The federal budget and appropriations process is frozen and irretrievably broken…that’s not exactly breaking news. The problem is how to fix it. This has enormous impact on science and engineering across all disciplines. Much basic research is federally funded and chaos in the budget system is making it increasingly difficult to sustain needed research both at universities and private sector.
POLITICO recently surveyed six experts on prospective solutions. Each offered their best ideas for making the budget work again.
Unfortunately given the current situation in Congress I’m in the pessimists’ camp as outlined by well-known budget guru Stan Collender who concluded:
Don’t bother: There’s no way to make the current congressional budget process work until there’s a consensus in Congress on what that process should do. And in the existing take-no-prisoners world on Capitol Hill, that’s not going to happen any time soon.
There is no technocratic fix for the current budget problems. Those solutions can only be made through the political process — a process that is itself, frozen.