Trump's Budget A First Step Toward De-Politicizing Science

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Tho Bishop via The Mises Institute,

The Trump administration has released its proposed 2018 budget, and within it are some things worth cheering. Trump’s "America First budget" includes needed cuts to the regulatory state, defunds efforts to purchase more Federal land, eliminates funding for 19 minor government agencies, and makes significant cuts to a number of more significant ones — including the State Department, HUD, and Commerce. Unfortunately, the proposal also reflects the myth that America’s military is underfunded, calling for a $52 billion increase for the Pentagon and another $2.8 billion increase for Homeland Security. The budget also ignores America’s web of entitlement programs, the larger driver of the nation’s fiscal woes.

While the Trump budget, should it pass, would do little to change government spending as a whole, the targeted cuts would have a positive impact beyond the US debt clock. For example, the proposed cuts to the Energy Department, the EPA, and the National Institute of Health represent a significant step toward separating state and science.

It should go without saying that scientific research is a vital part of civilized society, allowing for technological breakthroughs that dramatically increase the quality of life for mankind as a whole. It is precisely because of its great importance that it should not be politicized by being influenced by politicians and government bureaucrats. The inherent problems of government's inability to efficiently allocate scarce resources doesn't change when the subject is science, so government research can suffer with the same issues of waste, fraud, and abuse that regularly haunt other programs. 

The National Institute of Health, one of the areas most impacted by the Trump budget, provides a number of examples of such questionable research. As Senator Jeff Flake documented last year, the National Institute of Health dedicated millions to such pressing research as the impact of cocaine on bees, testing sex steroids on goldfish, and studying the appearance of Jesus on toast. In its own version of Washington Monument Syndrome, the NIH then came back to Congress asking for more funds to dedicate to actual public health concerns.

Waste at the NIH isn’t just a concern for economists and attention-seeking politicians, Dr. Michael Braken, at Yale University School of Public Health, has argued that 87.5 percent of the organization's research is waste.

For every 100 research projects, only half lead to published findings. Of those 50, half have significant design flaws, making their results unreliable. And of those 25, half are redundant or unnecessary because of previous work. That’s how you get to 12.5 percent.

Not only are the priorities of public research questionable, it can impact the science itself. We have seen this particularly in the case of climate science, one area which is targeted extensively in Trump’s budget.1

Earlier this year Dr. John Bates, a former NOAA scientist, documented how climate data was improperly handled. The purpose, as Bates states, was:

[to put a] thumb on the scales — in the documentation, scientific choices, and release of datasets — in an effort to discredit the notion of a global warming hiatus and rush to time the publication of the paper to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy.

Government-funded science was manipulated to push a government agenda.

Past administrations' concerns with warming have also led to programs incentivizing “alternative energy” sources, which can lead to all sorts of bad investments by private companies seeking public subsidy. One of the most prominent examples was the failure of Solyndra, the solar panel company that went bankrupt after receiving billions from taxpayers. These programs also take a hit in Trump’s budget.

Cuts to government research programs, however, should only be the first step toward making American science great again. The second part should come in the form of cutting taxes to the wealthiest Americans, and eliminating taxes for scientific investment. This is precisely what Murray Rothbard advocated in Science, Technology, and Government, and it would build upon a long standing American tradition of wealthy Americans playing a pivotal role in scientific innovation.

While it’s fair to debate whether Elon Musk is closer to Howard Roark or James Taggart based on his use of government subsidies, his SpaceX program has demonstrated the potential of privatizing space exploration — and the efficiencies that come with it. For those concerned about private interest in research without explicitly profitable ends, last year private non-profits provided $2.3 billion to basic research.

While his proposed budget is a solid first step toward de-politicizing science, unfortunately the increase in Pentagon spending means that military-related research will continue to enjoy the perks of government privilege. Resources that could have been dedicated to serving the wants and needs of the public will instead be allocated to building ever more expensive weapons for the world’s most powerful military (regardless of its actual performance).

As long as Trump continues to view the military-industrial complex as a sacred cow, he won’t make real progress in draining the swamp.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
xythras's picture
xythras (not verified) Mar 17, 2017 7:21 PM

Let's cut more from the immigration science. We could do with less spics around not to mention shitskins. 

