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Government Republicans United States Earth The Almighty Buck Science

US Federal Budget Proposal Cuts Science Funding (washingtonpost.com) 648

hey! writes: The U.S. Office of Management and Budget has released a budget "blueprint" which outlines substantial cuts in both basic research and applied technology funding. The proposal includes a whopping 18% reduction in National Institutes of Health medical research. NIH does get a new $500 million fund to track emerging infectious agents like Zika in the U.S., but loses its funding to monitor those agents overseas. The Department of Energy's research programs also get an 18% cut in research, potentially affecting basic physics research, high energy physics, fusion research, and supercomputing. Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) gets the ax, as does the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program, which enabled Tesla to manufacture its Model S sedan. EPA loses all climate research funding, and about half the research funding targeted at human health impacts of pollution. The Energy Star program is eliminated; Superfund funding is drastically reduced. The Chesapeake Bay and Great Lakes cleanup programs are also eliminated, as is all screening of pesticides for endocrine disruption. In the Department of Commerce, Sea Grant is eliminated, along with all coastal zone research funding. Existing weather satellites GOES and JPSS continue funding, but JPSS-3 and -4 appear to be getting the ax. Support for transfer of federally funded research and technology to small and mid-sized manufacturers is eliminated. NASA gets a slight trim, and a new focus on deep space exploration paid for by an elimination of Earth Science programs. You can read more about this "blueprint" in Nature, Science, and the Washington Post, which broke the story. The Environmental Protection Agency, the State Department and Agriculture Department took the hardest hits, while the Defense Department, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Veterans Affairs have seen their budgets grow.

US Federal Budget Proposal Cuts Science Funding

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 16, 2017 @10:10PM (#54055437)

    Total, utter morons.

    THANKS, Trump voters.

    • by grcumb ( 781340 ) on Thursday March 16, 2017 @10:19PM (#54055479) Homepage Journal

      Total, utter morons.

      THANKS, Trump voters.

      After all, this, do you STILL have no fucking clue how important email management is to us?!?




      (This is so-ooo going to fail the Poe's Law test, but it was worth it.
      )

    • by thesupraman ( 179040 ) on Thursday March 16, 2017 @10:39PM (#54055595)

      No..
      What we have here, other than a failure to communicate, is a budget that simply represents what the average American wants.

      Americans love money, and growth, and power. hence the need for a business friendly budget.
      Americans are terrified of the rest of the world, hence more insane defense spending.
      Americans make a lot of noise about the environment, but don't actually do anything about it, hence cutting spending on such projects.

      So Americans, go look in the mirror and consider that this budget, as a nation, reflects you. Maybe not the individual you, but the group.

      And not just the right, or the left. Not just Dems or reps. This is how the whole world sees you all, as a nation.

      Sad perhaps, but true.

      But don't worry, you will all forget it as soon as the next football game kicks off, the next Hollywood personality splashes some opinion piece, or you decide to 'peace keep' another country into the dirt.

      It will pass, because really, you don't care.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Not saying Islamic terror isn't a threat, but to put it in perspective, it seems we have just as much to fear from substance abusing or mentally ill drivers mowing people down in a crowd as we do from Jihadis executing carefully planned attacks. Both in terms of the numbers of victims and the frequency of incidents.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 16, 2017 @11:13PM (#54055765)

        Not at all.

        What we have here is the budget built by a corporatocratic military industrial complex that uses everything they have learned on Madison Avenue to sell it.

      • by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Thursday March 16, 2017 @11:20PM (#54055797)
        Americans like medical science and the results though. Remember, we're talking about science research? There was a bunch of cuts targeted to environmental monitoring, which is likely the real intended cuts, but right up there at the beginning of the list, there was a big cut for NIH funding, the agency that is trying to cure cancer? Americans = not fond of cancer.

        In fairness, there are parts that are clearly designed to attract all the protest and anger and then have it evaporate when they drop it. The NIH cuts are part, possibly all of that scheme. Newt Gingrich and a lot of other people in the Trump party are strongly in favor of INCREASING funding the NIH. They likely realize that what the NIH works on will benefit them more than an additional 100 warplanes on top of the fuckload we already have would.

