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Cuts Won't Bolster Science

In a speech to Congress in February, President Donald Trump praised technological advances the US has made, but the New York Times argues that his budget approach acts against such interests.

"Think of the marvels we can achieve if we simply set free the dreams of our people," Trump said in February. He added that that could lead to "cures to illnesses that have always plagued us" and "American footprints on distant worlds."

But the Times editorial board says that proposed cuts to NASA, the Department of Energy, the National Institutes of Health, and other science agencies will "stifle invention and undercut the nation's competitiveness."

In particular, the Trump administration has proposed cutting 18 percent from the NIH budget and about 20 percent from the DoE Office of Science budget, as well as tightening the budgets of the Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and NASA's Earth science program for fiscal year 2018.

The Times notes that Trump supporter and Silicon Valley venture capitalist Peter Thiel is a proponent of government-sponsored research, but says that it no longer measures up to how it used to be in the days of the Manhattan Project or the Apollo space program. "[W]e have fallen very far from that standard, and we cannot let free market ideology serve as an excuse for decline," Thiel said before the election, according to the Times.

The editorial board says, however, that that's what these proposed cuts do.