VIDEO: Trump tells Merkel “Immigration is a Privilege, Not a Right”


Let's bring more IRISH. 


tenpanhandle's picture

Personaly, I think they should cut out secret service protection for expresidents.

benb's picture

I'd say just for the the preceding last two. If justice is served they won't need them anyway while spending the rest of their lives in the Federal penitentiary at Leavenworth.

techpriest's picture

On the main topic, in many cases it's not even matter of directly funding bad science, but instead giving funding to ideologically-aligned professors so that they have the income needed to keep fighting for the Left. And, so that they can be the "experts" for policy panels, etc.

When you have no money, it's hard to do science, and hard to maintain the necessary prestige to be taken seriously.

stizazz's picture

Common sense and logic went out the window the moment people (and scientists) started believing they're descended from animals.

Mano-A-Mano's picture
Mano-A-Mano (not verified) stizazz Mar 17, 2017 8:51 PM

There's the old adage: Nothing comes from nothing.

BUT, with these pseudo-scientists, out of nothing came some slime that grew into a monkey which grew into a man.

Boy, do I want what they're sniffing.

SgtShaftoe's picture

Yes, that's the famous reason of "People will simply not understand ideas as long as their paycheck requires them to remain ignorant of those facts."

Very true.

hope_talk's picture
hope_talk (not verified) SgtShaftoe Mar 18, 2017 7:09 AM

I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do...

MFL5591's picture

The country is fucking bankrupt what the hell atre you people thinking!  Just keep spending on science as we collapse?  How about get a handle on this run away debt first? 

Bumpo's picture

Global Warming is making animals smaller (cat-sized horses). If you don't agree, you're a Racist Homophobic Nigger Faggot.

CaptainObvious's picture

I don't agree.  Is there someplace I can get a badge or a bumper sticker so I can label myself properly?

Last of the Middle Class's picture

But But But Elon Musk wants to build a rocket to MARS!!!!. For Gods sake he's gonna need trillions of government dollars for that!! We need this MARS thingy, I saw it on TEE VEE.

Cassandra.Hermes's picture

The guy who has three oil paintings of himself in his bathroom wants to cut the National Endowment for the Arts.

xythras's picture
xythras (not verified) tenpanhandle Mar 17, 2017 7:27 PM

You CAN'T teach art. You can have talent and create something people WANT thus make $ or NOT. There's no training for it. You can not endow people with talent, you have or you don't.

All those art&science programs are just cash cows for the dems. They are moving the $ into their campaign coffers.


CaptainObvious's picture

Wow, xythras learned how to post without including a spam link.  I am duly impressed!

Cassandra.Hermes's picture

Kitch is art too, I wouldn't mind all elementary school art and craft to be banned, it is heartless to throw your kids project in the garage!

nmewn's picture

I'm old enough to remember Robert Mapplethorpe's garbage was called "art" and it very well may be that it was to those who appreciate "his art" which is really all the discussion is. If they like that bullshit they can buy it and support "that artist".

Otherwise, I shouldn't be forced to "buy it". 

CaptainObvious's picture

The way the really great artists of the past was funded was through patronage.  We should go back to that system.  You can't hold a Warhol soup can painting up next to the genius of Rembrandt and tell me it's just as good.

Art appreciation is subjective, so why is paying for the creation of it not subjective?

Chief Wonder Bread's picture

the taste of liberal tears is sweet, except when they are infected with the AIDS virus, which is often

QuantumEasing's picture

Hmmm, they actually isolate that yet? News to me if so.

Speaking of de-politicizing science...

But yes. The tears are sweet libations.

quax's picture

lol - de-politicizing science, so that it can be "proven" that fast neutron fission is a figment of the imagination, and you can start rewriting history?

Still waiting to hear from you what happened in Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and what exactly old friends of mine saw explode in Nevada.


QuantumEasing's picture

Your homework is late, Quack. Unmoderated fast fission, showing equations for fast neutron capture in U-235 resultant from mechanical impact of two sub-critical masses of same.

