President Obama must believe in the fabled money tree with all the currency we don’t have that he is borrowing and spending. Now, he has told the National Academy of Sciences that he wants 3% of the United States GDP (gross domestic product) to be poured into science. From the story:
President Barack Obama on Monday promised a major investment in research and development for scientific innovation, saying the United States has fallen behind others.I am really tired of that particular whine. Who precisely, have we fallen behind? In what sectors? I am used to this caterwaul from “the scientists” who will never be satisfied until they have two blank checks; one for ethics and the other for funding (and not just here, the same cry is heard from this sector all over the world.) When it comes from Obama, he is merely pandering to this entitlement mindset for political purposes.
But I digress:
“I believe it is not in our character, American character, to follow — but to lead. And it is time for us to lead once again. I am here today to set this goal: we will devote more than 3 percent of our GDP to research and development,” Obama said in a speech at the annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences. “We will not just meet but we will exceed the level achieved at the height of the space race,” he said...Yadda, yadda, yadda.
“The commitment I am making today will fuel our success for another 50 years,” he said. “This work begins with an historic commitment to basic science and applied research.” He set forth a wish list for the future including “learning software as effective as a personal tutor; prosthetics so advanced that you could play the piano again; an expansion of the frontiers of human knowledge about ourselves and world the around us.”We can do this,” Obama said to applause.
I stink at math but we have a $14 trillion dollar GDP, meaning he wants about $420 billion poured into science each year. Obviously, he means both through the public and private sectors:
Obama said his administration would double the budget of key agencies, including the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. “At such a difficult moment, there are those who say we cannot afford to invest in science. That support for research is somehow a luxury at a moment defined by necessities. I fundamentally disagree,” Obama said.There he goes again with the straw men. I don’t know of anybody who has ever called for the public defunding of science. The questions are how much and for what purposes, which are legitimate policy issues. To say otherwise is sheer cow manure. But under Obama, there are apparently no hard decisions that have to be made, no prioritizing that needs to be done. He owns a money tree
Moreover, where is he going to get the money to double public spending on science, now that we are spending trillions on banks and such.? Then there is the new universal health care law that will be jammed down our collective craw without meaningful democratic debate. Then there is the as yet unfunded mandatory spending coming soon to fund the Baby Boomer’s Social Security and Medicare. Oh, yes, we have a jihad on our hands, and all that infrastructure the bailout bill is supposed to improve. But Obama doesn’t believe in leadership based on reality. His purpose is to buy friends.
As to the private sector, he isn’t in control of those investments—yet. This is pure pandering to make everyone think he is oh, so pro science—unlike the rube he replaced. But what he really is doing is cementing the ongoing corruption of science into a mere special interest, so beholden to the powers that be for financial support that it will servilely serve the political needs of the ruling oligarchy. Thomas Edison is rolling over in his grave.