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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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  • by mrbluze ( 1034940 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @06:07AM (#42092301) Journal
    into armed conflict by private banks, who, through their monetary policy are exerting undue political influence on the White House. It matters not which party sits in power, they have very little choice but to do what they are doing.
  • Re:Wow, 3% = doom? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mitreya ( 579078 ) <mitreya&gmail,com> on Monday November 26, 2012 @07:00AM (#42092463)

    Um, there is a little detail you may have missed. The President doesn't have the AUTHORITY to change the tax structure. Congress does;

    Well, no, he does not -- but he was leading the negotiations between D and R earlier and the only reason these negotiations fell apart is because the ratio of 80% spending cuts and 20% tax increases was still not acceptable to the tea party.
    I think they were seriously hoping to negotiate to 100% and 0% compromise.

    yet - gee - the same electorate returned who returned Obama also returned a Republican majority in the all important House of Representatives.

    Not sure what your point is. Representatives are not a single unit (like the President). There is a significant ratio of incumbent retention, mostly due to gerrymandering. Barely 5% of the races tend to be competitive or even in doubt (unless the incumbent retires). I wouldn't read into this at all.

  • Re:Isn't it ironic (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 26, 2012 @07:10AM (#42092511)

    You add the productive folks in with the working poor who do all the distasteful, oftentimes dangerous jobs and you start to wonder why exactly we keep the "managerial class" around

  • by rally2xs ( 1093023 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @07:15AM (#42092523)

    a D thing!

    What we have to do is to reindustrialize America. That is, get the jobs back from overseas. How do we do that? First, we have to recognize that jobs did NOT go overseas because of work-for-peanuts foreign labor rates. No, no, no. They went overseas because of... taxes! Specifically, income taxes are toxic to industry in any amount. We should get rid of them.

    _The_ answer is the Fair Tax. The Fair Tax calls for the complete repeal of all income taxes, every last one of them: individual, corporate, alternative minimum, self employment, estate, gift, social security / medicare, capital gains, etc. etc. Income taxes are essentially a tax on prosperity, and like RR said, "If you want less of something, tax it." Boy does that work great with income tax. We have waaaaaaay less prosperity than we could have.

    The Fair Tax taxes consumption. That is, it is a sales tax. Stop with the knee-jerk "regressive" reaction, already, the income taxes are already incredibly regressive, with the Social Security / Medicare tax taking the first 15.3% of _every_ person's wages from the 1st dollar they make, it not mattering a whit that such person is only making $11,000 / yr. And if that isn't regressive enough, the Social Security / Medicare tax is capped in the $100K range, meaning the really rich people pay far LESS percentage than the poor person.

      The Fair Tax taxes consumption, and "prebates" the amount of tax you pay on the amount of money you spend up to the poverty level. That is, if the poverty level is $11K per year for you if you are single, then the government sends you the amount of tax on $11K, in 12 equal monthly payments, so if you're poor you don't pay a penny of Fair Tax, it is paid for you.

    What this does is make the USA the worlds newest, bestest tax shelter for industry to produce goods and services tax free. That is huge, since, according to Fair Tax researchers, approximately 22% of the selling price of everything produced in the USA is composed of industry expenses caused by income taxes. That is, a $40,000 SUV built in this country has about $8,800 of income tax expense in it. By contrast, it only takes about 30 - 33 labor hours to build the $40K SUV, and at the industry-stated rate of $78 / hr expense of labor to the the car companies, that is only $2,500 labor expenses to build the SUV.

    Want to fix the economy permanently? Pass the Fair Tax, get unemployment down to 3% in about 2 years, killing about $100,000,000 of unemployment expenses and $70,000,000 of food stamp expenses to the gov't, and increase gov't revenues due to the huge expansion in the economy. Then, when full employment is achieved, wages start going up because of a labor shortage. That is when we can decide to let anyone that wants to immigrate to come here without restriction other than criminals and people with dread diseases, who we can also provide with good jobs and high wages, which.... generates more revenue from their spending. That, plus the fact that the Fair Tax broadens the tax base by including, for the 1st time, criminals that use the money stolen from the public via illegal means to buy their luxuries which will be taxed, as well as the idle rich that have no income but will be taxed heavily when they buy that $70M yacht, and, BTW, the rich contribute far more to the tax base than they do now simply because of their spending on luxury items.

