March 7, 2005
The People's Budget
The above graph shows how Americans would reallocate the federal budget if given the chance, according to a PIPA survey of 1,200 adults (PDF). Kevin Drum, who pointed this study out, warns social-spending-happy liberals to chill, because if they actually proposed cutting the defense budget by a third and spending all that cash on education and renewable energy, they would quickly discover the heat of this country’s fury.
It’s unfortunate that “space program” and “science research” are lumped together on this graph (and nowhere to be found in the accompanying PDF). Because clearly, if I’d gotten my grubby little hands on this survey, NASA would become the NAA, and its budget would be approximately $959 million.* And the National Science Foundation would find its budget mysteriously expanded by about, oh, $14.5 billion or so.
I mean, take this page and multiply its coolness factor by 4. Is your mind blown yet?
Speaking of the NSF, check out the Digital Promise Project, a foundation that wants to create a sort of NSF for education. Together with the New America Foundation, Digital Promise is pushing a piece of legislation that would use the money from selling and licensing the public airwaves to create a trust fund devoted to R&D in the field of education.
I’m inclined to think that’s pretty cool. Critics of the legislation launch their broadside with the question, “Must the government establish what amounts to a new Public Broadcasting System for the Internet?”