This arrived in my Inbox a few minutes ago:
REPUBLICAN STUDY COMMITTEE RELEASES "OPERATION OFFSET"
Members of the Republican Study Committee (RSC) in the House have launched "Operation Offset," and have released a list of specific spending cuts in the federal budget to pay for Hurricane-Katrina related reconstruction costs. The RSC recommendations include: elimination of subsidized loans for graduate students; elimination of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Math and Science program; cancellation of the NASA's Moon/ Mars initiative; elimination of the Leveraging Educational Assistance Program (LEAP); and elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The entire report can be found at: http://johnshadegg.house.gov/rsc.
Shouldn't that be something like "we need to eliminate our future". Nothing about the 200 million for that bridge in Alaska or something like that. Any why pick out one particular program in the NSF (which is, btw, where I get my funding from)? UPDATE: they do address this; I just missed it in my quick reading (thank to Dave).
Frankly, I'm not worried they will get this through. It does bother me that they have decided to go after the Math and Science program so specifically. What is it they have against science?
Here is a direct link to the full report (warning, it is a Word document (their staffers are also a bit clueless, aren't they!). I've only got time to scan it before I shoot off to teach. But check this out:
The federal government has extensive loan options for financing education. Students have likely had government help paying for college, if there was financial need. Graduate students make an informed decision to invest in their own futures and should bare the costs of schooling, especially since private interest rates are currently low. This reform would allow federal higher education funding to be focused on college students while still allowing graduate students to benefit from unsubsidized federal loans. Savings: $8.6 billion over ten years ($4.2 billion over five years)
Especially since private interest rates are low!? I suppose this might work if everyone wanted to be a doctor or a (republican) lawyer! What are these people smoking!?
The NSF bit I need to understand a bit more. It seems to be saying that they want to do something less than kill the whole program, but they seem to be targeting the whole program:
The NSF promotes math and science education by improving teacher training and developing instructional material. However, the program is now duplicative of programs at the Department of Education, including the Math and Science Partnership authorized by No Child Left Behind. Savings: $2 billion over ten years ($973 million over five years).
So, I think they don't know the name of the program they are talking about here -- that isn't basic research. That must be one of the partnership programs. I'll have to ask Paula; she would know more about exactly what that is.
They also want to eliminate insentives for energy conservation. One could argue that one reason we are seeing more of these things like Katrina is exactly because we are burning so much energy!! Another thing that I saw scanning through was to eliminate funding for contraceptives for teens (like 95 million). Sheesh. Idiots.
Ok, I'm getting all fired up over a document that, as it stands, doesn't really mean anything. Time to get back to work.
UPDATE: See Dave's comments for more...