    We can do this, or continue with the income taxes sucking the lifeblood out of our economy, and be forced into austerity, and eventual 3rd-world existence because we'll be forced to lower wages to the work-for-peanuts foreign worker equivalent, while the gov't takes taxes from the wrong places, and forces jobs to continue to flee the USA and end up in places like India and Bangladesh.

  • by rally2xs ( 1093023 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @07:27AM (#42092581)

    We just kicked the president of Egypt in the teeth by threatening his pipeline of money via "Foreign Aid" into doing the right thing in this war between Israel and the Palestinians, resulting in the continued existence of our only really friendly country in the middle east, and in our not having to get involved militarily ourselves to achieve that. Without "foreign aid", we'd either have to abandon Israel to annihilation by the Muslim Hordes, or come to their aid with troops.

    IOW, we're getting a lot of bang for our "foreign aid" buck, or more properly renamed, our "bribe to behave" which is what foreign aid really is.

  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @07:28AM (#42092583) Journal

    The whole "fiscal cliff" doom the fox network is spreading (check who owns redneck eh discovery) just means that if congress digs in its heels and does nothing the President gets his way by default because tax breaks that the repubicans want to extend and increase for the rich will END!

    Obama can just sit back and relax if he has the balls, he can get far more taxes by simply waiting out the republicans then trying to bargain with them. The smarter republicans know this (both of them) and are not at all please with their redneck counterparts trying to create a crisis that only exist in republican eyes.

  • by Going_Digital ( 1485615 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @07:33AM (#42092605)
    How about withdrawing tax benefits given to religious groups and instead tax Churches like any other business and use the money to fund tax breaks for science. As far as I can see science has done many things to make our lives better in recent years where as religion has just stood in the way of the progress of science.
  • by Lisias ( 447563 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @08:10AM (#42092789) Homepage Journal

    Oh, and only about $700 billion is military, and much of that is spent in the U.S., so cutting it means less industry, less employed people, etc.

    The GP is right. You must be blinded by "imperialism syndrome" to address 700 BILLIONS of Dollars with the adverb "just".

    A lot of the problems USA faces today is the result of the very same policy you're defending as if means "more industries, more employed people, etc".

    We must talking about efficiency. USA took 10 years and 2 TRILLION Dollars and something just to kill a single man [yahoo.com]. USA is clearly holding, I mean, doing something very wrong.

    Granted, I'm not saying everything is wrong, neither that all the military expenses are unnecessary...

  • Re:Wow, 3% = doom? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Weezul ( 52464 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @08:25AM (#42092857)

    I'm happy if we tax the rich more, but our real problems are :

    (1) Spending money on wasteful harmful shit, i.e. warfare (DoD, CIA, etc.), police state (FBI, NSA, etc.), drug war (DEA, etc.), etc.

    (2) Permitting the financial industry to extract such insane rents on everything by not regulating them.

    (3) Subsidizing established industries, especially oil, nuclear, and agricultural subsidies.

    We could cut taxes by massive amounts if we halted all that waste, corruption, and exploitation.

  • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @08:55AM (#42093017)

    It needs to cut its budget by 50% or more. Many programs and federal departments need eliminated entirely.

    The only programs that truly matter as far as the deficit is concerned are Medicare/Medicaid, Defense and Social Security. Those three together account for about two-thirds [wikipedia.org] of the US budget. Get those programs under control and the problem is solved. All other discretionary spending combined accounts for less than 20% of the budget. Either we need to raise taxes to fully fund the programs we seem to want or we need to cut those programs to a level of taxation we are willing to accept. Either way will work but any argument about anything beyond Medicare and Defense (Social Security is easy to fix and self funding) is either naive or political pandering.