        I mean, it could turn out to pass that the NIH does get cut, dumber things have happened with this administration. It might have been a mistake that Trump will just run with.

        And not just the right, or the left. Not just Dems or reps. This is how the whole world sees you all, as a nation.

        "the average american" didn't and doesn't want for Trump, and didn't vote for him, let's remember that. You're right that the rest of the world, like an unfortunate amount of americans don't care about the important details, they just want to seem above political fights. Americans are, after all, pretty average people. People in general don't like jumping into a political fight because it makes us feel unclean. Makes it harder to pretend we're superior to both sides. But when facing the consequences we're facing now, it's more than just arrogant. People who can't or won't tell a difference between the party of Trump and the party of Obama/HRC are the people responsible for the current administration doing what it is doing right now. Whatever passes will be because of people like you who don't care to call someone right and someone wrong and risk being wrong yourself.

    • by Humbubba ( 2443838 ) on Thursday March 16, 2017 @10:53PM (#54055663)
      Trump's Budget is straight from the playbook of the Heritage Foundation. Following the money to the military, I'd say prepare for war; probably the Middle East again, seeing how things are. We'd lose a conventional war with China, and going nuclear is too much, even for Donald Trump.
    • by Z80a ( 971949 )

      You can thank hillary for that pretty much.
      She put trump as her opponent and still lost to him.

  • by cfalcon ( 779563 ) on Thursday March 16, 2017 @10:13PM (#54055451)

    While everyone will bitch about (with merit) or rave about (maybe with merit) the actual details of the budget, the big requirement this time, MIGHT be, it actually be a budget.

    Or at least, soon.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view... [bloomberg.com]

    I'm not sure if the current proposed budget seriously expects the debt ceiling to remain in effect. What is sure is that the debt ceiling has been punted in the past: hence it being suspended until yesterday. Talking about the budget without any decision on the debt ceiling is pretty stupid, but we will do it anyway. If the debt ceiling is real, we probably need to cut more than 18% off of a few things, and eliminate more than just a few programs- we probably need to axe at least one department over the next few years. If instead it is just another punt to younger people to pay off our national credit card, then you can go ahead and parse the proposed budget through a petty and partisan lens.

    • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Thursday March 16, 2017 @10:17PM (#54055471) Journal
      How can you be so naive? The debt ceiling only matters when there is a Democrat in the White House.
      • by Snotnose ( 212196 ) on Thursday March 16, 2017 @10:28PM (#54055529)
        The budget ceiling is a strawman. The money has been spent, now the bill is due. It's like you bought that doohickie at Kohl's a couple weeks ago, now you get the bill and decide to not pay it.

        The solution isn't in the debt ceiling. We need to tell Congress "NO! You cannot spend more money without paying off your existing debt! Fuckwits".

        That will never happen. sad. Hoping I'll be dead before the cows come home to roost, it'll be close (10 years).
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 16, 2017 @11:01PM (#54055715)

      Ask any credible economist about balancing the budget and they'll tell you it's not a huge priority.

      They will pretty much flat out tell you to drop all tarrifs, engage in free trade, and issue tax credits to those affected by jobs shifts associated by free trade. That will raise productivity and that will in turn bring in revenue and the debt issue will correct itself. No amount of jiggling and shuffling spending around will amount to shit.

      • by liquid_schwartz ( 530085 ) on Friday March 17, 2017 @12:01AM (#54055919)

        Ask any credible economist about balancing the budget and they'll tell you it's not a huge priority.

        They will pretty much flat out tell you to drop all tarrifs, engage in free trade, and issue tax credits to those affected by jobs shifts associated by free trade. That will raise productivity and that will in turn bring in revenue and the debt issue will correct itself. No amount of jiggling and shuffling spending around will amount to shit.

        I think economists support free trade the same way a Marxist supports communism. It will solve all ills if only it were implemented just right. And if the people play along perfectly. And while implementations of it have caused lots of problems, if only it were done right then everything would be perfect. It just isn't so. The middle class declines ever more, inequality swells regardless of D or R being in charge, and now it's gotten bad enough that it's causing instability. Trump is a warning. If things decline even more then expect the person or two after him to make him look mild. I don't expect good things for my kids based on where we're currently headed. Not that I think Hillary would have been much different, though Bernie might have been.

