TPM has a list of stimulus cuts that a group of senators led by Democrat Ben Nelson and Republican Susan Collins have proposed. The cuts are at 77.9 billion and growing, and include a great deal of the science-related spending. On the chopping block:
- 750 million - half the proposed increase - of funding for NASA exploration
- 1.4 billion - from the NSF line. That's the entire proposed increase
- 427 million - 1/3 of the proposal - from NOAA
- 218 million - almost 40% - from NIST
- 1 billion - 38% - from the DOE Energy Efficiency/Renewable Energy line
- 100 million - from the DOE office of science line. That's the entire proposed increase.
In addition, the cuts include the vast bulk of the education funding.
I know I've been skeptical about the stimulatory effects of some of this funding, but it clearly would have some beneficial effect - and it would certainly have more of an effect than not spending that money would.
Missing from the cuts proposed by the moderates is anything at all from the "tax relief" provisions added to soothe the feelings of the Republicans that are voting against the bill anyway.
And here's the kicker:
Just yesterday, we learned that the treasury overpaid banks to the tune of 78 billion dollars under the TARP Program.
Please - contact your Senators, and contact them now. This could be voted on by the end of the day today, and will almost certainly be voted on by Sunday. Tell them that if they want their 78 billion fracking dollars, they should go look at Wall Street, because that's where they threw it.
UPDATE: ScienceDebate2008's Shawn Otto just emailed out a list of suggestions and talking points. I'm pasting a copy below the fold.
One additional suggestion: SPREAD THE WORD. Pass the message on to as many of your colleagues as you can - particularly to those who don't read blogs.
from Shawn Otto - ScienceDebate2008 team
date Fri, Feb 6, 2009 at 9:44 AM
subject Science funding followup: what to do
Several people have emailed suggestions I will share with everyone:
1. WHAT TO DO: call and email your two U.S. senators. Contact from a constituent on a wonky issue like this will have enormous influence. Calling is better than email, but do both if you can.
Go here to find your Senator, and select your state in the drop down box in the upper right hand corner:
Tell them in your own words to reject the reduction
effort in the stimulus bill led by Senators Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Susan Collins (R-ME) when it comes to science.
Note that most Senator's web pages contain a form (e.g. - CONTACT ME) that you can fill out to contact the Senator. Also, use your own words since identical
messages get rejected by the Senators' staff. You can adapt language from my previous email or from below, but be sure to personalize it.
2. TALKING POINTS:
A) Science & technology have produced half of the economic growth of the United States since WWII.
B) Spending on basic research is the single greatest economic engine this country has ever known.
C) Funding to federal granting agencies is about as "shovel-ready" a stimulus as you can get. If the granting agencies lower their score thresholds for awards across the board the money will be flowing within months, leading to rapid hiring and increased purchasing from technical service and supply companies that are largely American, and creating thousands of the kinds of high-quality jobs the country needs.