    That's only some $650,000 per person that the government has borrowed on behalf of each and every one of you. No problem, right?

    A meaningless statistic. As big as the debt is as a percent of GDP, we've had larger debts in our past that have been dealt with just fine, most notably after WWII. That doesn't mean it isn't serious but your attempt to frame the issue doesn't really address how the debt would be dealt with. Corporations pay quite a lot of tax and can be made to pay more if need be. A relatively small percentage of the population has a vast portion of the nation's wealth. Furthermore all the debt the US government has is denominated in US dollars which can be created at will (with some fairly serious negative effects).

  • We already fell off (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @08:59AM (#42093035)
    We jumped off this cliff in 1971 in order to pay for the the Vietnam war. We've been falling ever since. It just hasn't looked like we're falling because we're all boxed up inside a Fiat currency. Now that we're nearing the bottom and bouncing off a few jagged boulders, people are starting to realize we might be screwed. I love how this "Fiscal cliff" they've invented is designed to scare everyone, even scientists, into letting them raise taxes and reduce services even more. Hilarious.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 26, 2012 @09:07AM (#42093073)

    Well, its been said before, and the right now has no excuse or cutesy argument, their own idiotic stupid, head up their ass actions have brought us here. The republicans in congress cock blocked every fucking thing the president tried to get through and wasted all of our collective taxpayer dollars to try to get Romney elected. And that argument of "oh wait.. congress was democratic controlled for the first two year of Obama's first term!" is a non argument because tell me people have forgotten the voting in congress on Obama care and Bart Stupak retiring because some Moron Called him a "Baby-Killer" because of how he voted. Why was that loudmouth moron not arrested? The Republicans ran the country into the ground to try to get Romney elected and those morons failed, now we are stuck here and those idiot retard texan fuckheads are going to now try to blame Obama for invading iraq, for 911, for the tea party , for the fiscal cliff and got knows what else.
    this is what happens when we have a president like bush that wastes all our funding on a war that no one wanted and then tries to blame everything they did on the other political party. Im calling a spade a spade. The Democrats are not without fault but the Republicans should be tried for crimes against humanity. IT seems like every time we have a two term Republican president that generation of high school kids and the whole of the American people get dumber.

    Seriously dont believe me? look it up. matter of public record. It is frustrating as hell that you get this condescending BS , well you're very naive, but the two partys are really one party.. bullshit,, sorry try again.. or the whole , well its our way of life that is to blame. or its entitlement or we are heading to a socialist nation.. all these patently false logical fallacy laden arguments being listened to by people who have less than a 70 IQ who are members of the republican party are to blame here. Sarah Palin for instance posted those targets and Gabrielle Giffords got shot because one of their little fucktards went for it. America would do well to clean house in congress and get rid of the tea party. PERIOD no arguments.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 26, 2012 @09:16AM (#42093131)

    > resulting in the continued existence of our only really friendly country in the middle east, and in our not having to
    > get involved militarily ourselves to achieve that. Without "foreign aid", we'd either have to abandon Israel to
    > annihilation by the Muslim Hordes, or come to their aid with troops.

    So lets cut them loose. Honestly, Isreal has done nearly everything they reasonably could to deserve it. They build settlements in areas that are internationally recognized as Palestinian, then, in the rare occasion when they do have to leave, demolish all of the buildings, extra effort and cost, just so as to leave nothing behind for the people whose land they were trying to steal? Fuck them. Let them get pushed into the sea they are asking for it with some of the shit they have been pulling.

    Honestly, we don't need them, we could normalize relations with Iran a lot more easily than I think most people realize. We have a long history of cross cultural exposure with them, they are very westernized, and only through accident of revolution and some seriously bad policy on our part that really put us in the situation we are in now.

