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[My Computational Complexity Web Log] Republicans and Democrats on Science Research

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  • Lance
    From a comment on my last post . I think most computer scientists, even conservatives vote Democrat for one reason. Democrats fund the NSF, and the NSF gives
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 27, 2004
      From a comment on my last post.
      I think most computer scientists, even conservatives vote Democrat for one reason. Democrats fund the NSF, and the NSF gives us fat paychecks.
      From discussion I have with other computer scientists, I don't find science funding a major factor in their voting decisions. On top of that the preface doesn't hold water. I went and computed the average yearly increase in the NSF budget during the tenures of the last several presidents.
      1. Carter, 7.9%
      2. Reagan, 11.0%
      3. Bush Sr., 10.6%
      4. Clinton, 7.6%
      5. Bush Jr., 9.1%
      The Democratic and Republican platforms have similar goals in scientific research though the Republican platform goes into more detail. From the Democratic Platform:
      We will invest in the technologies of the future, from renewable energy to nanotechnology to biomedicine, and will work to make permanent the research and development tax credit. We will achieve universal access to broadband services, which could add $500 billion to our economy, generate 1.2 million jobs, and transform the way we learn and work. And we will put science ahead of ideology in research and policymaking.
      The Republican Platform takes two pages to give the same ideas (except for that last sentence). Here is the section on Research and Development.
      America's economy is undergoing a fundamental transition from one based primarily on manufacturing to one based on innovation, services, and ideas. Two-thirds of America's economic growth in the 1990s resulted from the introduction of new technology and 60 percent of the new jobs of the 21st century require post-secondary education, yet only one-third of America's workforce has achieved that level.

      In order to maintain America's global leadership, Republicans have provided unprecedented support for federal research and development to help spur innovation. Federal R&D funding is up 44 percent from 2001 to $132 billion in 2005, which includes a 26 percent increase in support for basic research. The President has doubled the budget for the National Institutes of Health and increased the National Science Foundation budget by 30 percent. President Bush and the Republican Party also support making the R&D tax credit permanent.

      The rapid pace of technological development demands that we remain on the leading edge of innovation and science. Republicans are committed to providing the investment and incentives needed to foster next generation technologies. The 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act, passed by a Republican Congress and signed by President Bush, increased funding for nanotechnology research. In addition, the President has dedicated $1.7 billion over five years to develop hydrogen fuel cells and related next-generation energy technologies. The President's support for NASA and vision for space exploration will also enhance scientific development and technological breakthroughs.

      In short the parties do not differ much on a future research investment. Both platforms also push science education. The Republicans have had a better historical record of science funding but Bush has come under fire for ignoring science in policy making. Better not to worry about science and use other factors in your choice of president.

      Posted by Lance to My Computational Complexity Web Log at 9/27/2004 08:26:49 PM
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