WBUR

Sen. Warren Decries Potential Research Funding Cuts

BOSTON — U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren warned that Massachusetts stands to lose thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in federal funds if Congress allows deep spending cuts to go into effect.

The cuts, known as “sequestration,” will automatically trigger in March unless a compromise is reached. Some $85 billion will be trimmed from the federal budget for the remainder of the 2013 fiscal year, split evenly between defense and domestic programs.

Warren said Massachusetts received 11.3 percent of all grants made by the National Institutes of Health last year.

“We have the hospitals and researchers that are receiving number one, two, three, four and five, in terms of the big grants,” Warren said. “Boston is the single largest city recipient in the country.”

Warren and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino held an event in Boston Monday to outline what impact the reductions would have locally on the health care industry.

“It would interrupt research, it means scientists could lose their jobs, and that just doesn’t make any sense,” Warren said. “It’s the wrong way to think about getting our financial house in order.”

Congress is in recess until Feb. 25, just four days before the deadline.

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  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    A better headline would be:
    Senator representing the Academy Industrial Complex squeals when funding is cut to her patron.

    • courant

      So it’s self interested squealing to point out that we can’t end the recession by killing people’s jobs. Do you live on a planet where it’s possible to reduce unemployment by firing people? Also: “Academy Industrial Complex”? Laughable.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        Which university do you work at?

        • knorrig2

          Explain the “Academy Industrial Complex”. How could research linked to increased industrial output be something that you’re against?

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            I am not against anything except self serving politicians and their sycophants. The Academy Industrial Complex is the sub set of government hacks that pretend to be in higher education instead of being political operatives confirming their own bias. Senator Warren is a perfect example of that.

          • courant

            Still unclear on how something can be an “industrial complex” when it’s inherently profit-free. Also, you do realize that these scientists who rely on public funding for their research are Senator Warren’s constituents. So I suppose you’d rather she be indifferent to whether her constituents lose their jobs. What’s the point of representative democracy again?

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            You are familiar with the Military industrial complex that President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned about?

            http://www.npr.org/2011/01/17/132942244/ikes-warning-of-military-expansion-50-years-later

            Non-profit does not mean greed free. Academics are as prone to human failing as is anyone.

          • courant

            I am, and you didn’t say “greedy,” you said “industrial complex.” Explain to me where the profit motive is coming from, you know, the “industrial” part. What are these academics bribing politicians with? Do you imagine that they have just piles and piles of cash left lying around after paying for their research and researchers (you know, creating jobs)?

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            The academics provide junk science for the politicians, the politicians provide dollars for the academics. They both win at the cost of true science and the nation as a whole. Another example of this would be the road blocks placed on “Golden Rice.” 8,000,000 million dead children because of 12 years of delays caused by junk science. Political careers are made by those willingly perverting academia for their political ends.

            http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/project_syndicate0/2013/02/gm_food_golden_rice_will_save_millions_of_people_from_vitamin_a_deficiency.single.html

          • courant

            So either you don’t understand what “military industrial complex” means, or you’ve decided you’re just not going to answer my question. But even what you have said is dishonest. Who exactly are you suggesting made a political career by funneling NIH money to scientists in exchange for fraudulent data about golden rice? Anybody in particular?

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Please explain to me what the military industrial complex is and why no other group or special interest has been to adapt its example to their advantage.

            Another example would be E-85 gasoline. It does nothing to improve the environment and is a major factor in increasing food costs world wide. But Rep Markey is holding that up as part of his bid for the senate.

          • courant

            Are you going to answer the question? Who made their political career by funneling money to which scientists in exchange for fraudulent data? You’re sure it’s happening all the time but you can’t give any specific examples?

            There are other industries that have managed to intertwine themselves with government (like the prison system) in similar ways but you’re refusing to give examples of academia doing so. Even the name you’re using doesn’t make sense (maybe you meant “academic-political complex”, but the word “industrial” doesn’t make any sense in this context).

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Excellent so you agree with the basic concept: unprincipled industries do attempt to intertwine themselves with government for their own advantage. That seems like an fact that should be self evident.
            It should be self evident that higher education is an industry but arguing that here seems unproductive.

            I have provide three separate and distinct examples. But let us focus on one Senator Warren.

          • courant

            Ok then, which scientists are producing fraudulent data for Senator Warren? What is the data that is fraudulent? How is she ensuring that the NIH funding ends up with them?

            I’m guessing you won’t answer a single one of these questions, because you can’t.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Rutgers Law Professor Philip Shuchman published in the 1990-1991 edition of the Rutgers Law Review a 60-page analysis concerning a book Warren co-authored, ”As We Forgive Our Debtors: Bankruptcy and Consumer Credit in America.” This Book was used as an argument for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which Warren was originally supposed to head up.

