Meet Jeff Flake from Arizona. His number one goal is the destruction of the federal government, one piece at a time. His first target: the National Science Foundation. The NSF funds a big chunk of the country’s basic research to the tune of about $7 billion/year, and Flake proposed cutting it by a billion dollars.
He didn’t get what he wanted, fortunately.
But now he’s fallen back on the tricks of anti-science demagogues everywhere, falling back on using his ignorance to justify gutting programs, one by one. He’s managed to block funding of all political science research through NSF, because, he says, they’re “meritless” and “These studies might satisfy the curiosities of a few academics, but I seriously doubt society will benefit from them”.
What did he single out as worthy of cutting?
A project to “develop a new model for international climate change analysis” — apparently, if you close your eyes to a problem, it goes away.
“Understanding the origins of the gender gap in political ambition,” a project to identify why young people aren’t running for office. Oh, that one we can cut, because the reason is obvious: because the offices are full of assholes like Flake.
Strangely, Flake has an MA in political science. I guess he thinks his degree is worthless, not realizing that it’s not the diploma, it’s the brain behind it.
(Also on FtB)