And why should I have to tell you what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

What happened in Tokyo, Yokohama, Kobe, and hundreds of other Japanese cities? Do the math. Borrow one of your troll compatriots/coworkers if you require more fingers and toes.

And as to what your friends saw...I won't speculate on that. No idea what sorts of alternative pharma you or they partake in, but hearsay is not evidence.

Finish your homework, and then you can ask questions.

And by the way...

You claim the Million Euro prize yet for proving nukes are real? Just asking, since you are so certain. You must have some compelling evidence:

While you are at it, there's a cool grand for isolating HIV. Might want to do a twofer:

But, since science is scary to you and your ilk, all that follows from this point is virtually certain to be 3rd grade scatological references and desperate impugning of my mental faculties...

In the meantime, a film for those that remain skeptical and inquisitive, as all scientists should strive to do:

And, an extremely good take on the "Bikini tests:"

And an overview on the whole "Nukuler Hoax." Just stumbled across this. Seems that more and more, critical thought is re-asserting itself:

quax's picture

This is hillarious. Even more fun than the flat earthers. And here's why: Eventually the nuclear test moratorium will unravel.

Science was always quite interested in what happens to humans at different distances from ground zero. The Russians back in the day had it easy they could just order some cannon fodder soldiers to be at the required distances, but in the US that was trickier. But now with you and your fellow travellers, we have the perfect volunteers, because you just *know* that nothing will actually be able to produce a nuclear blast. 

Your contribution to science will be duly noted, I promise, and the culling will increase the herd's IQ, so it's all good.

QuantumEasing's picture

You would know.

Your ilk will be regarded as equivalent to the Flat-Earthers, Geocentrists, or phrenologists in a hundred years. Or sooner. Laughed at with a rueful shake of the head, and just as quickly forgotten like the irrelevant dupes you were.

You keep responding to my queries, not with science, but with *rhetoric*. It's laughable to everyone that is paying attention. I can back up everything I have said, in many cases with personal, provable, repeatable evidence.

I am asking valid, scientific questions. Logic and grammar before rhetoric.

You are obviously someone who either has a vested interest in lies, or who is so emotionally invested in an ingrained belief system that you can only expend energy on rhetoric. Unable to articulate why you are so certain that "nukes" are real. Foot-stamping and poo-flinging are not recognized persuasive devices. No matter how much sophistry you apply, it won't change the laws of physics, or how the world *actually* works.

But back to the task at hand:

Why were there so many "witnesses" roped into watching these "tests" (conveniently asked to "turn away" at the moment of the "explosion" I might add)? The more people that were let in on the scam, the easier it is to sell. E.g., those "friends" who "witnessed" something in Nevada.

I had an uncle that worked at the Unicorn factory. He assembled the horns. I guess that proves Unicorns are real.

Its amazing people are willing to believe the same ((People)) that gave you the Federal Reserve System.

I can guarantee that my IQ is substantially higher than yours, simply because you are unable or unwilling to debate me with logic or science, and because I am willing to objectively look at the "evidence" and see through the bullshit. Science never proves. It can only disprove.

Another couple for you (and the folks keeping score at home): why is there no evidence of Cerenkov radiation in any "nuclear explosion" footage?

Why, if the "flash" temps at Hiroshima and Nagasaki were high enough to "vaporize" human bodies, there were still trees standing a few feet away from those "charred outlines?" Calorimetrically, it takes way more heat to vaporize a human body than a sapling, strictly based on water content and mass.

Think of those as extra credit in your homework. Although I'm fairly certain you will be flunking out at this point.

Your increasingly frantic ad hominems, as well as those of your "fellow travelers" is evidence that you are either deliberately obtuse, or completely hopeless.

quax's picture

Scientific papers like this one are unfortunately all made up, so no, I will not discuss "science" with you, my delusional friend.

But I am delighted to hear about the unicorns. I thought they were all driven into the ocean by the red bull.

You've got it all wrong anyhow. See being a physicist I have zero expertice in biology, but an accomplished biologist explained to me the other day, that chromosome separation in mitosis is simply not possible, given the size of the human genome. The process is just too complex, it could never work. It's all an elaborate lie. In reality our cells never divide and we have been grown in vats. Every memory of a live human birth has been implanted into our memory.

