A Ron Paul Presidency Would Be Awesome For U.S. Science and Public Health

Did I write awesome? I meant awful (boldface mine):

His FY2012 and FY2013 budgets call for a 20 percent cut for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The center is often mentioned in media reports highlighting their lavish accommodations,” according to both budgets. “For example, in 2005, the CDC built a conference center for $106 million, complete with large-screen plasma TVs. They also spent tens of millions of dollars on state-of-the-art anti-gravity seating for employees, as well as luxury furniture. Taxpayers can no longer afford the luxury working atmosphere of the CDC.”

Here are a few other specific agencies that are also on the chopping block in Paul’s budgets, just to give you a sense of how granular he gets:

National Institutes of Health is cut by 20 percent (“much of the research and development undertaken by the NIH provides direct subsidies to the pharmaceutical industry”).
Food and Drug Administration is cut by 20 percent (“new FDA powers granted by the recent Food Safety Modernization Act grant the government further intrusion into the nation’s food supply”).
NASA is cut by 25 percent (“with the presence of private industries involved in space exploration and space tourism, it is time for NASA to look at ways to reduce spending … since President Obama has determined to realign the goals of NASA away from human space exploration to science and ‘global warming’ research, there is also a need to realign the agency’s funding”).
US Geological Survey is cut by 20 percent (“though these are important activities, they can be given to state researchers at our colleges and universities”)….

All told, CRFB finds that the FY2012 Paul budget massively reduces the budgets of numerous Cabinet departments:

National Science Foundation is cut by 62 percent….
Department of Energy is eliminated (except for nuclear energy programs, which are transferred to the Defense Department)….
•Department of Agriculture is cut by 49 percent.
•Department of Health and Human Services is cut by 26 percent….
•Environmental Protection Agency is cut by 29 percent.

These are laughable reasons. What state funding is there to replace the USGS? Given foodborne disease outbreaks, we need more ‘intrusion’ into the food supply, not less.

This is the fiscal equivalent of creationism: first, you come up with the answer (massive reductions in spending, ‘decrease regulation’*), and then you invent the reasons for the cuts.

Ron Paul is going to try to run away from this history as fast as he can. Don’t let him, and make other Republicans answer if they “stand with Rand” (to use a phrase). If nothing else, it will force Republicans to declare where they stand on science funding.

Your health just might depend on it.

* This is in scare quotes, because ‘reducing’ regulations almost never reduces them, it just makes them more friendly towards those whom we are regulating.

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3 Responses to A Ron Paul Presidency Would Be Awesome For U.S. Science and Public Health

  1. georgewiman says:

    Not sure what the complaint is here. That they use ergonomic furniture? I bet he does, too. But why get hung up on actual reasons for things.

    At our college we started using large-screen TVs in conference rooms instead of projectors. They are cheaper to buy and operate than LCD projectors, cheaper to maintain*, and in the bargain are quieter and have a better picture. We’re looking forward to screens big enough for classrooms so we can be done with projectors altogether.

    *Projector bulbs are $375 ea, and only last 1,500 hours, and the projectors themselves need to be serviced as their optics get dirty.

  2. Did you mean RAND Paul?

  3. coloncancercommunity says:

    For a moment there I thought you had really lost it…Rand Paul is no friend to science.

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