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Spending For Science

I am puzzled at some of John Gibbons's remarks in the article about the Office of Technology Assessment (The Scientist, Jan. 20, 1992, page 11). He seems to think we have large deficits because of the tax cuts of the early 1980s. In fact, the annual federal budget has roughly doubled in the past decade, while inflation has been about 50 percent, and the average salary has increased by about 50 percent. In the last three years alone, the federal budget has increased from a trillion dollars or

Karl Stengel
I am puzzled at some of John Gibbons's remarks in the article about the Office of Technology Assessment (The Scientist, Jan. 20, 1992, page 11). He seems to think we have large deficits because of the tax cuts of the early 1980s. In fact, the annual federal budget has roughly doubled in the past decade, while inflation has been about 50 percent, and the average salary has increased by about 50 percent.

In the last three years alone, the federal budget has increased from a trillion dollars or so to the current level of more than $1.4 trillion. Had the federal budget been frozen as recently as 1989, the budget would have been balanced by this year, leaving a $50 billion to $100 billion annual surplus. Spending, not tax cuts, is the source of the deficits.

As far as his remark that the federal government cannot increase science funding because...

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