I just learned that, according to Ike Brannon, an economist and senior policy adviser to presidential candidate, John McCain, all funding — including funding for scientific research — will be frozen for one year if McCain is voted into the White House.
“The purpose of the freeze is to evaluate each and every program, looking at which ones are worthwhile and which are a waste of taxpayer dollars,” Brannon told the Task Force on the Future of American Innovation at a private meeting in Washington, D.C.
Unfortunately, this is in direct conflict with McCain’s earlier statements regarding his position on funding for scientific research. When questioned about this change in McCain’s policy, Brannon remained inflexible.
“[T]he freeze applies to the entire budget, most of which doesn’t relate to science. He hopes to be able to find savings from earmarks, from unnecessary subsidies, and from other programs that could then be applied to research.”
This is in stark contrast to the stated position for the Obama campaign, presented by Melody Barnes, Obama’s senior domestic policy adviser.
“Senator Obama believes that we have to double scientific research funding, so that we can take advantage of the enormous talent in the United States, and we can regain our global competitive edge.”
Considering that McCain is having difficulty in distinguishing his proposed policies from those of the current administration, his position only serves to reinforce Americans’ perception that McCain’s regressive policies towards funding scientific research and innovation will create yet more barriers to solving this country’s numerous problems.
Ho-hum. So it goes.
NOTE: Original story location with interesting reader comments.