Science and R&D

In an economy powered by innovation and technology, more proactive R&D policies are key to success.

The Epistemic Sequester: Budget Cuts Kill an Important Statistical Program

April 1, 2013
| Blogs & Op-eds

After already slashing R&D funding, the Sequester is about to deliver another kick in the teeth to American competitiveness: it’s going to sharply reduce our ability to measure it. This one comes courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, whichannounced last month that the sequestration has forced it to eliminate itsInternational Labor Comparisons (ILC) program, a neat little database that adjusts foreign data to a common framework, allowing you to compare the traded sector health and competiveness of the United States against that of other countries.

Entitlements or Investment? Democrats Must Pick

March 27, 2013
| Blogs & Op-eds

In a piece for USA Today, Rob Atkinson argues that unless more older Americans work, pay taxes and take fewer benefits, the only realistic way to address the budget deficit will be more cuts in investment and core government programs.

Brainbox Nation

The Economist
Rob Atkinson is troubled by a number of related trends. America’s tax credit for R&D is relatively stingy, he notes, offsetting just 6% of the amount companies invest, compared with 14% in China and 29% in Denmark.

University Research Discovers Hard Truths of U.S. Budget Crisis

Reuters
A report from ITIF says sequestration would leave the United States $511 billion behind in research and development investment, compared with expected growth in spending on research in China.

The Real Cost of the Sequester

March 6, 2013
| Blogs & Op-eds

By continuing to focus on the budget deficit alone, policymakers, advocacy groups, and commissions such as Simpson-Bowles and Domenici-Rivlin miss the broader problems the American economy faces. To ensure our overall economic health, we must address the stagnation of funding for innovation that is necessary to promote new business development, global competitiveness and job growth. Government should be focusing on reducing the investment and the budget deficits together, not implementing sledge-hammer budget cuts that will ultimately make our economy weaker.

Why Private Companies Won't Make Up for Cuts in Government Science Funding

Bloomberg Businessweek
ITIF calculates that the full weight of the research cuts could reduce U.S. gross domestic product by a minimum of $203 billion from now to 2021 and would result in 200,000 job losses this year alone.

The effect of sequestration on research will cost the U.S. economy's GDP about $200 billion by the year 2021.

Because of the key role federal R&D plays in driving U.S. innovation, productivity, and economic growth; we estimate that the projected decline in R&D will reduce GDP by between $203 billion and $860 billion over the nine year period, depending on the baseline used. At $203 billion, the loss is equivalent to taking away from U.S. consumers all the new motor vehicles purchase over six months, over two years of airline travel, or six years of attendance at professional sporting events.

R&D Faces Its Own Fiscal Cliff

MIT Technology Review
The sequester means across-the-board cuts to federal R&D and, barring a grand budget bargain, anemic research budgets in the years ahead.