Too much R & D work is performed under government supervision
The cost of government administration and burdensome procedures undermine creative and professional science and invention. If the government wants to fund R & D, it should be done as efficiently and cost effectively as possible. That is not the case today at the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, DARPA, or any other government administered operation.
A better alternative is to make funds available through private sector channels.
“Federal workers becoming a flash point in midterm elections
By Lisa Rein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 25, 2010; 3:48 AM
From her sixth-floor office at the National Science Foundation in Arlington County, Carter Kimsey earns $155,500 a year helping to conceive and oversee federal research grants to the nation's smartest scientists.
Kimsey doesn't see herself as overpaid. But now, the 63-year-old civil servant and almost 2 million other federal workers are in the cross hairs during this midterm election season. With 14.9 million Americans unemployed and private-sector wages stagnant, Republicans hoping to win back Congress in November have seized on the salaries and size of the federal workforce as symbols of overspending by the Obama administration.
In their campaign blueprint released this week, GOP lawmakers proposed a hiring freeze on non-security federal workers to help slash $100 billion in government spending. On Capitol Hill, they've tried to block President Obama's proposed 1.4 percent pay increase, to furlough federal workers for two weeks to save $5.5 billion, to fire workers who owe federal taxes, to shrink the pool of political appointees, to freeze bonuses and even to shut down the government. None of these ideas has gotten much traction in the Democratic-controlled Congress, but the resurgence of a GOP majority after the November elections could change that.
Democrats and unions are fighting back with a fury. The American Federation of Government Employees, the largest federal union, has launched radio ads geared to suburban and independent voters, depicting civil servants as trusted workers who will protect Americans from terrorists and deliver Social Security checks on time. Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) routinely singles out high-performing federal employees in floor speeches.
Republicans have focused on the swelling size of the workforce as what they say is evidence of an administration out of touch with the average American. "When you look at family incomes under $40,000 per family, people look at federal workers making twice what they're making," said Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who as a member of Congress earns $174,000. "People are naturally going to have an eye toward some of kind of fairness."’