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Government Science

U.S. Science Agencies Get Some Relief In 2014 Budget 83

sciencehabit writes "The ghost of former President George W. Bush permeates the 2014 budget that Congress released this week. His presence is good news for physical scientists, but less cheery for biomedical researchers, as Congress reserved some of the biggest spending increases for NASA and the Department of Energy. The National Institutes of Health, meanwhile, got a $1 billion increase that is drawing mixed reviews from research advocates."
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U.S. Science Agencies Get Some Relief In 2014 Budget

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  • Raise Taxes! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TemperedAlchemist ( 2045966 ) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @02:41PM (#45967907)

    And give it all to NASA, pls.

  • Maybe good news (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Akratist ( 1080775 ) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @02:41PM (#45967917)
    Without getting political, if we're going to spend public money on research, energy and space exploration probably make more sense than anything else right now. Oil is eventually going to run out and we will eventually face an extinction threat to the species at some point (yes, true, research into disease might help with the next plague, but there are asteroids, global war, and many other things to consider). A long-term survival strategy is not keeping all of us on this single planet, but rather, spreading out to the stars, and the continuing discovery of earthlike planets is eventually going to lead us to one that is habitable.
  • Ghost of GWB (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jarich ( 733129 ) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @03:25PM (#45968401) Homepage Journal

    Ghost of GWB?

    How many years has Obama been in office? Eventually you've got to give him some credit... you know, what with the 2nd term and all....

    • by Nimey ( 114278 )

      It's nonsensical anyway, it's Congress that sets spending.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Ralph Wiggam ( 22354 )

        People always rebut "But the President sends a proposed budget to Congress". Yes, and it's a complete waste of time. Congress takes that proposal, throws it directly in the garbage, and then creates a budget- as is their constitutional power. It has always worked like that and always will.

      • The President sends a proposal, Congress works out the details (with negotiation and ultimatums with the President), and the President signs it. So both are responsible.

        What usually happens is when something unpopular happens with the budget, people blame Congress OR the President depending on which one is controlled by the party they dislike. Likewise when something popular happens with the budget, people give credit to Congress OR the President depending on which is controlled by the party they like.
    • Re:Ghost of GWB (Score:4, Informative)

      by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @04:39PM (#45969137)
      The biggest increase (in raw dollars) in R&D spending in recent years (both defense and non-defense) happened under Bush's administration []. Obama has more or less been holding non-defense R&D spending steady until it spiked last year, while cutting defense R&D.

      In my book, holding a past increase steady warrants credit too (Obama resisted the urge to cut it back down to save money). But credit for bringing us up to current levels has to go to Bush. (Lots more pretty graphs to look at. [])
    • That only works when he accepts credit for the shape the country is in since his election - and not since when he was swore the oath, but since the time he won the election.

      People like to look at the months before Obama was sworn in and as an entire picture of Bush's presidency when in reality, it was businesses reacting to Obama winning

    • by cyn1c77 ( 928549 )

      Ghost of GWB?

      How many years has Obama been in office? Eventually you've got to give him some credit... you know, what with the 2nd term and all....

      What, specifically, should he be given credit for?

      He already got the Nobel Peace Prize before he did anything related to peace.

      I would say that he is in the credit hole at this point and still trying to dig his way out.

  • Technology (Score:5, Interesting)

    by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @03:28PM (#45968437)

    Economics tells us that there are only two real things that cause economic growth.

    1. Population growth.
    2. Technological progress.

    We need as much of the latter as possible, and should address that goal with the full intent of the nation starting with generous public support of math and science education as early as possible in the life of our children.

    Furthermore any public constraint or impediment towards that end should be uprooted and eradicated with extreme vigor and prejudice.

    The motivation is nothing short of the survival of the human species.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This is wrong. The only thing that causes economic growth is increased production efficiency. That can be because of technology or improved methods, investments in capital equipment, etc. Technological progress that does not directly improve production efficiency does not grow the economy.

      • Proof of point. Pre-industrial France to pre-industrial Britain. France was technologically superior, but they used that technology for artistic ventures like marionettes. Britain used it to increase its production.

        • You have the cart before the horse.

          Without technology Britain would not have been able to improve production. Technology pulls production efficiency along behind it.

          Also the idea that improving production efficiency is the only thing that counts is missing the point that having new high value things to make, say like modern pharmaceuticals and CPUs and jetliners increases the value of manufacturing processes tremendously.

          It isn't just making stuff that more efficiently, it's also about making stuff that has

        • I think France did ok. They had a lot of social and economic issues and experienced a lot of revolts from the XVIIIth to the XIXth century. Plus they had the continental powers to deal with. Unlike the UK they couldn't just hunker down and rely on the Navy to defend their nation. They have always had to split their resources more towards land armies than the UK.

          I mean Ampére? French. Sabatier? French. Pasteur? French. They didn't do THAT bad in technological development.

          • I'm not saying they didn't do well. In fact I'm kind of stating the opposite, they did better. The problem was, most of their advances and efforts weren't about increasing production and efficiency and by that token economic growth. France stagnated economically during the late 18th and early 19th centuries as a result. It's a common question in European history classes, why Britain and not France for the industrial revolution? And pretty much every answer boils down to, their priorities were elsewhere.

            • Napoleon III remodeled Paris at vast expense to stop the constant worker rebellions. Then his incessant infatuation with warfare ignited the Franco-Prussian war when he decided to invade Belgium. France had to pay heavy war reparations [] after it lost that war with Germany. So it comes as little surprise their economy stagnated then.

      • No, population growth increases economic growth as well. As production is defined by the number of workers x tool efficiency.

  • Trillions.

    There's your budget hole.

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