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.
Science and R&D
U.S. is Falling Further Behind in Research and Development Funding
Robust investment in R&D is critical to ensuring a nation’s leadership in science, technology, and innovation. The United States can no longer take its leadership position in any of these categories for granted. While many in Congress understandably do not want to impoverish the next generation of Americans by saddling them with unsustainable debt loads, if they try to address the debt by slashing productive investments in the future, they will end up impoverishing future generations of Americans just the same (and likely worse so). Therefore, Congress and the Administration should commit to restoring the R&D funds imperiled by the current sequestration and to more broadly maintain stable and robust funding for federal R&D, keeping the United States on a path to consistently meet the stated target of investing 3 percent of U.S. GDP in R&D annually.