Trump’s budget will not “destroy” or “gut” science


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Our terrible press does it again. Yesterday the Trump administration released its proposed 2020 federal budget [pdf], and as usual the pro-government propagandists in the media got to work to lobby against it.

This proposed budget will do none of these things.

These articles all fail to apply even the slightest and tiniest bit of context to their analysis. The budget numbers proposed by the Trump administration might reduce the budgets of some science agencies from what they had gotten the year before, but overall the proposed budgets remain gigantic, far more than received by these same agencies only a few years before.

You don’t believe me? Let me open your eyes.

Trump proposes a budget of $34.4 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), $5 billion less that its 2019 budget. Has it been gutted, slashed, destroyed? No. This proposed budget is still higher than any previous NIH budget, prior to 2019.

Trump proposes a NASA budget of $21.02 billion, $500 million less than its 2019 budget. Has he gutted, slashed, destroyed NASA’s future? No. This proposed budget is still higher than any previous NASA budget, prior to 2019.

Trump proposes $5.5 billion for the Office of Science in the Department of Energy (DOE), almost a billion less than it got in 2019. Has he gutted, slashed, destroyed all U.S. energy research. No. This proposed budget is still higher than any previous DOE budget, prior to 2019.

I could go on. With each budget item, the overall trend remains upward, even if Congress was to accept Trump’s proposed budget without change. All the Trump administration seems to be trying to do here is to slow the growth of government, while rearranging some of the numbers to get more bang for the buck.

For example, this carefully written Space News article notes that the NASA budget eliminates funding for SLS’s largest version, while proposing that Europa Clipper be launched on a commercial rocket like Falcon Heavy, thus saving $700 million. The article also correctly details other cuts, such as the cancellation of WFIRST, the space telescope boondoggle designed to eat money like the James Webb Space Telescope has, once Webb is finally finished.

Anyone who has been paying even the slightest attention to NASA in the past decade will understand the wisdom of these cuts. SLS has been a financial black hole, going nowhere while eating gobs of money. WFIRST shows every indication of doing the same, as has Webb before it. Trimming or eliminating both so their money can go to more effective projects is simply good common sense.

A close read of all the articles above, once you get past the lobbying for government funding, indicates similar thinking. At NIH for example the budget proposes some rearrangement of the bureaucracy while increasing funding for research into pediatric cancer and AIDS.

You can get an even better view of this by reading the entire the budget itself [pdf]. Nothing is being “gutted,” “slashed,” or “destroyed.” Some agencies get increases (Defense, Commerce, Homeland Security, Veterans, Small Business) while more get decreases (Agriculture, Education, Energy, Health & Human Services, HUD, Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, Corp of Engineers, EPA, NASA). The overall effort is aimed at reducing the budget’s growth, but not by very much. In the end, Trump’s budget would still have the federal government larger than it was during the Obama administration.

Of course, we know that Congress will not accept this budget proposal. The House Democrats will team up with the Senate Republicans to expand the 2020 budget. SLS will get its full funding, WFIRST will be reinstated, and the funding trims for all the other agencies will disappear.

The nation’s debt will grow, we will move closer to outright bankruptcy, and none of this wasted money will accomplish very much.

I apologize for being so pessimistic, but it seems to me I have been writing this same column yearly for the past two decades. Every time we have a president willing to trim spending, even by a tiny amount, the press teams up with Congress to lambast that effort with bad reporting, and Congress then proceeds to spend money like it grows on trees. And each year I describe this corrupt partnership in great detail, documenting its immoral and dishonest effort most accurately, and find that no one seems to care.

A dark age is coming, and it appears that nothing can be done to stop it.

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5 comments

  • Tom Billings

    The one thing that the academically certified members of the press *will*not* tolerate anywhere in society is a lack of purely trusting support for academia. Some science departments are the only part of academia the press can *claim* to be outside of “activist” politics. Thus, the press will emphasize their budgets, because their accomplishments are what are used to justify supporting the rest of academia’s anti-industrial agenda.

  • Dr. Mike Adams

    Everyone always thinks the end is coming. I have faith in Trump, and my fellow Americans to ultimately make the right choices. We can enter a new golden age now thanks to Trump and freedom being re-installed. The left is in a panic, and they know that control over the media is the ONLY thing that gets Dems elected. They can’t do it on the issues. Americans detest the left and socialism regardless of every fake article you see telling us how great socialism is.
    I came over here from a site called Whatfinger News. You should go there, they show the news no one else does and when you see and realize the great scam the left is trying t pull, you get it. College students get it too once you show them. I employ 49 college kids in 2 businesses and the people who want that retarded Green Deal, just had no idea about how bad socialism has done for thousands of years. Never a success story.

  • commodude

    Only in Washington, D.C. does a reduction in the rate of growth=cuts.

  • wayne

    commodude-
    nail, on the head.

    http://www.usdebtclock.org/

  • Dr. Mike Adams:

    Curious if you teach at UNC-W. If so, you may enjoy the forum.

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