    Few things are as useful to the "towel heads" (as one of my Iranian friends so affectionately calls the clerics) as sanctions and a general adversarial posture.

  • by Ironhandx ( 1762146 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @11:10AM (#42093889)

    Funny, Canada has a balanced budget and we have a more robust welfare system(that less people are forced to take advantage of prior to old-age because it is robust and includes education and sometimes FORCED education programs.

    We also spend 10% per capita on health care of what you spend and get LONGER life expectancies. Emergency treatment isn't as good(but only for SOME things, generally rarer things/situations that a country with 10% of your population base isn't going to have a very large absolute number of people needing attention for), but preventative measures are used in every possible case where they can have a strong benefit.

    Most americans are so fucking narrow minded its mind-boggling. Even some american friends who I would otherwise consider relatively intelligent just can't see the fucking forest because they get hung up on one or two trees.

  • by Ironhandx ( 1762146 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @11:30AM (#42094073)

    "In the US, when tax rates were above 70%, we had some pretty good domestic growth. Please do not try to tell me that raising taxes is the death knell of innovation and business. As one small business owner told me recently, if taxes went up he would consider hiring to (1) expand his business because (2) instead of the Government getting his money from his profits, he would rather pay a worker. A tax cut would do nothing...nothing to inspire him to expand. He would just buy more goods, mostly made outside this country."

    This. 1000000x this. There is a comfort level for business owners. Once the comfort level is attained they strive for nothing more than acquiring more personal wealth to ensure they have some sort of legacy. When taxes go up, businesses are forced to do MORE. They're forced to grow, hire more employees, train staff and do whatever it takes to achieve this comfort level and then acquire more wealth.

    Taxes are on PROFIT, and a tiered tax system based on amount of profit encourages less massive companies that can monopolize or have massive industry-wide ramifications. The only companies that should be so large are manufacturers and R&D companies because there is simply no choice.

    If you make say 200k net profit before taxes this year and end up with say 170k of it in your pocket after tax, then you project you'll make 250k net profit before taxes next year and would end up with say 200k in your pocket because you've been bumped up another tax bracket. 170k is a comfortable place for you, and you could use some extra help. You hire an employee at 40k/yr(including benefit costs yada yada for simplicities sake) which gets you down to 210k profit before taxes, but drops you down a tax bracket(which for arguments sake we'll say the limit is at 220k) However since you're down the tax bracket you end up making 178.5k. Thus the total cost of that employee to you wasn't the 40k you're putting into the economy, it was the difference between 200k and 178.5k. Which is only 21.5k. You've hired yourself a mid-level employee at a total cost of something barely above minimum wage plus some minor benefits.

    40k/yr is a fairly solid middle class job in a lot of places. This tax scenario creates a situation where middle class jobs start piling up fast from a LOT of different businesses. You can apply the same(15% and 20% for increasing tax brackets) in many business areas and the exact same thing will happen. The government ends up with MORE money because the individuals tax rate is probably a few % higher than the business tax rate is. Even if they don't just from the income tax portion, they will end up with more tax money, and zounds more tax money from the transactions and other services this guy consumes that are also taxed.

    Yes, Higher taxes CAN STIMULATE an economy. They can be used to create an artificial pressure for companies to increase local expenses. Which puts more money back into the economy and the cycle continues. The largest periods of growth in the U.S. in particular vastly support this theory. Higher taxes = more growth. Bill Clinton raised taxes. Low and behold, middle class got stronger. Every country runs on its middle class. Without a strong middle class, the rest of the country is screwed.

  • Re:Wow, 3% = doom? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheSync ( 5291 ) on Monday November 26, 2012 @04:45PM (#42097601) Journal

    Here is the deal: According to the Tax Policy Center, if we cap itemized deductions at $50,000 and keep tax rates as they are today, we would raise $749 billion in tax revenue over ten years.

    Moreover, according to the TPC's distribution table, 96.2% of the extra revenue would come from the top quintile, with 79.9% from the top one percent.

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