      • by DarkOx ( 621550 ) on Friday March 17, 2017 @03:33AM (#54056521) Journal

        credible economist

        The problem of course is macro-economics isn't actually much of a science. Unlike micro-economics you mostly can't test anything because you don't have a control. Credible is defined as a bunch of people who went to the same schools agree with you, well no surprise there, its how indoctrination works. I am not even saying its deliberate. People embrace ideas offered to them by people they respect. I have plenty of opinions about computer science I know I inherited from who I considered to be my better professors while in school. Its far more difficult for me to evaluate challenges to those ideas in an unbiased way. However at least those things are somewhat testable in the real world.

        I used to believe in free trade but the reality is that its a race to the bottom. Until every trade partner has essentially the same cost structure in terms of worker protections, environmental protections, entitlements, etc capital flees to where it will be most productive for its owner. Specialization isn't really a thing outside situations where one nation is geographically sitting on a large amount of some required natural resource as an input to some process. What free trade will do is probably spread the wealth around the world. Well as an American I am actually pretty happy with wealth being highly concentrated right here, thank you very much. Maybe that is a moral failure on my part, I don't know. Its hard to really feel guilty about wanting the best for my family and friends though. I suspect in those other places if the shoe was on the other foot many of the people there would feel and act the same way I do.

    • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Friday March 17, 2017 @12:00AM (#54055915) Homepage Journal

      The debt ceiling is misnamed. There is no ceiling on incurring debt -- that happens whenever you spend more than you take in. It's a limit on turning that debt into financial instruments to sell to investors. That act doesn't increase debt per se; it merely means we owe money to bond holders rather than short term creditors.

      This is a normal treasury function -- even large businesses operate this way. When Proctor and Gamble decides it could use a billion dollars for something, it doesn't always raid the piggy bank (cash reserves) or sell off assets -- although that's an option. It issues a corporate bond. It's absolutely routine.

      The US Government has been doing this ever since 1917, all through the glory days of Eisenhower prosperity, and all that time there has been a debt ceiling that nobody except for Congressional and Treasury functionaries have ever heard of. The only reason we know this term now is that (a) the US Constitution (unusually) puts this treasury function in the hands of Congress and (b) Congress has been grotesquely dysfunctional for a decade.

      As for what we "need" -- we need to decide on the mix of revenue, spending and borrowing makes sense, not monkey with an arcane implementation mechanisms.

    • by AutodidactLabrat ( 3506801 ) on Friday March 17, 2017 @12:45AM (#54056093)
      There were several budgets under Obama.
      He just could not get Republicans to vote for any of them.
  • I know it's trendy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Thursday March 16, 2017 @10:18PM (#54055473) Journal

    I know every budget has to be criticized by 'the opposing party' with a list of all the wonderful things that are going to be cut, but you all DO realize that the US government is nearly $19 TRILLION in debt - or more than $50k per person in the country?

    Every single program that we're paying for, essentially we're living off credit cards. We are the wealthiest nation in human history, and we still cannot afford all the crap we want.

    At some point, someone has to be the grownup in the room and say "you know, that would be really nice, but we simply can't afford it".

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 16, 2017 @10:20PM (#54055485)

      I might agree with you except the budget increases spending in total. Basically everything is moved to defense, and a little more added to defense after that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yet it adds $54 billion to defense spending, while cutting out the entire NEA and NEH for a yuge $300M savings. Clearly addressing the deficit is not uppermost in Trump's mind.

    • by DavidMZ ( 3411229 ) on Thursday March 16, 2017 @10:27PM (#54055527)

      I know every budget has to be criticized by 'the opposing party' with a list of all the wonderful things that are going to be cut, but you all DO realize that the US government is nearly $19 TRILLION in debt - or more than $50k per person in the country?

      Every single program that we're paying for, essentially we're living off credit cards. We are the wealthiest nation in human history, and we still cannot afford all the crap we want.

      At some point, someone has to be the grownup in the room and say "you know, that would be really nice, but we simply can't afford it".

      I would agree with you if the Trump government was actually proposing to reduce the budget, but that is not the case. The cuts in those agencies will mostly be used to fund a $54B increase in defense spending (which, in 2015, already accounted for more than half of the federal discretionary spending.