I am happy to discuss the science of this earth shattering revelation with you, wanna bet you cannot refute it?

quax's picture

Seriously, couldn't you at least try to spell Cherenkov correctly? 

But your request is duly noted, I will work with my contacts in the DoD to make sure some underwater tests are added when we can finally blow up some nukes again. The velocity of light in the atmosphere is almost as large as vacuum c, so no dice getting this nice glow when blowing'em up in the air. We also may have to spice the warhead a bit to get enough free electrons or positrons. But I am sure we can work that out.


QuantumEasing's picture

Yep. The omission of a single h due to mis-typing after working a 16 hour clinical rotation *completely* nullifies everything I've said. Guess I'll take my marbles and go home.

You are a precious little clown.

And atmospheric test or nothing. Interested in the mass spectroscopic reading.

You really should pull your head out of your ass. The explosions should be blue-tinged regardless of atmospheric or water. Atmospheric moisture is still high enough to facilitate Cherenkov radiation.

Not to mention why "nukes" are such dirty, low temperature explosions (red and orange flames, black smoke...what's burning? And don't say "the atmosphere" or we're done). The explosions should look completely different than anything ever seen. But they don't.

But the important part is the mass spectroscopy.

Emission lines at U and Pu. Hydrocarbon contamination will indicate just another gasoline/chemical explosion, such as Trinity (which was 108 long tons of TNT, seeded with know, as a "rehearsal"). Never mind that chemical and "nuclear" explosions would have nothing in common...

But you go work with your "contacts" (probably the maintenance staff), I'll go talk to my contacts (high energy physics department) further. And we shall see who is right in ten, twenty, or fifty years when this all finally comes to light.

If there's any justice in the world, the revelation will snap your tiny mind.

Your single, solitary downvote is just...adorable.

quax's picture
"Atmospheric moisture is still high enough"
Maybe when you talk to your HEPD contacts you can asked them about the light speed in water vapor as opposed to liquid water. You have obviously no clue how the Cherenkov effect comes about, but then again, that was always a given.
QuantumEasing's picture

Still haven't finished your homework.

And allegedly a physicist? I should not have made it so easy.

For someone that is a SME, you are long bloviating, and short actual answering the fucking question.

And Cherenkov radiation is not limited to water. Any dielectric medium. For a physicist, you seem oblivious of IACT. Not even my field, but I am familiar with it.

Your comments re: biology were a random mess of gobbeldygook. Not sure what your point was. But not surprising.

I suppose the only thing we can agree on is that atmospheric testing of "nukes" needs to resume immediately. For something so puportedly vital to national security, it is a travesty that this has been neglected so long. Every two years, a random warhead needs to be pulled from stockpile (or better yet, an "off the rack" I See BM) and tested under anticipated combat conditions. Third party observation should be mandatory (after all, this is 1920's tech, it's not going to "reveal" anything that is "secret").

Until this happens, "nukes" are presumed to be fake.

Seeing Red's picture

FWIW, I've seen Cherenkov radiation in a research reactor.  Imagine a pole hanging down into a pool of water; at least 15 feet down, with a large cylinder on the end containing the core.  Now imagine brilliant (monochromatic) BRIGHT blue light around it, like the water is glowing (it is), with maybe a 2 or 3 foot radius around the core (fading with distance).  Perhaps this is relevant to one of you (hard to tell).

FUN FACT (re: "are nukes real?"):

There is sufficient worldwide radioactive contamination now (post-WWII) that getting 100% non-radioactive lead for shielding in certain research labs is a problem.  Solution:  Divers are paid $$$ to retrieve unfired ammo from sunken WWII ships and harvest the lead.  Why would they do this if radiation is all fake?

QuantumEasing's picture

Better question is, why would the "test explosion" prior to Trinity have been seeded with radioisotopes and gamma producers?

Please show me that the ONLY way that radiation could have gotten into the environment was through "nuclear explosions."

I just showed that you can't.

Did you actually read the .pdfs I linked to? You really should.

And what is "one of me?" One of my colleagues in neurosurgery? They tend to be less inquisitive outside their field.

