Sequestration and Science Funding

I’ve written before about sequestration, the automatic cuts that the Republicans forced through during the debt ceiling hike fiasco (by the way, Republicans are now crapping their pants about sequestration since it’s not just targeting those people hitting programs they like). If the automatic cuts go through, here’s how U.S. science will be hit:

•The National Institutes of Health, which has the largest science-spending budget, would lose $2.5 billion of authorized spending.
•The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would lose $464 million for agency-wide non-defence programme activities and support.
•The Food and Drug Administration would lose $318 million of salaries and expenses, among other cuts.
•The National Science Foundation would lose $463 million for research and related activities among other cuts.
•NASA would lose $417 million from its science budget, $346 for space operations, $309 for exploration and $246 for cross-agency support, among other cuts.
•The US Department of Energy would lose $400 million of its science account.
•The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would lose $257 million of its operations, research and facilities account.
•The US Geological Survey for investigations, surveys and research would fall $88 million.
•The section of the Environmental Protection Agency charged with funding science and technology would lose $65 million.
•The National Institute of Standards and Technology would lose $62 million of its funds for research and services, construction of research facilities and industrial technology services.

This is all the more tragic, since we can’t run out of money, as the U.S. is a currency issuer, not a currency user. And before someone cries, “INFLATIONZ!! BARGLE! BARGLE!”, how would these cuts affect the economy-wide inflation rate, one way or another?

With eight percent unemployment, as long as a program is not actively harmful, we should not be considering cutting it. There simply is no need to do so.

Related post: Whizbang tweets up a storm about sequestration.

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