      You can read the full WP article for more details...The link is in the summary

      • He's just restoring half of the cuts that Obama made to defense spending.

        • He's just restoring half of the cuts that Obama made to defense spending.

          Cuts that were made as the country was going out of Iraq and Afghanistan, so one could argue that it was not actually a "cut" in the military power of America. Shall I also remind you that Trump promised to make our allies pay to finance our military? I don't see this happening

          Plus, that's not answering the concerns of reducing the deficit.

        • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Thursday March 16, 2017 @11:46PM (#54055883) Homepage

          To be far more realistically clear. They are increasing the military budget by pretty much the equivalent of the entire Russian military budget, whilst Russia is cutting it's military budget by 30% to spend more on infrastructure, yet according to the ever bullshitting North American Territorial Occupation farce (NATO), Russia is the big threat. I know it is a plot by the Russian government to hack US elections by Russia cutting it's military budget whilst the US is increasing theirs. Oh my God what would happen if Russian halved its defence spending would the US need to double theirs. If you people think US defence spending needs to be where it is, you are just plain gullible idiots or just military industrial complex propagandists, death eaters.

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            It's the alt-right again. They think that since women got the vote and became a major factor in deciding who leads the country, the US has gotten soft. Women want to waste money on things like healthcare, tackling poverty and "arts". And this at a time when America's enemies are cutting their defence spending and the alleged warmonger just lost the election...

    • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Thursday March 16, 2017 @10:30PM (#54055547) Journal

      At some point, someone has to be the grownup in the room and say "you know, that would be really nice, but we simply can't afford it".

      Please explain why this proposed budget gives a huge bung to the richest Americans if the intent is to do something about the deficit? And while you are at it, explain how a huge increase in military spending helps with the deficit?

      • The president is proposing a increase in defense spending of 54 billion dollars. The total annual spending on non-defense research is 69 billion, so you'd have to cut science funding by about 80% to pay for that. And then there are no doubt tax cuts for the wealthy coming too.

    • At some point, someone has to be the grownup in the room and say "you know, that would be really nice, but we simply can't afford it".

      There is another alternative so solve that if what you are going to cut is really important: you can raise taxes. However I understand that Trump wants to lower taxes and apparently by cutting basic science. That's a very short term strategy. It may take a decade or two but if you fall behind the rest of the world in science you are handing us a huge economic advantage....errr...so forget I said anything, this sounds like a great plan!

    • by 31415926535897 ( 702314 ) on Thursday March 16, 2017 @10:33PM (#54055567) Journal

      I totally agree with you. However, even as a very conservative guy, I'm disappointed in this budget. Maybe it's just because I also happen to be a geek and don't mind the investment into science research.

      Anyway, the main reason I'm disappointed is that cutting these things is like straining a gnat and swallowing a camel. They don't actually change the financial health of the nation, fundamentally, though they are devastating to the agencies who are impacted by the cuts.

      We need to make real changes. That means cutting defense by a ton. We can spend half of what we spend now and still outclass every military on the planet. We need to majorly reform the entitlement programs. Social security, medicare and medicaid are going to blow us up. I'm a younger guy, and even from the start of my career I could see that SS was not really going to be there for me by the time I get there. I would be so happy if they did something like push back the SS "retirement" age to something like 72 (for anyone under 50) and made the thing solvent at least. These are the kinds of changes that grown-ups need to make.

      Cutting NASA's budget is like telling your kids that you have to reduce their allowance by half because you have $100,000 in credit card debt.

      • From 1972 to today, the EPA has grown by 115%. Funding for the EPA is up 51% [cnsnews.com] during just the Obama administration. The total number of employees "reduced" over the last 40 years is almost all in military service personal cuts. Every other agency has grown, as have their budgets. The EPA, as an easy target, has projects and funding for things like "clean energy" redundant with at least a dozen other agencies. That is just one area of dozens of redundant projects and redundant bureaucrats handing out tax

        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 17, 2017 @02:36AM (#54056393)

          Fuck you.

