6 February 2009
I just heard some disturbing news: in an attempt to cut unnecessary spending from the stimulus package, Senators Ben Nelson and Susan Collins have put forward a proposal that would cut much of the money directed to agencies like NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Energy. Here’s a breakdown of the reductions in stimulus money:
NASA exploration $750,000,000 = 50%
NSF $1,402,000,000 = 100%
NOAA $427,000,000 = 34.94%
NIST $218,000,000 = 37.91%
DOE energy efficiency & renewable energy $1,000,000,000 = 38%
DOE office of science $100,000,000 = 100%
Notice especially that the NSF and DOE office of science would lose all of their stimulus money. News flash: basic research helps the economy. More than half of the US economic growth in the last 50 years has been due to science and technology. If you’re trying to stimulate the economy, it makes no sense to cut money that would go towards the sort of high-tech innovation that drives it.
Significant amounts would also be cut from education. To take a look at the proposed stimulus cuts, look here.
I encourage you to contact your senators and tell them that you strongly favor keeping funding for basic science in the stimulus package.