Robert Park notes:
BE AFRAID: THE BUDGET CONTROL ACT OF 2011 AWAITS US.
Passed by Congress and signed into law by the President on 2 Aug 2011, the Budget Control Act brought conclusion to the 2011 debt ceiling crisis that threatened to lead the U.S. into sovereign default on 3 Aug 2011. Like amputating a limb to stop an infection, it may have been necessary but it didn’t end our suffering. In a Science editorial last week that every scientist should read, Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) predicts that science will bear more than its share of the $2.4 trillion in federal spending cuts required by the bill. I have no doubt he’s right. The only remaining PhD physicist in Congress, Rush has served the 12th district of New Jersey since 1998. Before that he was the Assistant Director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. “With the budget control act,” he writes, “Congress appears to have said in effect, that federally sponsored science has no role to play in advancing the economy, that unemployment is a problem that only time will cure, and that the nation’s best days are behind us. How contrary to American tradition that would be! It must not prevail.”