Where the President’s Budget Would Leave Libraries

« … According to Scientific American, the budget set federal spending on research and development at civilian science agencies at $65.9 billion, an increase of less than one percent over FY14. “There’s not enough money to do anything interesting,” Kevin Wilson, director of public policy at the American Society for Cell Biology in Bethesda, MD, told the magazine.

The National Institutes of Health ($30.2 billion for FY15, up from $30.15 billion) and National Science Foundation ($7.255 billion for FY15, up from $7.18 billion) each received bare-bones increases in the president’s budget.

In a statement, the non-profit Association of American Universities said, “The President’s FY15 budget does disappointingly little to close the nation’s innovation deficit.”

Scientific American also noted that keeping spending flat on scientific research practically equates to a cut, given rising costs. The publication cites the NIH’s own Biomedical Research and Development Price Index, which calculates a 2.9 percent increase in the cost of doing research for FY15, far outpacing the NIH’s 0.7 percent projected budget increase.

However, the president’s budget message certainly promoted the value of science and research. “Scientific discovery and technological breakthroughs are the primary engines not only for expanding the frontiers of human knowledge but also for responding in innovative, practical ways to the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century,” the administration wrote.

There is one scenario proposed by the administration that would provide somewhat of a windfall for scientific research, although Inside Higher Ed called the plan “illusory.” This Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative would channel $56 billion for a variety of agencies, including NIH ($970 million) and the National Science Foundation ($552 million). But to free up this money, Congress would have to agree to new taxes on the wealthy and spending cuts to programs including farm subsidies (…) »

source > lj.libraryjournal.com, Bob Warburton, 21 mars 2014