Sequestration Poses a Threat to Innovation and Economic Growth

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We’re two days from the deadline that Congress and the President set for themselves to find a solution to dodge the indiscriminate, across-the-board cuts to federally funded programs, otherwise known as sequestration.  Sequestration, if you remember, was the mechanism approved by Congress and the President in 2011 to spur greater focus by both to take steps address the nation’s deficits.  It was believed, at the time, that the automatic cuts imposed by the sequester would be so unpalatable that our federal policymakers would rise to the occasion and find a solution to the budget crisis.  That has not yet proved true.

The clock has ticked away without tangible progress ahead of the imminent Friday deadline.  By then, if no agreement is in place, sequestration kicks in -- creating an ominous forecast for American innovation, and in turn, economic growth in the country.  Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, in testimony before the House Banking Committee on Tuesday, told lawmakers that the sequester’s blind cuts to take effect will hurt the economy and its nascent recovery.
  

The CBO estimates that deficit-reduction policies in current law will slow the pace of real GDP growth by about 1-1/2 percentage points this year, relative to what it would have been otherwise.

A significant portion of this effect is related to the automatic spending sequestration that is scheduled to begin on March 1, which, according to the CBO’s estimates, will contribute about 0.6 percentage point to the fiscal drag on economic growth this year.  Given the still-moderate underlying pace of economic growth, this additional near-term burden on the recovery is significant.

 
After the country has worked so hard to escape the grips of the long and painful recession, it makes little sense to add this heavy drag to communities, businesses, and working families. It would send the recovery backwards.

The federal government has long played an integral role in funding a number of life-changing discoveries.  These discoveries create jobs and economic growth.  In ignoring the consequences and allowing sequestration to take effect means we will be flirting with an economic slowdown, and puts at risk American innovation and job growth in our already fragile economy.

Technology can provide myriad cutting-edge solutions to challenges facing the U.S. and the world.  But it can’t solve this one.  To stop the sequester, we need old-fashioned leadership from our elected officials.

You can learn more about sequestration on ITI’s blog:

The Washington Post and American Chemical Society have also weighed in on the damage that the sequester will inflict on the nation’s scientific and R&D initiatives.

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3 comments
  • Sigrid Sat., October 5, 7:55 PM
    There is a disconnect bweeetn saying these cuts are reducing the increase YoY and how the cuts are actually being implemented. Here in Dayton, the DoD civilians (engineers, program managers, testers, contracts officers, etc.) who run the Air Force's acquisition programs (fighters, bombers, UAVs, cargo transports, etc.) are about to be furloughed 1 day a week for 22 weeks bweeetn end of April and end of the gov't FY in September. All the civilians at numerous other installations that manage development, acquisition, and sustainment not only for the Air Force but Army and Navy are also being furloughed. So that means a 20% slowdown in execution of those programs. I think it's disingenuous for people to characterize these cuts as a reduction in the increase to the budget for affected agencies. The DoD civilians get paid what they get paid. They aren't getting paid 20% more than they got last year, but they are being furloughed while SS, Medicare, and other unconstitutional programs and agencies are not touched. Defense is one of the few Constitutionally authorized cabinet departments. http://kdwevssfv.com [url=http://vxyhvbdqk.com]vxyhvbdqk[/url] [link=http://iitlgqeamzu.com]iitlgqeamzu[/link]
  • Yaroslav Wed., October 2, 12:49 PM
    It's also very unsettling that Obama can get away with murdres because he used the word "terror" ONCE in a sentence although emphatically and out front used the youtube video every time, yet republicans never use the word "hate" show no sign of "racisms," have records of outstanding character but democrat base will consume time and money turning their backs on fellow Americans to accuse "hate and racism" where it doesn't exist and doesn't utilize time productively! Bearing false witness with provocation is not the role of government and defies ALL human dignity! The disappointing democrat party of political instigation, has got to go. What kind of practicing Catholic is Joe Biden? Sartholic? That's a fake that uses sarcasm in the name of Catholicism to hide his truth.
  • Sahabi Tue., October 1, 5:43 AM
    So because Boehner said he got 98% of what he asked for he owns it? Except that what he asked for was spdening cuts and those are exactly what Obama is trying to avoid.I guess the truth doesn't matter if your a democrat. It doesn't matter that it happened like this: Journalism icon Bob Woodward wrote in a new Washington Post op-ed first that the sequester was the “brain child” of the White House, calling out President Barack Obama for saying it was created by Congress.“My extensive reporting for my book ‘The Price of Politics’ shows that the automatic spdening cuts were initiated by the White House and were the brainchild of [Jack Lew, then-budget director during the negotiations] and White House congressional relations chief Rob Nabors — probably the foremost experts on budget issues in the senior ranks of the federal government,” Woodward wrote on a piece posted on Friday night.Woodward continued: “Obama personally approved of the plan for Lew and Nabors to propose the sequester to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D-Nev.]. They did so at 2:30 p.m. July 27, 2011, according to interviews with two senior White House aides who were directly involved.”It doesn't matter that on Nov 21, 2011 Obama said this: “Already some in Congress are trying to undo these automatic spdening cuts. My message to them is simple: No,” “I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spdening cuts to domestic and defense spdening.”“There will be no easy off ramps on this one.,” he added.or that:-The House passed the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act (HR. 5652) in May 2012 and the Spending Reduction Act (H.R. 6684) in December.-Senate Democrats never passed legislation replacing the president’s sequester. It took the GOP-led No Budget, No Pay Act to get them to even consider passing a budget for the first time in four years.-President Obama doesn’t have a replacement plan either. He hasn’t even said when we’ll see his budget — which islate, again, and which could have addressed his sequester.Or that:in an off-the-record interview with the editors of the Des Moines Register, President Obama reversed course, taking credit for a sequester that he anticipates will be in place. :OBAMA: So when you combine the Bush tax cuts expiring, the sequester in place, the commitment of both myself and my opponent at least Governor Romney claims that he wants to reduce the deficit but we’re going to be in a position where I believe in the first six months we are going to solve that big piece of business. I’m sure the baggers are fine with this because it matches their disfunctional attitude but dad really needs to spend some of that money on the family. The American Family.' You're straw man arguments are idiotic and very contrived. Do you realize that the sequester is ${esc.dollar}85 billion. Our government spends ${esc.dollar}10 billion per day. So we're talking about trying to account for 8.5 days over the next 7 months. I'll put it another way for you. If you spread this out over the rest of the fiscal year instead of spdening ${esc.dollar}10 billion per day our government would have to bite the bullet and only spend ${esc.dollar}9.6 billion per day. To use your idiotic straw man, all dad has to do is forgo his 6 pack and the family will be just fine!The fact is missy that this is the fundamental problem in American politics and it’s the fundamental problem with Democracy, in general, somebody has to tell the middle class that either your taxes are going to go up or your programs are going to get cut or else we’re going to go into financial oblivion, and nobody really wants to tell them that. It's the big lie that Obama and the democrats told. They convinced you that it could all be done on the backs of the rich when all along they knew that they we're going to have to tax the middle class, they just waited until after the election to be honest about it. So you are correct on one point, the election was won by lies, the lies of dear leader maobama.
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