          "From 1972 to today, the EPA has grown by 115%"

          From https://www.epa.gov/planandbudget/budget:
          1972: $2,447,565,000
          2016: $8,139,887,000

          So, first up, you pulled numbers from your ass. Good job. It's actually increased by a factor of 3.3. Before your stupid ass starts gloating, let's look at what inflation has done since then.

          From: https://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl?cost1=1&year1=1972&year2=2017
          A 1972 dollar is worth $5.83 now. So in constant inflation adjusted dollars, the EPA budget only has 57% of the purchasing power it did in 1972.

          Learn to do actual research, with actual sources, and don't quote some fucking "conservative premiere media watchdog." I mean, for fuck's sake, they can't even capitalize shit correctly. Why do you think they can do math?

      • .08% Not much of a cut, and it does not pertain to any of the space programs. I would strongly recommend people read or listen to Directory Mulvaney's Q&A session for answers, as apposed to reading some propagandist's opinion of the briefing.

    • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Thursday March 16, 2017 @10:51PM (#54055659) Journal

      At some point, someone has to be the grownup in the room and say "you know, that would be really nice, but we simply can't afford it".

      One if we apply this logically we would go, "do we really have to spend more on military than the next 10 nations combined, 8 of them are allies and all of them are trading partners?

      We pay abysmal interest rates for our T-bills and the world still thinks it is a safer investment than anything else. World trade is dollar denominated and foreign exchange of all the countries are in dollars.

      In fact it is criminal not not to borrow to the hilt and invest in infrastructure, at this low interest rates. Not merely bridges and roads, universities, research labs, data collection and archiving, everything we can think of, and then a few we can not think of too.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 16, 2017 @10:56PM (#54055679)

      Except of course, you don't understand what the debt is. This allows Republicans to con you into thinking cutting useful things is good for you.

      The debt is actually predominantly Americans investing in America. Its like investing in companies but safer (and hence provides an important part of our economic system). You don't tell companies to stop investing in things that make them more profitable, but somehow when it comes to making America better suddenly people don't think its a good idea. If you have almost any kind of retirement savings its a good bet it has some government bonds.

      In almost every way science and education increase the value and GDP long term, and so borrowing for them is a good idea. Not being able to track climate change puts us at a disadvantage. Reducing health care coverage massively increases inefficiencies and costs everyone more money. Deregulating companies allows them to externalize costs which are imposed on everyone else - aside from being grossly unfair it more inefficient than doing things correctly in the first place.

      Cutting all these things makes things less efficient, less productive, and more expensive as a whole - which in the long run reduces what the government takes in as taxes. In many cases this can make the debt worse.

      Please stop falling for and spreading this con. This is all here to make a few people (not you) richer.

    • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Friday March 17, 2017 @12:12AM (#54055959)

      You are either a complete Trump fanboy, or just hopelessly naive because this budget IN NO WAY reduces the debt. Never mind you silly argument of "living off a credit card" (if you don't know how public debt different from revolving debt, go spend some time reading or take ECON 200) let's just focus on the budget:

      It includes a massive increase of $54 Billion to the military. This is the military that is already funded 3x the next highest military (in fact if you add #2-8 in spending together you don't equal it), that has spending more than transportation, education, housing, international affairs, science, labour, and agriculture COMBINED. We really need this? We need that much more money for the military?

      On top of that they are also set to propose sweeping tax cuts, particularly for the rich.

      This is NOT something that'll reduce the debt, not even reduce the rate of increase.

      If you want to compare it to a family (which as I said, it doesn't really work like personal finances) this is a parent saying "No I'm sorry kids, we can't afford to get a new water heater even though ours isn't working well, and I can't get you new clothes, we have too much debt. In other news I'm buying myself another new car and cutting my hours to 35 per week!"

      You show me a budget that cuts the military like everything else, that at the very least keeps taxes where they are if not increases them, I'll give the "we have to cut the debt" argument credit. However so long as it is "less taxes, more defense spending" you can GTFO with that crap.

  • Endocrine disruptors [wikipedia.org] may be associated with the development of learning disabilities, severe attention deficit disorder, cognitive and brain development problems...

    Gee. I wonder why the Big Cheerio wants more of them running around in your water supply?

