Sequester Kills Medical Research Because ‘Government Spending Is Bad’

Dave Johnson

Republicans continually drone on about how “government spending” is so bad… Infrastructure, medical research, education, law enforcement… bad … “out of control” … “take money out of the economy” … etc. And so because we have to do something about “out of control spending” we have this sequester.

All of the stated reasons for the sequester have gone away:

  • The deficit is down by half as a percent of GDP;
  • The study that justified it turned out to have the conclusions completely wrong;
  • Europe’s experiment with cutting government to boost the economy has shown this to be ass-backwards.
  • History, on the other hand, has shown that we need to boost government spending and hiring to grow the economy during recessions and depressions.

But hey, Republicans are not going to let facts get in the way of causing human suffering and economic decline. Even many Democrats say “we need balanced deficit cutting” instead of hiring and stimulus. And here we are.

So, how’s that sequester going? Here are a few headlines:

Sequester Begins to Shut Down Medical Research

Science and research hit hard by US sequester cuts

HuffPo: Sequester Impact On Medical Research Results In Cuts To Promising Projects

… a group of 22 graduate students and researchers have been exploring ways to help repair the heart after it experiences trauma. … The National Health Institute informed the group at Temple that the $1.5 million grant funding their research would be reduced by ten percent, a consequence of the federal budget cuts known as sequestration. …

At the University of Kansas, … has been left in limbo after sequestration forced a delay … likened the situation to “closing off the vein.” … projects that enhance social and emotional development for children with severe behavior problems or autism and help educators understand how to work with children with or at risk for disabilities. … Greenwood said he would look to foundations and private philanthropy to help fill the void left by sequestration.

Bloomberg: Tumors on Ice as Budget Impasse Freezes Medical Research,

Rebecca Riggins, a Georgetown University cancer researcher, has had to freeze her work amid federal funding cuts brought on by sequestration. Literally.

[. . .] Joan Brugge, chairwoman of the cell biology department at Harvard Medical School, says the cuts are affecting experienced researchers in addition to scientists just starting out.

… “When you take what already has been an extremely tough environment for research and development funding and overlay sequestration on top of that, it turns a bad situation into a historically bad situation,”

PhysBizTech: Sequester could doom funding for promising cancer research

Across-the-board budget cuts ― known as sequestration ― took effect on March 1, and their potential impacts are just starting to become clearer. For cancer patients and their families, these cuts spell despair …

… Not only will sequester cuts lead to fewer prospective research projects being funded, fewer research jobs and less economic activity, but they may cut short promising genetic research initiatives that are leading to drug development for brain tumors, ovarian cancer, metastatic melanoma and cancers caused by genetic mutations.

… Cutting cancer research now hurts the nation both medically and economically.

There is no reason for this sequester. Just repeal it. Jeeze!

Tell your member of Congress: Repeal the sequester.

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