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Government The Almighty Buck Science

US Scientific R&D Could Face Fiscal Cliff Doom 609

The tough economic times have had a huge effect on scientific research and development funding. The looming "fiscal cliff" may be the last straw for many programs. "The American science programs that landed the first man on the moon, found cures for deadly diseases and bred crops that feed the world now face the possibility of becoming relics in the story of human progress. American scientific research and development stands to lose thousands of jobs and face a starvation diet of reduced funding if politicians fail to compromise and halt the United States' march towards the fiscal cliff's sequestration of federal funds."
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US Scientific R&D Could Face Fiscal Cliff Doom

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  • Correction (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 26, 2012 @06:55AM (#42092451)

    "The German science programs that landed the first man on the moon" - Corrected

  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @07:21AM (#42092545)

    I don't know if it's even possible for most people to be rational on this issue but I'll make a stab at it.

    Is it scientific spending that is bankrupting the US government?

    No it is not.

    This is NOT where the cut should come. The cut should be everything else.

    I won't state what should be cut because things are so ideological and people are so irrational on the subject that their eyes will roll back into their heads and start foaming at the mouth. But I think we can all agree that it isn't scientific spending that is generating the US debt.

    Very well. Cut what is driving spending up.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 26, 2012 @08:38AM (#42092925)

    Compared to the trillions of "losses", the home loans defaulted were practically nonexistent.

    Derivatives and naked credit swaps created a "money bag" bigger than the entire global GDP from which the bankers took a cut on every movement (whether it made a profit or not).

    But blaming the home loans is popular with idiots like you because it has two wonderful (for your ideology) benefits:

    1) It makes it Obama's fault
    2) It makes the poor the ones who did it all

  • by mellon ( 7048 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @08:50AM (#42092993) Homepage

    Straw man. 100% of tax revenue _doesn't_ go to Social Security. A lot of tax revenue goes to paying the national debt, a significant portion of which is owed to the Social Security Trust Fund. But a lot of it goes elsewhere, like to the defense budget, which is essentially welfare for the rich. Oh, and the deficit has dropped in the past three years...

    But let's not talk about that. Let's just foam at the mouth hysterically and give the bankers our retirement savings.

  • by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @09:40AM (#42093257)
    Despite the rhetoric on both sides, there is no cut in federal spending coming any time soon. Even if Congress and the President do not come to an agreement (a not unlikely possibility) all that will happen is that spending will not increase by as much as projected. That is the situation at it stands is this. The law as passed last summer says that if Congress does not pass and the President sign (or Congress pass over the President's veto) some law changing things the amount that all parts of the Federal government will be allowed to spend next year will be 10% less than the amount that was projected to be spent in the last set of comprehensive "budget" documents passed by Congress and signed into law by the President. That is, they are not going to take how much Congress approved to be spent this year and reduce it by 10%. They are going to take the amount that Congress guesstimated they were going to spend next year (which includes a sizable increase from this year) and cut that by 10%.
    Most people think that when they talk about cutting spending by 10% it means that if they spent $3 million this year on a program, next year they are going to spend $2.7 million. It doesn't. It means that they are going to spend $3.6 million rather than $4 million next year (numbers chosen for ease of calculation).
  • Is there no equivalent of the UK's National Grid in the US?

    Not really. There are some regional power grids that are operated by quasi-public-private organizations (organized by state governments in cooperation with major utility companies), but there isn't even really a "national grid". What the federal government does for highways is mainly establish national standards.... basically a stack of books written by and for civil engineers that explain signage, pavement, dimensions, and color standards that should be followed by the various states when their highways are being built.

    Federal highway taxes are also extracted from fuel purchases and redistributed to each state depending on what member of congress happens to be cutting a sweetheart deal to pass some piece of legislation, but those tend to be "block grants" where each state can pretty much spend that money however it sees fit. Each state also raises its own taxes to pay for a great many of these things.... including I might even add military expenditures as well.

    Local governments (municipalities and counties... it varies from state to state on the degree) also get involved in highway construction and usually are much more heavily involved with public utilities like electricity, sewer, natural gas, garbage, and water distribution. Most things like natural gas and petroleum pipelines are almost always privately owned by some entrepreneur who sees a way to make a pile of money.

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.