            Shuchman wrote:

            Most of their study replicates several earlier research publications. These are hardly mentioned. The writers make extravagant and false claims to originality and priority of research. There appear to be serious errors in their use of statistical bases which result in grossly mistaken functions and comparisons. Some of their conclusions cannot be obtained even from their flawed findings. The authors have made their raw data unavailable so that its accuracy cannot be independently checked. ”In my opinion, the authors have engaged in repeated instances of scientific misconduct.”

            After being rejected for the post she was able to use her notoriety jump start her senatorial campaign. But questions about her scholarship remain unanswered. Senator Warren’s questionable scholarship advanced her in academia and into our government.

            It is because of that that she is a perfect example of how unprincipled persons are able to game the system for their own personal gain.

            http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/06/04/warren-accused-repeated-instances-of-scientific-misconduct-before-harvard-hire

            http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/07/considering-elizabeth-warren-the-scholar/60211/

            http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/25/business/25consume.html?_r=0

          • courant

            Are you deliberately avoiding my questions, or are you just a sloppy thinker? This has nothing to do with what we’re talking about, which is NIH funds, and your claim that Warren is using these funds to purchase fraudulent science. Please give a single example of Senator Warren doing this, and be specific on who is accepting the NIH funds, the nature of the fraud, and how Warren managed to hijack the grant process.

            I think it’s likely that you just don’t understand that the words you’ve used have very specific meanings, but that doesn’t change the fact that they do. You have made a very specific and serious accusation, and now you’re continually trying to shift the conversation in order to avoid supporting it with any evidence.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Thank you have a nice weekend.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB
          • knorrig2

            What portion of academia are you talking about?

          • http://twitter.com/BleedingFibroid Kryptonite to Stupid

            Government funded.

        • courant

          Uh, I guess you figured out my deep dark secret. My research is privately funded, but even if it weren’t, how does that make firing people a good way to get out of a recession? Especially when the people fired are the people developing the basic science needed for innovation and growth in the private sector? Like, is your opinion here based on anything other than the assumption that anyone who has a job and wants to keep it must be a greedy mooching leech whose interests don’t matter?

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Someone is going to get fired. decades of mismanagement has made that a certainty. I would prefer that those loosing their pay checks be higher up the ziggurat. So how many less teachers or cops or garbage collectors do you think your worth?
            If you are a greedy mooching leech then that would be punishment enough.

          • courant

            And this brings me back to laughable. Setting aside the weird assumption that we have to sacrifice someone so the economic gods will bless us again, your understanding of who’s “higher up” than whom is flat out wrong. I make less than the least paid cop in Boston, and the gap between me and the least paid garbage collector or public school teacher is even greater. Not that this is a zero sum game, since the money comes from completely different places (surprising fact: a public works employee is not taken out back and shot every time a postdoc gets hired).

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            You are conflating the economy as a whole and government funding to try to make an argument. Government funding cuts are coming. A hard nosed discussion about priorities needs to happen. Your position seems to be that we need to spend more money because we are so far in debt. Is this the point were you tell me that the Federal Debt and year Budget Deficit don’t matter?

          • courant

            No, my position is that it’s really stupid to focus so singlemindedly on the rate at which we are currently accumulating debt at the expense of our ability to raise revenue in the long term. It’s like telling a kid one semester away from graduation that if they’re worried about their ability to pay off their student loans, they should drop out and get a minimum wage job. It’s completely counterproductive: instead of accumulating a little more debt in order to increase their long term earning potential, they’ll be lucky if they can make a dent in their debt at all.

            But none of this matters to you, because you don’t see it as a matter of getting the ratio of revenue to spending back up. As far as you’re concerned, we’ve been profligate, and now someone has to be punished, end of story. That kind of thinking is what’s going to take us into a double-dip recession. Are you completely unaware of what austerity has done to the UK?

          • http://twitter.com/BleedingFibroid Kryptonite to Stupid

            The problem is trying to fund too many employees. You hire people to run a business, not to give them a job. Do more with less. Let the true unemployment numbers be known,.

  • Thinkfreeer

    Gee, that’s too bad. Why don’t you go tilt at banks?

  • X-Ray

    It looks like Warren is in the mold of Obama; spend, spend, spend, even if the money is not there. Just as in her campaign, spending money she didn’t have. And she is the one telling bankers how to run their business. Ironic.

  • http://twitter.com/BleedingFibroid Kryptonite to Stupid

    Obama is the one that signed off on the cuts in the first place. Could it be that Fauxcahontas disagrees with Dear Leader?? Hypocrisy at it’s finest.

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