Since Sue, Ed, Andy, and a whole host of my relatives have all sent me a pointer to this OpEd by Thomas Friedman in the NY Times, you may have already seen it. But that doesn’t make it any less worth noting.
Friedman picks up where former Clinton defense officials Perry and Deutch left off earlier in the week (which we covered here), who picked up where NY Times reporter John Markoff left off a couple weeks earlier (which we covered here), arguing that the Bush Administration, by cutting the U.S. investment in fundamental research, has put not only our national security at risk (as noted by Perry and Deutch), but our economic security at risk as well.
The Bush team is proposing cutting the Pentagon’s budget for basic science and technology research by 20 percent next year – after President Bush and the Republican Congress already slashed the 2005 budget of the National Science Foundation by $100 million.
When the National Innovation Initiative, a bipartisan study by the country’s leading technologists and industrialists about how to re-energize U.S. competitiveness, was unveiled last December, it was virtually ignored by the White House. Did you hear about it? Probably not, because the president preferred to focus all attention on privatizing Social Security.
It’s as if we have an industrial-age presidency, catering to a pre-industrial ideological base, in a post-industrial era.
Of course, when Friedman writes regarding the National Innovation Initiative
Did you hear about it? Probably not…
he’s obviously not referring to readers of this blog, who read all about the Council on Competitiveness report back on December 15th.
Friedman has hit the Administration and Congress hard (and repeatedly) for allowing NSF to be cut in the FY 2005 appropriations, so I’m glad to see him continue to bang the drum for federal support for fundamental research.
So, read the whole thing, and thanks to Sue, Ed, Andy and my relations for pointing it out.