It’s Obama’s Money to Spend

The title of this article in Wired is absolutely fascinating: On Science, Obama Puts His Mouth Where His Money Is. “His Money.” His money. Wow.

The article itself is just the typical disturbing overview of how Obama is expanding government’s role, in this case dominating science funding even more than it has in the recent past.

“[President Obama and this Congress] have already made the choice that they are going to fully support science and invest in science to the solve the big problems — health care, science, and education,” said Dr. Stacie Propst, vice president of science policy and outreach at Research!America. “They are going to focus on a science-based economy for us.”

And really, it’s just downright silly to pretend that Obama is somehow overturning years of Bush doctrine when it comes to mixing politics and science. If government is funding science, then by definition government officials must make political decisions regarding what’s to be funded. This is to be contrasted with private funding of scientific research, which is based on what’s projected to provide the best return–i.e., by any research’s probability of resulting in a product or service that enough people will be willing to pay enough for it that the research provides a return on the investment.

But remember: it’s Obama’s money. He can spend it however he pleases.

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