haven't worked in your field for about two years you don't have a career in it anymore.

So if someone can't find a job in six months - screw them? Or are you suggesting to replace the other 18 months by government-sponsored courses to re-train the unemployed into another career?
Anyway, as I understand it, unemployment benefits go right back into economy since 100% of them are actually spent right away.

Re:I have this CRAZY idea on how to cut the defici (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40765511)

Brilliant! Lets all stop working and collect unemployment. According to you and N Pelosi that is the quickest longterm fix to the economy.

Re:I have this CRAZY idea on how to cut the defici (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40765673)

1. We pull back all of our military forces except at a few major naval bases, end the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and tell Europe, Japan and Korea to pick up 100% of their defense budget from now on. Then cut the defense budget by 25%-30%

That little NATO-thing should probably be dismantled in that case. I had no idea that the NATO members get substituted defense budgets.
  I also suspect that Japanese and Koreans will become somewhat more aggressive in their posture as a result, creating some difficulties in the contested areas in the region.

We reduce unemployment benefits to six months instead of two years. Sorry, if you haven't worked in your field for about two years you don't have a career in it anymore.

That might be true in some areas but little unrealistic considering various reasons people spend outside of national workforce and then get rehired or create a new career "just like that."

We means test the hell out of Social Security and Medicare.

You likely do that already, like any country calling themselves a well-fare state does.

Release all non-violent drug offenders (including dealers) from prison, end the War on Drugs and send the enforcement personnel DEA and ATF to work for another federal law enforcement agency.

Secondary social costs and the cost of rehabilitation programs probably require a significant federal involvement into the idea of protected family life. That will go "well" with the, well just about anyone for different reasons.

Privatize TSA, repeal 90% of the legislation behind Homeland Security and just admit that the only sensible reform we really needed post 9/11 was letting the FBI and CIA coordinate on terrorism cases.

DHS was created for the purpose of coordinating the cooperation of among the agencies. Even if the DHS was scaled down to service exclusively this role, the redundancies, politics and other reasons of inefficiency would likely raise the budgets of the other agencies higher and thus negating the cost savings of the minimization of the DHS.
  Scaling down would probably require the abandonment of the clearly harmful concept of "war on terror." Perhaps "enhanced cooperation on organized crime" would be sufficient instead. It might even lead to more arrests, more interrogations and more mutual respect among the officials involved.

The government can borrow for free (2)

Bananenrepublik (49759) | about 2 years ago | (#40763623)

I'm looking forward to someone explaing to me why the government needs to save money now, when it can borrow for free? That is to say that the US government can borrow money for zero or even negative interest rates. To me, this seems to say that people have so little faith in the economy that they rather take a little loss but a guaranteed return (even if only via the mythical printing press) than invest their money in the economy. Now, if the government can have money so cheaply, and if my analysis of the reason is correct, then it should be an immediate logical consequence that government should make up the lack of investment in the private sector by spending itself.

So, why should the government save money?

Re:The government can borrow for free (0)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#40764791)

So, why should the government save money?

Because doing something useful instead would make Obama more likely to win the upcoming election. Another way of looking at the insanity of it:
1. There are millions of people desperately looking for work.
2. There are millions of jobs that desperately need doing (e.g. fixing bridges that are close to collapsing).
3. There's a political system that refuses to move small green pieces of paper to get the people who need work doing the jobs that need doing, because that would make the economy look like it was getting better.

Remember what Mitch McConnell said: The Republican Party's primary goal is to ensure that Obama is a one-term president, not to improve the economy.

Re:The government can borrow for free (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | about 2 years ago | (#40765889)

Still have to pay it back...

ITER? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40763701)

Honestly I was never sure why we were part of the International Tribe of Exotic Rastafarians anyway.

Science and education (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#40763715)

are investments in the future.

Our politics has been infested with the corporate tendency to think short term, just as long as the next quarterly results. Which makes sense, since our representatives answer to the agendas of the corporations that fund them, certainly not the people who elected them.

The result of which is that the USA is declaring its intent to be a declining power in the world. You invest in science and education, or you head towards second rate status in the world. It's that simple.

