U.S. Science Programs Could Fall Behind Via Fiscal Cliff's Sequestration of Federal Funds
November 26, 2012 10:12 PM
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The top states that would be hit are California, Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts and Washington D.C.
Science programs in America may take a very hard hit if sequestration of federal funds takes place, according to a new study.
The study, conducted for the Aerospace Industries Association by Center for Regional Analysis Director Steve Fuller, shows that large cuts in employment in U.S. science programs could affect scientific progress and even non-scientific jobs across the country.
Currently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 1,082,370 U.S. citizens work in the life sciences such as biology. However, if the fiscal cliff's sequestration of
becomes a reality, 31,000 of these citizens could lose their jobs.
"The 31,000 figure does not include the indirect job losses, such as subcontractors, suppliers and vendors, or the induced job impacts," said Fuller. "Induced jobs are those supported by employee's spending on goods and services, so these are unlikely to be STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) type jobs but rather retail, consumer services, education and health, construction and those types of occupations.
"The direct jobs are clearly the immediate losses and encompass most of the STEM-type jobs. There will be some subcontractor job losses, including some STEM type jobs. For DOD contracts in general, subcontractor jobs are about 26 percent of the total where the direct jobs are about 30 percent. The remaining job losses, 44 percent, are induced."
Furthermore, a potential $56.7 billion cut to the Department of Defense (DOD) would eliminate 14,982 science jobs out of the total 325,693 lost. Another $59 billion cut to the U.S. Geological Survey would mean another 15,980 science jobs lost.
Matthew Hourihan, director of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), further added that certain states like California would be hit the hardest with a potenial $11.3 million loss. The other four states in the top five included Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts and Washington D.C.
An even more troubling outcome pointed out by Hourihan would be that American science would be set back by about a decade.
Another issue is grant proposals. Scientists will spend more time writing these grant proposals to keep their labs running and staffed rather than working on actual science. Also, a cut in federal spending could mean a $586 million loss for the American Institute of Biological Sciences, and a grant proposal success rate drop from 22 percent to 16 percent.
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RE: Keep cutting!
11/27/2012 2:56:05 PM
Alternatively, eliminate the mortgage interest tax deduction that overwhelmingly favors wealthy and older Americans, and then the budget is balanced plus a nice $400B surplus.
RE: Keep cutting!
11/27/2012 9:33:37 PM
Sorry, but that is a monumentally terrible idea...
First of all you will kill what's left of the housing market and all the associated industries, mortgage, banking, construction...leading to less tax collections and more unemployment expenditures.
...and you will cause thousands and thousands of defaults...which will be written off leading to less corporate tax collections.
...and you will take away one of the best incentives middle class and lower middle class individuals have to save retirement at a time when savings for retirement is already inadequate for those economic classes.
I could go on, but just those reasons should be enough to show how dumb that would be....but it's just dumb enough that some politicians are suggesting it. Hopefully, it's just a hollow threat to give urgency to making a deal...but ya never know. They may just be that dumb.
RE: Keep cutting!
12/5/2012 10:30:32 AM
>Sorry, but that is a monumentally terrible idea...
No it's not. The economy is growing at an annualized pace of 2.7% with a depressed housing market. The notion that home ownership is some kind of exclusive panacea for the economy is unimaginative in the extreme.
>First of all you will kill what's left of the housing market and all the associated industries, mortgage, banking, construction...leading to less tax collections and more unemployment expenditures.
Uh...what? No, you won't. You will restrict home ownership to people who can afford it. Right now, the MITD is part of the wealth transfer from the middle class to the wealthy. "Give us more of your salary (by reducing your income) and we'll subsidize your housing." I think the middle class would rather earn more money, and then have to pay taxes, than earn less and have to rely on the government to afford their homes.
>I could go on, but just those reasons should be enough to show how dumb that would be....but it's just dumb enough that some politicians are suggesting it. Hopefully, it's just a hollow threat to give urgency to making a deal...but ya never know. They may just be that dumb.
I love that your entire argument hinges on the idea that people need the government to afford their homes. Maybe if, instead of subsidizing everyone's housing at a cost of $1.5T over the next 10 years, the government instead just let the market work itself out - everything would be fine.
The reality is the economy would be *more* stable because of instead of relying on a government handout for home ownership, people would become more financially secure by waiting to buy their first home until they were actually, financially ready. In the short term, it would have a depressive effect, you're absolutely right. But in the long term, the economy would be much better off without another government handout.
"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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