  • Does anyone have the numbers on total money cut from those programs axed or trimmed? What percentage of the budget is actually being saved by trimming and axing these programs (not including those programs that are staying the same or having their budgets increased)?
  • I hope he leaves in enough money so we can bomb children in Yemen, because that makes America great.

    • I hope he leaves in enough money so we can bomb children in Yemen, because that makes America great.

      Bombing civilians in Yemen was Obama's and Clinton's policy, driven by misplaced loyalty to Saudi Arabia. I hope this doesn't continue, the WH's past alignment with Sunni supremacy causes was disgusting, and maybe Trump will end it (judging by his dislike of ISIS and appreciation of Russian destruction of the same). Who knows, one can only hope.

  • Kneejerk budget (Score:4, Insightful)

    by g01d4 ( 888748 ) on Thursday March 16, 2017 @11:16PM (#54055773)
    I think it was the Lexington columnist for the Economist who said that Republicans are for small government, except when they aren't. And when it comes to defense, they aren't. Trump complained about wasted defense spending in the Middle East and complained about our allies not paying their fair share - so his solution is to spend more. Businessman my ass, now he's playing army with other people's money.
  • by Goldsmith ( 561202 ) on Thursday March 16, 2017 @11:22PM (#54055805)

    (first my disclaimers...) I'm a research scientist. I've worked in academia, for a government lab managing grants, and in private industry.

    There are many good reasons to change the way science funding is done in the USA.

    First, we all know here that there is a surplus of certain STEM labor, including a large number of the researchers (postdocs, grad students, etc.) funded by the government.

    Second, there is a serious and long running lack of practical progress being made in science. By some metrics (# of degrees, # of papers), we are doing great, but by others (# of companies founded, return on investment, research efficiency) we are at a generational low-point.

    Third, some practical STEM fields (i.e. medicine, manufacturing engineering) DO exhibit a labor shortage, and also rely on training programs largely outside the research grant driven model.

    The budgets we're looking at in the government grant space are enormous. It doesn't seem that way to many researchers, but the annual NIH budget alone is about equal to all of the funding provided to all startup companies annually. There's a lot we can do with that, provided the right direction. NIH, for example, could be re-focused on grants for training medical doctors, PAs, nurses, etc., instead of researchers. Yes, that would slow research down, but it would also contribute significantly to lowering the cost of medical care, and it would be appropriate for the mission and people at the NIH. A mature approach to climate change might cut some climate research funding, but increase funding for faster roll-out of a power and transportation infrastructure free of fossil fuels. Surely such an infrastructure could be an obvious point of agreement between the right and the left; start the construction in coal country.

    A thoughtful approach to science funding would encourage researchers to look beyond their next federal grant to other (private) funding sources, and would encourage (force) private funding sources to invest in transitional research. The UC pension system has been instrumental in fueling the startup economy for a long time by devoting 1% of it's money to funds investing in startup companies. If other groups did the same (... were forced to do the same...), we would increase the total amount of science funding by several orders of magnitude more than the total federal R&D budget. Prior to the 1990s, all large DoD contractors were required to spend 15% of their budget on R&D projects that were reviewed by government scientists to ensure they were actual R&D projects. Removing that requirement shut down a lot of very good industrial research programs. We learned then that most companies performing internal R&D can't compete with companies using subsidized academic R&D. That's an important lesson that the pharmaceutical industry is just now discovering, and it's an economic fact we need to fight. Reinstating requirements like minimum and audited internal R&D budgets for government contractors would also increase private spending on real research.

    Not all research can use a "transition to private funding" model, so there is a need for continued blue sky research funding from the government. However, right now, we are saturated with the results of blue sky research and in serious need of support for transitional and applied research. As a nation, we are paying for this basic research, but we are not seeing the benefits of it. Some small amount is commercialized here, some is commercialized elsewhere, but a whole lot just gets forgotten. That's a waste, and it's stupid.

    So basic research could be de-emphasized for a while, and non-government resources could be directed to lead to an overall increase in work and funding for researchers (while also delivering a profit... usually). That's another way of saying that a decrease in federal research funding could be done in a constructive way. We could even look at the labor market for cues as to whose graduate education we should be subsidizing. However, this is not what Trump is suggesting here... but it's nice to daydream about what an intelligent jobs-and-commerce science budget would actually look like.

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