Yet another reason why the corporate infection of our democracy basically means our doom.

We almost never write our votes (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | about 2 years ago | (#40764043)

Our politics has been infested with the corporate tendency to think short term

"Short term" means "next campaign." The problem with science and education investment, is that it NEVER pays off, even in the very long term. If you vote to increase that spending, it will never result in you getting an advertising budget advantage over your opponent.

It might help the country, but nobody ever votes for people who help the country; they only vote for people who buy ads. Ad budgets are voters' primary means of selecting who we vote for.

Look at everyone on your next ballot: which of those names didn't spend significant money on advertising? Virtually none of them; maybe some local judge, though even that's rare. WHO writes in choices for everything on the ballot? Most people don't even do it for the presidential race, much less the state senator race or county treasurer race, etc.

So why would anyone spend money on science? We never reward them for it, and we usually punish them for it.

Are you willing to "throw away your vote" by voting against the Democrat and the Republican on your ballot, in favor of writing in the name of the guy who nobody else has heard of, because he's in favor of education, instead of paying favors to industry in exchange for ad money? Keep in mind that nobody else knows about your guy, so he will almost certainly lose. Will you do it anyway, Mr. Voter?

We created this problem and cannot fix it without risking losing many elections, and the "risk" will be nearly 100% for several elections in a row. You have to lose 99-1, then 98-2, and so on, hoping that somebody notices that the guy who didn't advertise, got a few votes.

IMHO nobody has the patience or faith for that. I'm not sure even I do.

If the money was directed to Thorium... (4, Interesting)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#40763725)

and/or nuclear plants with passive safety systems and a rational waste storage facilities, it would be a good idea. Instead, well'l use the savings to pay down debt caused by military spending, bail out banks and making sure very wealthy people stay wealthy and get wealthier. We are almost the definition of a culture in decline.

Re:If the money was directed to Thorium... (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#40763911)

We are almost the definition of a culture in decline.

Almost?

Very well (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#40763733)

More free energy for us!

Re:Very well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40763803)

It cant be 'free'. You and I will still have to pay for it and whoever manages to bribe the government into owning the patents can go collect 'royalties' on their 'IP' for all the power that they are generating for free. Its the same business model that the movie and music distribution companies use (note: the distribution company, NOT the artist!)

There are better places to cut spending (1)

3seas (184403) | about 2 years ago | (#40763825)

Considering % taxes used in defense of one form or another and considering that developing cheap or free energy also solves many conflicts... its easy to see where cuts should be happening.

"Starving"? Really? (1)

davide marney (231845) | about 2 years ago | (#40763855)

Since when is a 7.8% cut "starving" the budget? With baseline budgeting adding automatic budget increases every year, I'd be surprised if a mere 7.8% cut would actually reduce spending year to year. The public sector has NO clue what the real economy is going through.

Re:"Starving"? Really? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#40763967)

If they had any idea what the private sector was going through they would be spending even more. When governments can borrow at negative rates they should do so and use that money to build infrastructure.

7.8% can be starving (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40764235)

The *only* place where you never cut spending on long term science. That's the core R&D gov't funding secures. Long term stuff that companies would never care to fund.

You can cut science bureaucracy. You can fire inefficient scientists. But you never cut spending on a long term science project.

It is rather funny, but at least they have it right in the EU. They have set amount of money set for science, then science people budget for projects ahead of time and spend it. Money is basically guaranteed. With all the Euro problems, no one is talking about shutting down ITER or CERN in europe. No one. There is almost no way that ITER or CERN will be cut on existing projects. Heck, the only way ITER can have problems is if they go over budget.

In the US, well, you start a long term project and next year some a-hole in Congress decides to cut it or change funding or add funding or whatever. If you have a project that lasts 10+ years, guess what??

7.8% is starving if you are cutting the entire science budget. Entire projects that had funding, suddenly have 0 funding. 100% cut. And it is those "long term" R&D projects that are first to be cut.

