Phil Gramm proposes funding increase; was: WHAT WILL THE REPUBLICANS DO WITH NIH?

J. D. McDonald mcdonald at
Wed Jun 26 16:36:50 EST 1996

Brad Keele wrote:
> The Houston Chronicle carried a story off the AP wire in the June
> 24, 1996 edition (p. 14A) that seems encouraging.
> I'll paraphrase the best I can.
> Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX) is introducing legislation to increase the
> amount of tax dollars spent to fund scientific research.  About 30
> years ago, 5.7 % of the federal budget (6¢ per tax dollar) was spent
> on funding science.  Currently, about 2¢ of every tax dollar (1.9%
> of the federal budget) is spent on research; going to NIH, NASA, and
> NSF (and the research dept. of other gov't agencies).  Gramm's
> proposal is to raise this to 4¢ per tax dollar by the year 2002. 

Remember that the Republican passed NSF appropriation had a 5%
increase in it. This increase was vetoed by President Clinton. 
This is of course nowhere near a factor of two. But a 5% increase
is better than a decrease. Even a 40% increase would, if
channeled into real research grants would put non-biomedical
research in the US in excellent shape.

And remember that even biomedical research these days is totally
dependent on advances made in previous years in physical and
organic chemistry and engineering disciplines. Except
for genetics research, further advances in biomedical wil 
also depend of previous advances in more basic fields.

Doug McDonald

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