Thank you for being cordial. And for bringing personal experience to the table. Something the Quack is unable to do.

Read through this. It's worth your time:

quax's picture

Never be cordial to morons who spread anti-science disinformation, a rule I proudly live by.

Your "better question" you could answer yourself with a 2 second google search. But you don't want answers you want the lie.

quax's picture

You can't understand my straighforward biology question? How disappointing.

But you deserve half a price for figuring out one "ingredient" to get Cherenkov radiation. Bonus point if you can look at this table that I graciously provide, and figure out the crucial piece that is missing when blowing up our nukes in the atmosphere (not that I expect you to get it, but hey, everybody deserves a fighting chance).

benb's picture

I don't know about you but I don't appreciate my tax dollars funding 'Cruxifixes in jars of urine' as art as promoted by elements of the C.I.A. to undermine the character of the American people. 

Cassandra.Hermes's picture

Trump would love some miniature statue of himself in jar of urine!

MasterControl's picture

Cassie, you're trying too hard.  Go back to DU.

East Indian's picture

That guy bought those oil paintings with his own money. Let every art lover do the same. Why should public money be spent on "art"?


P.S: Did he really do that? He could have installed three mirrors!

MasterControl's picture

Yeah because no one can be an artist without government funds...

San Pedro's picture

Abolish the EPA and return with a Dept.Of Resource Development And Conservation. New Department. New Agenda. Fire all the frothing at the mouth eco-KOOK alarmist propagandists and Climate Hoax mass hysteria flamers.

Sledge-hammer's picture
Sledge-hammer (not verified) Mar 17, 2017 7:24 PM

Wait a minute.  You mean to tell me that there is no global warming?  And that coffee, bacon, eggs, butter, and red M&Ms are not bad for you?  What about the coming Ice Age they told me about when I was a boy?  Oh, the humanity.

QuantumEasing's picture

Oh, there's global climate change.

Just not due to puny humans.

Angstrom "settled" (oh that word) it in his 1900 experiment which showed ZERO ability of CO2 to facilitate warming.

It is a zero net absorber (emits as much as it absorbs).

The Arrhenius cult cannot seem to wrap their tiny, tiny minds around this.

They have been championing a discredited, debunked, thoroughly useless theory this whole time.

eclectic syncretist's picture

You are either a genuine idiot or a sly troll. You won't last long here if you keep blowing misinformation out of your ass like this.

QuantumEasing's picture

Is that a threat, Leftard?

I'm quaking in my size 14s.

Regardless, the hue and cry from you butthurt Leftards is so sweet.



CO2 does not affect temperature. Even at MUCH higher levels than currently possible.

Human behavior (that is not INTENTIONAL geoengineering) is NOT affecting the climate.

Disprove it, instead of being a little wannabe Stasi enforcer.

Not a troll. Just done with the stupid. Done with the modern day scientism dogma. Testable, provable, repeatable, OR GO HOME.

This isn't the Daily Kaos. This isn't Huffing Poo. Sit down. Shut the fuck up. And go fondle a blender.

Doom Porn Star's picture

"You mean to tell me that there is no global warming?  And that coffee, bacon, eggs, butter, and red M&Ms are not bad for you?  What about the coming Ice Age they told me about when I was a boy? "


"Dammit, it's freezing in here!"

Sanity Bear's picture

> The second part should come in the form of cutting taxes to the wealthiest Americans

ZH quality control asleep at the wheel again

Unknown User's picture

Yeah! Who needs science? It was so much better in the Stone Age. No science and no entitlements. That was a life...  Right?

QuantumEasing's picture

Science: good.

Scientism: bad.


Vigilante's picture

Are you old enough to remember the massive hysteria pushed by the gubbermints/MSM back in the 80's regarding the Ozone Hole?

It suddenly dropped out of view in the late 90's or so w/o any explanation as to what had transpired.

The issue was  then substituted with the Global Warming hoax which in recent years morphed into Climate Change.

I suggest everyone look at the Report from Iron Mountain

One of the recommendations (to keep the sheeple pliant) is the 'threat of runaway pollution'