We don't fund new means of producing energy.. (1)

BVis (267028) | about 2 years ago | (#40763871)

.. because RIGHT NOW it's not profitable for Big Energy. If ExxonMobil figured out a way to make billions on it, you can bet your ass the government would be funding it. Big Energy likes us right where they have us: under their collective thumb. And they'll spend billions to keep us there.

WTF is ITER? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40763873)

Since the summary doesn't explain what ITER is, I don't give a shit.

Re:WTF is ITER? (1)

physburn (1095481) | about 2 years ago | (#40765303)

ITER is the international fusion reaction reaction, its being built over the next 8 years in the south of france, and should hold a mixture of tritium and deutrium gases at a hot enough temperature and high enough pressure to generate more fusion power output than the electricity need to create the plasma, ITER should run consistantly in the breakeven range of fusion power. That said, scientists and not created a system for extracting the energy from the plasma yet, and true energy generation is left from the next reactor after ITER, currently called DEMO, which should demonstrate useful power generation to the electricity grid. ITER is the successor to JET the joint european torus which was the first reaction to show breakeven energy generation.

Just buy one less F-22 Raptor (1)

BadgerRush (2648589) | about 2 years ago | (#40764207)

If I read correctly:

  • - The budget for the U.S. contribution to ITER in 2013 is US$178 million (source [sciencemag.org] );
  • - The cost of one F-22 Raptor fighter plane is US$150 million (source [wikipedia.org] ).

So just cancel orders for five of those and ITER will be set for the next four years or so.

Re:Just buy one less F-22 Raptor (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 2 years ago | (#40764555)

Republicans in Congress won't let them. Even when one of their own, Defense Secretary Gates recommended cancelling various weapons programs because they are no longer suited for battles the military would be fighting and there were better, cheaper alternatives, he got shot down.

Re:Just buy one less F-22 Raptor (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 2 years ago | (#40765615)

As much fun as it is to bash the usually hawkish Republicans, in this case the Democrats are just as bad. They both want these projects as they can direct work and resources to their districts and thus be able to point to something and say I gave you that plant and the good paying high tech jobs that came with it. Now it isn't all Republicans or Democrats as there are some that are principled (truly fiscal conservative R or truly dovish D) but those seem to be exceedingly rare today.

Re:Just buy one less F-22 Raptor (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 2 years ago | (#40765759)

The House (which is controlled by the Republicans) passed a bill that continues funding for ITER and for the fusion experiments in the U.S.. It is Obama and the Democrats in the Senate who are proposing to cut the funding for the fusion experiments.

Phew! (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#40764403)

Again, this costs fewer votes than the teeniest of cuts to massive social spending, or the military, or tax increases.

So unless you wanna make a stink about it, deal with it.

Any idea how much effort went into ITER research? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40764477)

This thing was thought of for perhaps 20 years, and this is a prototype. So much for the word of the USA. Once you depend on the States, you'll be left hanging and abandoned..... Europe shall build this machine on its own then. Then everyone will find out about the results and whether it will be of utter utility to mankind. Go Europe!

Re:Any idea how much effort went into ITER researc (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40764855)

This thing was thought of for perhaps 20 years, and this is a prototype. So much for the word of the USA. Once you depend on the States, you'll be left hanging and abandoned..... Europe shall build this machine on its own then. Then everyone will find out about the results and whether it will be of utter utility to mankind. Go Europe!

Ditch the Americans, the only thing they've brought to the world in the last 40 years are misery and war.
Hell, kick them out of CERN and bring in the Chinese. In the long term it will be more productive.
The American motto is : "give us your trust, we will sure fuck you in the end". 100% guaranteed.

Iran (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40764661)

So this has nothing to do with Iran joining ITER? Really?

Source: http://www.payvand.com/news/12/jul/1199.html

Re:Iran (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40764959)

So this has nothing to do with Iran joining ITER? Really?

Source: http://www.payvand.com/news/12/jul/1199.html

What's the problem ? Are the US afraid Iran is going to develop a military fusion program ?
Seriously nothing speaks more volume than a paranoid american redneck Republitard or Demoidiot.

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