In DepthU.S. Funding

Trump's new budget cuts all but a favored few science programs

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Science  14 Feb 2020:
Vol. 367, Issue 6479, pp. 723-724
DOI: 10.1126/science.367.6479.723

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  • RE: Proposed science budget cuts

    Budget, they say, shows our priorities. When we remove the mandatory portion of the budget, the so-called discretionary budget shows where our priorities truly lie. In 2019 fiscal year, almost 60% of the discretionary budget was spent on defense. Research? Paltry and anemic 5.64% for major federal science funding agencies, or $71.15B (the remainder, approximately an equal percentage of the total discretionary budget, supports the Department of Defense research projects). Despite the enormous holes in the revenue created by the incredibly shortsighted tax cuts in 2017, the behemoth of the defense budget keeps growing at the expense of everything else.
    Students of history may remember that the fall of the Roman Empire was foreshadowed by shifting priorities towards ever greater building of their armies to expand and maintain their influence, i.e. heavy military spending, accompanied by endless wars, political corruption, failing economy, decline in ethics, and undervalued labor. Sounds familiar? Perhaps it should. Imagine a world in which the U.S. would spend half of what it spends on the military on research and education … what a different world that would be.

    Competing Interests: None declared.

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